Need for Assembly Design
In Design Engineering, while designing and creating assembly n- numbers of components are joined together. The number of parts can vary from a few to hundreds. Creating assembly of the mechanism is very important. As in assembly, we can verify the placement, attachment, and clearance between the two or more components or parts.
If any modification or change needs to be done in the assembly or component can do that too. We can either make these changes while being in the assembly or open the component separately in part mode. In Solidworks, we can directly select the part and edit it in edit part mode. In this way, we can see the changes happening in the assembly. We can keep an eye on the clearances and any modifications in real-time.
Many a time while creating the assembly many components which are the same in dimension or geometry need to be assembled. For Example, nuts, and bolts. These are the most important components which every mechanism or assembly has. The function of nuts and bolts we already know. To add nuts and bolts or any other components, we have to insert them again and define the mates. This process consumes time and can take hours if the assembly has more than a hundred similar components.
To minimize the time consumption Solidworks has one feature called copy with mates. In this feature, the part which is attached or joined to a component with the help of mates can be copied multiple times. The mate properties are also copied and applied to that component. This way the components are assembled with the same mate properties and save time.
Using the Copy with mates feature in SolidWorks
Using this feature is very easy and can be done in 2-3 steps.
First, we have to import the part which is used multiple times in the assembly.
Then we have to define the mates to the part and the main body. You can access the mates by going to Assembly Tab and in Command manager, you will see the option of mates. Define the mates to the component to the required degree of freedom.
Now we have to use the copy with the mate’s feature. Simply right-click on the component or part which is going to be assembled multiple times. The second method is to search for the Copy with a mates option in the search bar. The search bar is on the top right of the Solidworks window. Then you will see the option of Copy with mates. Click on the copy with mates.
In property manager, you will see Step 1 the option of Select component which by default has selected the component. Then click on the arrow for Step 2. In step 2 you will see the mates used by that component. Simply click on it and give the reference to that mate and then select the next mate and give the reference.
If the mate is the same for a particular body you can check the box beside repeat. This will remember the mate reference for the next copy with a mate. After selecting the mates the component will assemble automatically to the selected location. Then click OK and repeat the steps.
This way we can add multiple components with the same mate feature. This reduces the step of adding a component to assembly again and clicking on the mate’s option and then Appling the mates again.