Mate References

For components that you mate the same way every time, you can set up mate references to define the mates used and the component geometry being mated.

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.

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

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 or component geometry. Example of assembly geometry is a plane in the assembly. Example of a component geometry is the face of a component.
Mate reference propagation When you insert a subassembly into a higher-level assembly, mate references defined in the subassembly’s components, and those defined in the subassembly’s top level, are available for automatic mating.
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, a secondary, and a tertiary reference entity. Each of these entities can have an assigned mate type and alignment. For two components to mate automatically, their mate references must have the same:
  • Name
  • Number of entities
  • Mate type for corresponding entities