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Types of SmartMates

You can create some types of SmartMates by dragging components into assemblies using certain model geometry. You inference the geometry of existing components to create mates as you drop the new components.

Use one of the following entities to drag the component:

  • Linear or circular edge

  • Temporary axis

  • Vertex

  • Planar face

  • Cylindrical/conical face

  • Origin or coordinate system

To create SmartMates:

  1. Drag a component (but do not drop it immediately).

    • For a component that is not in the assembly yet:

Drag the component from the graphics area of its window into the graphics area of the assembly window. You make selections differently when the component is an assembly than when it is a part.

      • Parts: Select an entity and drag.

      • Assemblies: Hold down Shift, select an entity, and drag.

    • For a component that is already in the assembly:

Hold down Alt, select an entity, and drag the component (part or subassembly).

When the pointer is over an entity of another component that is a potential mate partner, the pointer changes to indicate the mate or mates that will result if the component is dropped at this location. A preview of the component snaps into place.

  1. If the preview indicates that you need to change the alignment condition, press the Tab key to flip the alignment (aligned/anti-aligned).

  2. Drop the component.

  3. Click in the Mate popup toolbar.

The following types of automatic mates are supported:

Mating entities

Type of mate


Click for example

2 linear edges



2 planar faces



2 vertices



2 conical faces, or 2 temporary axes, or 1 conical face and 1 temporary axis



2 circular edges (peg-in-hole SmartMates).
The edges do not have to be complete circles.

(conical faces)
- and -
(adjacent planar faces)


2 circular patterns on flanges (flange SmartMates).

Concentric and coincident


Origins and coordinate systems



You can also create SmartMates while moving a component with the Move Component PropertyManager. See Adding SmartMates While Moving Components.


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