Home » How to use Mate Reference in SolidWorks?

Mate reference is a shortcut method that saves time while performing the mating operations in an assembly. In any complex assembly where we have more than one similar part with the same mating method. You can create mate references to specify the mates utilized and the component geometry being mated for components that you pair consistently.

The one or more entities of a component to be used for automatic mating are specified by mate references. The SOLIDWORKS program looks for other combinations of the same mate reference name and mate type when you drag a component with a mate reference into an assembly. The software does not add the mate if the name is the same but the type is different.

The steps to use mate reference is very simple and easy. We will now make an assembly where we are going to use the same components.

  1. In the part below we will add 4 screws and nuts.
  2. We will mate the following parts in the assembly.
  3.  We will mate one component and then will add a mate reference. We will open the bolt part file and add the reference mate. You can find the mate reference option in the reference geometry option as shown.
  4. Now, select the mate’s reference point, save the file, and import the component, and it will auto-align.
  5. As you can see it has automatically taken the reference mate and copied the mate. When you press ctrl and drag the left key you will get a copy of the components.
  6. When done with copying if you look the mates are also copied. It will be the same for all the bolts.
  7. We will do the same for nuts. and we will get the final assembly.

The final assembly will look as shown above.