Chapter 14: Getting More from Mates
IN THIS CHAPTER
Learning efficient mating strategies
Performing degrees-of-freedom analysis
Using Advanced and Mechanical mate types
Editing and troubleshooting assembly mates
Choosing mate options
Examining mate best practices
In SolidWorks assemblies, mates are the glue that holds assemblies together. When properly handled, mates enable your assembly to react predictably to changes in parts in exactly the same way that sketch relations drive changes in part features. As a result, mates and sketch relations often have the same function and even the same weaknesses to watch out for.
This chapter goes one step further with mates, by not simply putting parts together with Coincident and Concentric mates, but also mating parts when real-life situations such as tolerances, gaps, and symmetry become issues. You also learn about the more advanced mate types that may be useful for special situations.
One of the assumptions made in this chapter is that assembly mates are not just used for positioning parts, but also for motion. Making motion work takes a little more than just establishing the right spatial relationship between parts; it usually also involves analyzing the open degrees of freedom.
An average assembly of 100 parts is likely to have almost 300 individual mates. If you created these parts one at a time, taking perhaps a minute for each mate, you would spend five hours just applying mates. In this section, you learn efficient ...