SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training

with Gabriel Corbett

Video: Mating parts with width mates

The Width Mate is a great tool to center one part within another.
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  1. 1m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 31m 13s
    1. Launching SolidWorks for the first time
      3m 55s
    2. Accessing and customizing the Ribbon
      4m 14s
    3. Touring the shortcut bar and identifying essential keys
      7m 27s
    4. Saving, renaming, and managing files
      10m 28s
    5. Working with the new view cube, or View Selector
      2m 36s
    6. New features in SolidWorks 2013 and 2014
      2m 33s
  3. 14m 11s
    1. Understanding the 3D world
      2m 31s
    2. Creating your first part
      3m 15s
    3. The virtual, parametric prototyping environment
      1m 56s
    4. The FeatureManager and feature-based modeling
      3m 43s
    5. History-based modeling and the rollback bar
      2m 46s
  4. 28m 32s
    1. Starting a new sketch
      6m 50s
    2. The six steps used in almost all modeling features
    3. The Line and Centerline tools
      3m 25s
    4. Using the Circle tool
      1m 51s
    5. Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
      6m 56s
    6. Understanding relationship types
      3m 58s
    7. System options, units, and templates
      4m 40s
  5. 18m 28s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      5m 31s
    2. Creating arcs in a sketch
      4m 8s
    3. Drawing splines in a sketch
      4m 57s
    4. Sketching polygons
      3m 52s
  6. 36m 5s
    1. Trimming and extending portions of a sketch
      3m 54s
    2. Creating offset geometry
      3m 13s
    3. Moving, copying, rotating, and scaling elements
      3m 13s
    4. Erasing, undoing, and redoing actions
      2m 24s
    5. Using the mirror tools
      2m 24s
    6. Creating repeating patterns in a sketch
      4m 55s
    7. Using construction lines to build robust sketches
      3m 25s
    8. Applying fillets and chamfers to a sketch
      2m 32s
    9. Working with slots
      3m 46s
    10. Adding text to parts
      4m 1s
    11. Using the Convert Entities command
      2m 18s
  7. 9m 33s
    1. Working with planes
      5m 28s
    2. Placing and using axes
      2m 22s
    3. Placing a coordinate system
      1m 43s
  8. 17m 50s
    1. Extruding a sketch into a 3D object
      4m 36s
    2. Using Revolve to create 3D parts
      2m 42s
    3. Using Loft to create complex shapes
      4m 40s
    4. Refining a loft shape with guide curves
      2m 22s
    5. Using the sweep to create wire and pipe shapes
      3m 30s
  9. 20m 23s
    1. Modifying parts using the Extruded Cut tool
      5m 42s
    2. Working with the Revolved Cut tool
      6m 19s
    3. Using the Lofted Cut tool
      3m 32s
    4. Cutting holes and grooves with the Swept Cut tool
      4m 50s
  10. 21m 5s
    1. Using fillets and chamfers to smooth corners
      5m 58s
    2. Creating repeating rectangular patterns
      3m 16s
    3. Creating a circular pattern
      2m 27s
    4. Mirroring objects
      4m 0s
    5. Using the Shell and Draft tools
      3m 52s
    6. Scaling parts
      1m 32s
  11. 9m 39s
    1. Working with reusable sketches and blocks
      2m 47s
    2. Creating blocks
      3m 51s
    3. Designing with blocks
      3m 1s
  12. 29m 45s
    1. Understanding the tools for beginning a new assembly
      4m 46s
    2. The basic steps in creating an assembly
      3m 18s
    3. Mating parts together in an assembly
      6m 43s
    4. Working with subassemblies
      2m 9s
    5. Linear and circular assembly patterns
      4m 56s
    6. Downloading premade parts from the Internet
      3m 32s
    7. Using Toolbox
      4m 21s
  13. 15m 8s
    1. Mating parts with coincident, parallel, and distance mates
      4m 35s
    2. Mating parts with width mates
      5m 53s
    3. Mating parts with path mates
      2m 5s
    4. Mating parts by aligning planes
      2m 35s
  14. 10m 20s
    1. Getting started with the Hole Wizard
      4m 38s
    2. Positioning holes in layout sketches
      5m 42s
  15. 15m 27s
    1. Linking sketches to other parts
      4m 28s
    2. Linking to layout sketches
      6m 48s
    3. Using the Hole Wizard in context
      4m 11s
  16. 17m 15s
    1. Understanding threading concepts
      7m 17s
    2. Using a helix and Swept Path to create a thread
      4m 2s
    3. Understanding internal threads
      5m 56s
  17. 17m 25s
    1. Using equations to drive a sketch
      5m 5s
    2. Working with complex calculations
      2m 6s
    3. Integrating Microsoft Excel to manage design tables
      7m 10s
    4. Building assemblies using part configurations
      3m 4s
  18. 23m 17s
    1. Working with drawing templates
      6m 49s
    2. Setting up drawing options and sheet properties
      3m 43s
    3. Choosing the correct projection angle
      2m 21s
    4. Adding model views to a drawing
      10m 24s
  19. 16m 8s
    1. Creating general dimension notations
      6m 37s
    2. Creating ordinate and running dimensions
      3m 0s
    3. Dimensioning holes and curved features
      3m 8s
    4. Using the autodimension tools
      3m 23s
  20. 14m 38s
    1. Creating holes and callouts
      5m 8s
    2. Adding center marks and centerlines to a drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Adding item notes
      2m 57s
    4. Making drawing revisions
      2m 47s
  21. 11m 42s
    1. Adding assemblies to drawings
      2m 10s
    2. Including a bill of materials
      1m 42s
    3. Adding balloons to specify parts on an assembly drawing
      1m 39s
    4. Adding a title block and sheet properties
      2m 8s
    5. Building an exploded view for an assembly drawing
      4m 3s
  22. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course SolidWorks 2014 Essential Training
6h 20m Beginner Dec 09, 2013

