I’ve always felt that mating components in an assembly was one of the most exciting parts of creating my designs in SOLIDWORKS. After putting in all the work to build up the individual components, I was finally able to see how they would all interact. SOLIDWORKS gives us so many unique tools to check for interference or collisions and simulate the motion of our components. Putting my parts together in an assembly is the point in the design when everything starts to come to life.
During my time as an Application Engineer, I’ve learned a number of tricks to make assembly mating go faster than when I first started learning how to use SOLIDWORKS. Even with my utility belt full of tips and tricks, I felt like mating could be made easier and faster. Now, thanks to SOLIDWORKS 2018, you can hide faces during mating with the push of a button.
Watch the Alt Key to Hide Faces During Mating section from our SOLIDWORKS 2018 Launch Video:
What does it mean to hide faces during mating?
SOLIDWORKS 2018 continues to improve on the functionality of the mate tool. One new trick that I’ll be adding to my tool belt is the ability to hide specific faces when adding mates. Many of us know that the tab key will hide (and shift-tab will un-hide) components in an assembly. Now, when the mate tool is active the Alt key will hide specific faces on components, making it easier to select faces that might otherwise be obscured. You can continue pressing the alt key to hide as many faces as needed. And just like the tab key, pressing Shift-Alt will bring those files back.
How does hiding faces during mating improve your workflow?
Last year, SOLIDWORKS added the ability to preview a component in its own window, making it easier to select those hard to reach faces that might have otherwise been tough to select within an assembly. SOLIDWORKS 2017 also changed the display behavior of components in an assembly when mating. Whenever you selected the first reference on a component for a mate in SOLIDWORKS, that component was made transparent, allowing you to select your next reference through that component. SOLIDWORKS doesn’t stop there – they keep adding great enhancements to assemblies and the mate tools with each new release.
For example, the new feature prevents us from having to resort to the “select other” tool, and is just one of the many great assembly enhancements that have been added to SOLIDWORKS 2018! While simple, it is a huge time saver and greatly improves the user experience for a busy engineer.
Want to see more of our engineers' top 11 SOLIDWORKS 2018 features? Stay tuned to our blog, or download the infographic below!