Home » How to use Slot Mate in SolidWorks?

In this article, we will learn how to use slot mate in SolidWorks!

What is an Engineering design?


The engineering design process is a series of steps that engineers follow to find a solution to a problem. The processes which are followed to come up with a product are –

  • Define the problem
  • Brainstorm possible solutions
  • Research ideas and explore possibilities
  • Establish constraints and criteria
  • Consider an alternative solution
  • Select an approach
  • Develop a design proposal
  • Make a model or prototype
  • Test and Evaluate the prototype
  • Refine or correct the design
  • Create the solution

Out of these processes “make a model or prototype” is very important as this step lets the pre-production team know how the product is going to look after manufacturing. The designing part involves creating 2 d views of the final product. In creating the final part various sub-parts or assemblies are needed. These parts and assemblies are joined in the software according to how they’re going to attach to the main body.

Need of assembly 

While designing a large component assembly we need to define the position of the part in that design. The position is fix or with a minimum DOF ( Degree of Freedom). While part assembling on software the designer should know how the component is going to assemble. In actual assembling, the same track is followed by the worker. When will the first part be going attaching to the main body?

However, by designing the assembly on the software we come to know the clearances between the components. Secondly, the overall visualization of the assembly, like how it is going to look after manufacturing and assembly. Thirdly, the sequence in which the parts are going to attach to the main body.

However, while designing the assembly on SolidWorks the parts often have some degree of freedom. These degrees of freedom are not suitable. To restrain this degree of freedom mates are used. Mates is a feature available in the designing software. In this article, we are going to see Advance mates in Solidworks. What is the function of that mate and how can we apply those to constrain the undesired motion?

Mates in Solidworks

To apply the Advance mates we need to open parts in the design assembly. They’re using the mate option we can connect the two or more parts using the mate’s option. In mates option, we have many options available like Standard, Advanced, Mechanical, and Analysis. In this article, we will look after Slot Mates.

Under Mechanical mates, we have a slot mate option. In slot mates, the connection has one or two degrees of freedom. That means the part or component can move in the slot. Slot mates have four constraints options-

Free – This allows the component to move freely in the slot.

Centre in Slot – This option keeps the component in the center of the slot.

Distance Along Slot – Places the component axis at a specified distance from one of the ends of the slot.

Percent Along Slot– Places the component axis at a distance specified by the percentage of the slot length.

To create a slot mate

  • Click on Assembly Tab > Mate or Insert > Mate.

  • In the Property Manager, Select Mechanical Tab, Under that select Slot mate.

  • For Mate Selections, select a slot face and the feature to mate to it. The feature can be the face of another straight or angular slot, An axis, or a cylindrical face.

  • You can also Lock the rotation of the component by clicking on the Lock Rotation.
  • At last click on OK.

NOTE: To change the endpoint from which the distance is measured, select Flip dimension.

For slot-to-slot mates, you can select only Free or Center in Slot.

To specify a default slot constraint, click Options > Document Properties > Mates. Under Slot mates, select an option for Default constraint.