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SolidWorks is the world leader in 3D software for product development and design. Start creating manufacturing-ready parts and assemblies, as well as detailed drawings and bills of materials. In this course, author Gabriel Corbett shows how to create 2D sketches that will become the basis for your 3D models. You'll use the Extrude and Revolve tools to turn 2D sketches into 3D parts, then create more complex geometry with sweep and lofts. Then learn how to use the cut features to remove material and shape parts, and use mirroring, patterning, and scaling to modify parts. Next, you'll combine parts into movable assemblies and subassemblies. Finally, you'll create accurately annotated drawings, complete with itemized bills of materials that relate the final parts and assemblies to a manufacturer.

Topics include:
  • Creating your first part
  • Starting a new sketch
  • Adding and removing relationships and dimensions
  • Sketching polygons
  • Creating offset geometry
  • Moving, copying, and rotating elements
  • Working with planes, axes, and the coordinate system
  • Using Revolve and Loft to create 3D objects
  • Trimming with the Revolve, Loft, and Sweep cuts
  • Creating smooth and angled corners with fillets and chamfers
  • Designing with sketch blocks
  • Working with subassemblies
  • Creating threaded parts
  • Integrating Excel to manage design tables
  • Adding dimension notations to a drawing
  • Rendering an image of a part or assembly
Gabriel Corbett

Mating parts with width mates

The Width Mate is a great tool to center one part within another. Many times there's not some type of feature like a plane or a face on the center of a part to easily center two items together. However, the Width Mate solves that problem. Also, the Tangent Mate is also a great tool to work with any type of curve surfaces. And we're going to go over both of those in this movie. To get started with, let's look at the Width Mate. So I have two components here, this one here, and this component here, and first things first, let's go up to Mate, let's choose this back face here, and we're just going to do a regular Coincident Mate here to bring those two components together.

Then what I want to do is I'm going to bring the two fronts of these together, so click on the front of this by choosing the face, not the edge, choose the face, and the face of this one, you can see the two components come together, using a typical, coincident mate, and that's all we want. Click OK. Now, what I'd like to have is I want this inside between these two faces here, and notice we've got a little bit of a problem. One is these are not the same angle. So, if I try to do a coincident mate it would fail. I could try to do maybe a little edge mate here to here. But that would make that touch, and again it wouldn't be centered.

