Better Component Placement While Mating

When adding concentric or coincident mates to components that have all degrees of freedom unconstrained, components are placed in more logical positions on the screen and relative to other components.

In previous releases, the coincident or concentric mate was added correctly, but one component was often placed off screen or hidden behind or within other components. Then, to continue your work, you needed to zoom in and out, rotate the view, or hide other components.

In SOLIDWORKS 2017, to improve the placement of the components being mated, the mate software takes into account where you click on each of the components to mate. The components are placed so that those clicked regions are near each other. The software also avoids or minimizes interference with other components.

Distance Mates to Cylindrical Components

When you add a distance mate between two cylindrical faces, four options are available for placement of the distance.

The new options are also available when you add a distance mate between a cylindrical face and an axis, edge, line, vertex, or point.

Initially, the default option is Center to Center. Subsequently, the software remembers your last used option from session to session.

Previously, the specified distance was applied at the minimum distance between the cylinders and no other options were available.

The distance placement options include the following:

Center to Center Applies the distance between the cylinder axes.

Minimum Distance Applies the distance where the cylinders are closest to each other.

Maximum Distance Applies the distance where the cylinders are farthest from each other. This option is not available if the distance is less than the sum of the radii of both cylinders.

Custom Distance Applies the distance to the combination of conditions you select. Specify a condition for each cylinder:
  • Center
  • Min
  • Max

For example, you can select Center for the cylinder on the left and Min for the cylinder on the right.

The lower limit for the applied distance is calculated based on the selected options.

Max and Center The applied distance has a lower limit that is equal to the radius of the cylinder that has Max selected.
Max and Min The applied distance has a lower limit that is equal to one of the following radii:
  • Max radius minus the Min radius if the Max radius is greater than the Min radius
  • Min radius

Driven Mate Dimensions

You can set mate dimensions as driven, so that the value is influenced by other moving components in the assembly.

By default, mate dimensions are driving dimensions. For the following mate types you can change the dimensions to driven:
  • Distance and distance limit
  • Angle and angle limit
  • Width (Distance and Percentage options)
  • Slot (Distance and Percentage options)
  • Path (Distance and Percentage options)

To use driven mate dimensions:

Do one of the following:
  • In the graphics area, right-click the mate dimension and click Driven.
  • In the FeatureManager design tree, in the Mates folder, right-click the mate and select Driven.
  • In the graphics area, select the mate dimension. Then in the PropertyManager, on the Other tab, select Driven.
You can change the mate dimension back to driving by repeating one of the methods above and clearing Driven.

Over Defined Mates

The dialog box for over defined mates has been redesigned for ease of use.

The options in the dialog box are better defined so you know exactly how the mate will behave:
  • Add this mate and break other mates to satisfy it
  • Add this mate and over define the assembly

If you press ESC, the mate is not created.