Useful tools when mating in SolidWorks

One of the coolest things I have found about working for a Solidworks reseller is that I get to see some of the cool stuff you guys are doing with SolidWorks. A favorite is when I get to talk to costumers who have recently migrated from another 3D modeling software to SolidWorks. They know where they want to end up, but still trying to convert to the SolidWorks way of thinking.
Recently I talked to a customer who just made the leap from Inventor to SolidWorks, and was looking for a “Best practice” for mating in SolidWorks Assemblies. Here is some of the stuff we went over;

Filtering & Transparency
Two of my favorite tools when flying around in assembly mode is the filtering tool and also picking my spots to use transparency.

It is good practice 99% of the time to mate faces over edges, but as you might find that when you are swinging with the white cursor of yours those lines can interfere with your target face. Using the SolidWorks Face Filter can make things a lot easier. sitting right there hooked up to the F5 on your keyboard.
Now the only reason that using transparency really squeezes some easiness into your assembly is that when holding down the SHIFT key while mouse clicking will make you select the transparent face, instead of picking through the transparent as normal. This technic can make for quick picking and face selection when working with multiable parts, and mating stuff together.

Mate-Reference…
If you are using toolbox you might come across “Mate-Reference”. If you select your fastener and while holding down your left mouse button and drag it over your part, some nifty icons appears symbolizing “Concentric”, “Parallel” and “Coincident”, making it possible to automaticly add you mates. This feature is not some secret magic feature for toolbox part, but actually a feature that you can do this without even looking at the help menu once. Check out this little nifty video SolidWorks has created to get you started;
SolidWorks Time-Saving Tips: Mate References

My Favorite SolidWorks Mating Trick…
After years of using SolidWorks and then one day this little simple trick involving the Alt key enlightened my day. Check out this little video I made.
Mating Trick In SolidWorks

Conclusion…
There is many cool tips, tricks and “best practices” in SolidWorks. When it comes to working with assemblies it will defiantly make sense to experiment a little. Do you have any tips, tricks and best practices?…

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  • http://www.thebigconsultant.com Product Designer

    Thanks for this tip! This has been annoying me for ages!!