So that'd be a problem again. So there's really not a lot of great ways to mate this and have this right between the center line of these two parts. That's what where the width mate comes in. So lets go instead of your standard mates, let's zip those up and come down here to advanced mates. The second tool with an advanced mate is called width. Click on that. And notice I've got two boxes here. I have the width selections and I have the tab selections. And what we are looking for here is two faces in each box. In this case here, I'm going to choose the inside face here.

And I'm going to rotate my model around. I'm going to choose this inside face here. Now, in my tab, I'm going to do exactly the opposite. I'm going to come down here. I'm going to choose the outside face. And I'm going to spin it around, and choose the other outside face. Notice, as soon as I do that, what happens is, it just makes the distance between here and here. And between here and here, the same. Click OK, and now we have a fully defined width mate. And, this part is perfectly in the center of these two, even though they don't have the same angles or shape. It's very handy for working with complex shapes, and getting things, centered up.

And, if I change this part, later in the future, it'll automatically update and always put it, directly in the center of the part. I'm going to spin it around here. And, take a look at another part. This case here, I have this little block. It's already coincident to the inside face, but it's floating around in space, and we need to define where it is in space. Now, I have a couple of options here. One, I could say, well, I want to make a distance. Choose a mate, I could say, from here to here. And I could say I'd like to type in a distance. And that would totally work but you have to calculate what the perfect distance is from that edge to make it right in the center.

And sometimes if the parts are going to be changing in the future, that will cause problems down the line and you won't get an exact perfect mate. Again, the width mate comes to the rescue here. So instead of this type of mate, let's cancel that, come back up to mates, jump down here to Advance Mates. Come up here to Width Mate and we're going to choose our selections. In this case here the width I'm going to choose the inside face here, spin it around, choose this inside face. For my tab I'll choose this face and my other one. I'm just picking those pairs.

There you are, you can see the distance from here to here, is the same as it is from here to here. And then click OK. I'm going to do it one more time. Click on Width again. This time, I'm going to choose the top face, bottom face for the tab, this face here, and spin it around, that face there. Again, it just centers it between the two. Click OK, and we've got a nice, fully defined, fully mated block, right in the center. Now what happens if I go back and change this block? Let's go Open Part. Let's take a look at that design. Notice it's three inches.

I'm going to change it to 1.5. Click OK. Exit out of the sketch. Go back to the assembly. And there it is. Perfectly made it right in the center. It doesn't care. The mates automatically auto adjust and it's perfect. You can also use the width mate with cylinders. Take a look at this one. I got this cylinder here and I want to put that right on top of that little block. Well that'd be pretty hard to do otherwise because there's no flat faces for me to mate together. Don't worry. Width mate's going to help us out. Mate, close up this, go down to width mate, choose a width mate.

In this case here, I'm going to choose the outside of the block here, and the other outside of the block, and for the tab, instead of choosing two faces, I'm just going to choose this one outside cylinder. And there it is. It mates it between the two. Click OK. Now I need to do that one more time, because it is mated right to left, but not up and down. So again, let's slide this down, choose the mate, come down to Width, choose the top surface, the bottom surface, and then for my tab, I'm going to choose that outside cylinder. There it is. Perfectly mated it, right on top of that block, with the width mate, and any changes to either one of those parts will automatically update.

Now I want to point out to use the tangency mate. Now, I have this cylinder here, and I have this piece here, which I'd like to be in tangent so that it can actually roll that outside of that cylinder. I'm going to click on Mate. First thing's first, I'm going to make a coincident mate between this face here Aand the bottom of that part. Go ahead and click OK. And now those parts are sliding around here. And I want to make this so it rolls around the outside. In that case here, I'm going to come down. Instead of Coincident, I'm going to click on Tangent Mate. I'm going to choose the outside face here.

And the outside face here, and notice as soon as I do that, when I grab that mate, I could actually grab that part, and roll it around the outside surface. This is great for wheels, or rollers, or any type of surfaces, you want to have them connected together but still have that rolling action of the two components. The Tangent Mate really is indispensable for working with any type of part with a round surface. The width mate command is very handy and solve mate problems that would otherwise lead to lower quality mates this is an advance mate and does take more system resources so only choose this option when simpler mate's just won't work.

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