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Mate References

Mate references specify one or more entities of a component to use for automatic mating. When you drag a component with a mate reference into an assembly, the SolidWorks software tries to find other combinations of the same mate reference name and mate type. If the name is the same, but the type does not match, the software does not add the mate. Here are some items to note about mate references:

  • Components. You can add mate references to parts and assemblies. In assemblies, you can select assembly geometry (such as a plane in the assembly) or component geometry (such as the face of a component.)

  • Multiple mate references. A component can contain more than one mate reference. The MateReferences folder in the FeatureManager design tree holds all mate references.

    For example, you can have a component in an assembly with two mate references, bolt and washer. When you drag a fastener with a mate reference named bolt into the assembly, mates are added between the entities with the same mate reference name.

  • Multiple mated entities. Each mate reference can contain up to three mated entities: a primary, secondary, and tertiary reference entity. Each of these entities can have an assigned mate type and alignment. In order for two components to mate automatically, their mate references must have the same:

  • Name

  • Number of entities

  • Mate type for corresponding entities

  • SmartMates. When the SmartMates PropertyManager is open, the software adds mates via mate references before it adds geometric SmartMates.

To define a mate reference:

  1. In a part or an assembly, click Mate Reference (Reference Geometry toolbar) or Insert, Reference Geometry, Mate Reference.

    The Mate Reference PropertyManager appears.

  2. Under Reference Name, type a name for the mate reference.

  3. Under Primary Reference Entity:

    • Select a face, edge, vertex, or plane for the Primary reference entity . The entity is used for potential mates when dragging a component into an assembly.

    • Select a Mate Reference Type and a Mate Reference Alignment to define the default mate for the reference entity.

  4. If desired, repeat Step 3 to add secondary and tertiary entities.

  5. Click .

    The mate reference is added to the FeatureManager design tree in the MateReferences folder.

To capture a mate reference from an existing mate:

  1. Edit a component in the context of an assembly.

  2. Click Mate Reference .

  3. In the PropertyManager, under References to Capture, select an entity or a mate.

The entity, mate, and alignment of the mate appear under Primary Reference Entity.

  1. Type a name under Reference Name and click to add the mate reference to the component.

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