With the recent release of SOLIDWORKS 2016 there have been some really nice enhancements in the Assembly Mates arena. Some of these new enhancements are crowd pleasers and are sure to increase productivity for any user. Veteran users included.
The very first and probably the most productive one is when you are in the Mate command. The very first click you do on a face of a component turns that component transparent. This allows immediate visual and selection access to another component that was ‘underneath’ or ‘inside’ of it.
A simple 2 flat face coincident mate, without rotating around to get a visual on either face.
- In 2015 to get BOTH faces selected it was 8 mouse clicks
- In 2016 to get BOTH faces selected it was 4 mouse clicks and the graphical feedback was much better
(The ‘select other’ command was used in both cases when necessary)
Here is a side by side visual of 2015 vs. 2016:
I’d say 50 percent less clicking on one of the most used features in the software is a win.
Second up is the addition of several new mate possibilities in the Quick Mates toolbar when simply control-selecting multiple faces/edges on your assembly components.
- Profile Center Mate (with or without lock rotation) (2 edges selected)
- Symmetrical Mate (3 faces selected)
- Width Mate (4 faces selected)
Here are a few screen shots to familiarize you with the new look of the icons:
Profile Center (far right icon on the quick mate toolbar):
Last but not least, there is a new command called Mate Controller that allows you to easily show your assembly in various positions and move between these positions without the use of configurations.
I couldn’t have said it better than our friends at SOLIDWORKS so check out their video below showing the new mate controller functionality.
SOLIDWORKS 2016: Animate Assembly Motion [Video]
As always, have fun with these new tools, and make yourself a few test assemblies to practice and understand how they work before diving right into your production files!
Written by Jesse Ortman
Jesse Ortman is a Regional Technical Manager at Alignex, Inc. When Jesse isn’t working with customers to solve their engineering challenges or keeping up on the latest SOLIDWORKS innovations, you will most likely find him building and running his own 3D printer.