Made in Boston

SolidWorks 2014 What’s New – Chapter 5: Assemblies, pt 2


Mates were a major focus of this year’s SolidWorks release. In fact, there were so many mate enhancements in SolidWorks 2014, they get their very own post, with a bunch of videos to boot. How special.

Honorable Mentions

Spherical Mates

Improvements to the existing concentric and tangent commands now allow SolidWorks users to attach a spherical component to nearly any other shape, including even the most complex edges and surfaces. Previously, spheres could only me mated to regularly shaped surfaces and edges. Now, in 2014, spheres can be mated to nearly any high-degree surface, and sketches as well. The great thing about spherical mates is that the spherical component is locked within the boundary of the mated component. This video below includes a complete demo of the new spherical mate command.

Rotation Lock for Concentric Mates

SolidWorks finally has the option to lock down that last pesky degree of freedom when mating cylindrical parts, such as bolts and screws. When applying a concentric mate – either from the mate PropertyManger or the pop-up toolbar – you now have the option to lock rotation, so the components aren’t allowed to spin freely.  You can also Ctrl + select multiple pre-created concentric mates and lock them all at once.


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Applying Standard Mates from Context Toolbar


We’ve seen this enhancement before, way back in the chapter on User Interface enhancements, but it has to be mentioned again. This little pop-up could be a game-changer. During a presentation from the SolidWorks Product Marketing team, Jeremy Regnerus mentioned that many of this year’s other mate improvements – such as default mate intelligence, SmartMate accessibility, etc. – were rendered obsolete thanks to the context toolbar pop-up. Remember, just Ctrl + select entities from two different parts, and the context tool allows you to instantly select from a list of possible mates.


Slot mates

It’s rare enough that an entirely new mate type is introduced, but this year we got two! Along with Spherical Mates, we now have access to the powerful Slot Mate. The slot mate is available under the Mechanical Mates subsection.

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Slots can be straight (two straight parallel walls and two equal end arcs), or curved (two concentric arc walls and two equal end arcs). However, a combination of straight and curved sections is not allowed. Slots can be mated to each other, or cylindrical faces or axes. Once mated, components will not move beyond the ends of the slot, which makes adding realistic tolerance features easier than ever. you can even lock the mated component to a certain distance or percentage along the slot. Check out the video below for a full demo of the new Slot Mate feature.

Check out the video below for an overview of all the new mate enhancements coming your way in SolidWorks 2014.

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