Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SolidWorks Tech Tips: The Width Tool, Assemblies, and You

Did you know...?

I've been using SolidWorks for a long time, but just the other day I learned of a new technique (new to me and maybe new to you too!) for using the mate tool 
when putting assembly models together, called Width.

In the example below I want to center the little Spider Block between the tabs of the Yoke. I'm going to use the Width mate located in the Advanced Mates collection listed below the Standard Mates



The way I've used the Width mate in the past has been to first, pre-select one of the two boxes at the top of the Width mate property manager. Then carefully select the two opposite side of the Spider Block and see them in that pre-selected box. After selecting the other data box in the property manager, I'd select the opposing inside surfaces on the Yoke tabs. As I selected the second tab, the Spider Block moved into place exactly between the tabs.





Did you know...

Instead of carefully selecting the boxes and the faces and making sure I got them all and in the correct order - why not just left-click on the four faces and let SolidWorks sort it out?


Here's how it's done... 

With your control key down (Ctrl), select the four faces that will be used in the Width mate. You can choose the faces in any order you wish, so long as you select all four. 





Now, as you select the Mate icon from the fly out toolbar or any other toolbar, the Spider centers between the tabs! You don't have to select any specific mate at all!




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