Assembly Mates

In this tutorial, you create a milling machine assembly. You use mates to create geometric relationships between the components of the assembly. This tutorial demonstrates:

Bringing parts into an assembly Using these assembly mates:

Coincident Concentric Parallel Distance

Using SmartMates Testing mates Editing mates

Next

Introduction
This assembly uses the following parts, located in the <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\assemblymates folder.

knee.sldprt

saddle.sldprt

table.sldprt

bracket.sldprt

head.sldprt

scale.sldprt

pillar.sldprt

clamp.sldprt

pin.sldprt

Next

Inserting the First Part into the Assembly
1. Click here: to open knee.sldprt (or browse to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\assemblymates\knee.sldprt). 2. Click Make Assembly from Part/Assembly A new assembly document opens. (Standard toolbar).

3. Click View, Origins to display the origin in the graphics area. 4. In the PropertyManager, under Options, select Graphics preview. 5. Move the pointer over the origin.

The pointer changes to

, indicating the inference to the assembly origin.

6. Click to place the knee. When you place a component this way, the component origin is located coincident with the assembly origin, and the planes of the part and the assembly are aligned. This procedure, while not required, helps you establish an initial orientation for the assembly. You can create this type of inference with any component as you add it to the assembly. Next

Inserting the First Part into the Assembly (continued)
The FeatureManager design tree contains the feature (f) knee<1>. Because this is the first component inserted into the assembly, knee is fixed (f). It cannot be moved or rotated unless you float (unfix) it. The <1> means that this is the first instance of knee in the assembly. The assembly also contains an empty Mates you add later. 1. Click Isometric folder. This folder is a placeholder for the mates that

(Standard Views toolbar).

2. Click View, Origins to clear the origin from the graphics area. 3. Click Window, knee.sldprt., and close the part document. The assembly remains open.

Next

Bringing More Components into the Assembly
Use the Insert Components tool to add more components to the assembly. 1. Click Insert Components (Assembly toolbar).

2. In the PropertyManager, click to pin the PropertyManager. This keeps the PropertyManager visible, so you can insert more than one component without having to re-open the PropertyManager. 3. Under Part/Assembly to Insert, click Browse, then navigate to <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\assemblymates. 4. Select saddle.sldprt, then click Open. 5. Click in the graphics area to place the component approximately as shown below. The saddle.sldprt component is added to the assembly. You can zoom the view by pressing Z (zoom out) or Shift+Z (zoom in). 6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for table.sldprt. 7. Click .

Next

Bringing More Components into the Assembly (continued)
The FeatureManager design tree displays information about the assembly components. 1. Examine the FeatureManager design tree. The prefix (-) before a component's name indicates that the position of the component is under defined. You can move and rotate these components. 2. Click to expand each item to display the component features.

3. To collapse the entire FeatureManager design tree in one step, right-click Assem1 at the top of the FeatureManager design tree and select Collapse Items. 4. Practice moving and rotating the individual components:

To move a component, click and drag a face of the component. To rotate a component, right-click and drag a face of the component. (Assembly

You can also click Move Component or Rotate Component toolbar), then drag to move or rotate components.

5. Save the assembly as mill.sldasm. If a message prompts you to rebuild before saving, click Yes. Next

Mating the Saddle and Knee
Add mates to define relationships between the assembly components. 1. Click Mate (Assembly toolbar).

To make selections easier, rotate the view by dragging with the middle mouse button in the graphics area. Then, after making the selection, click Previous View tools on the View toolbar are useful as you work through this tutorial. (View toolbar). Other

2. Select the top face of the knee and the bottom face of the saddle for Entities to Mate

.

The Mate pop-up toolbar appears in the graphics area. Coincident is selected in both the PropertyManager and the pop-up toolbar. A preview of the coincident mate appears. 3. To see how you can flip the alignment of the saddle, under Standard Mates, for Mate alignment: a. Click Aligned . .

b. Click Anti-Aligned

A closer look at Mate Alignment Next

Mating the Saddle and Knee (continued)
4. In the PropertyManager, click to accept the mate.

The face of the knee and the face of the saddle now lie in the same infinite plane. The mate appears in the PropertyManager under Mates. 5. Click again to close the PropertyManager.

6. To test the mate: a. Click Move Component (Assembly toolbar), and drag the saddle.

You can only drag side to side and front to back, but not up and down. In some views, it might look like the saddle is moving out of the coincident plane, but if you check in the Front view or Right view, you can see that it is not.

b. Click Rotate Component

(Assembly toolbar), and drag the saddle. You can rotate the

saddle only within the plane coincident with the knee. 7. Click Next .

Mating the Saddle and Knee (continued)
Add another mate between the saddle and knee. 1. Click Mate (Assembly toolbar).

2. Select the corresponding angular faces on the saddle and knee as shown.

The Mate pop-up toolbar appears in the graphics area. Coincident is selected in both the PropertyManager and the pop-up toolbar. A preview of the coincident mate appears. 3. Click Add/Finish Mate (Mate pop-up toolbar).

The selected angular faces are now mated.

Next

Mating the Table and Saddle
Add mates between the table and saddle similar to the ones between the saddle and knee.

1. Select the top face of the saddle and the bottom face of the table.

2. Accept the Coincident

mate.

You can accept a mate by doing any one of the following:

Click

(PropertyManager). (Mate pop-up toolbar).

Click Add/Finish Mate

Right-click when the pointer changes to

.

Next

Mating the Table and Saddle (continued)
3. Select the corresponding angular faces on the table and saddle. You can also select the items to mate before opening the PropertyManager. Hold down Ctrl as you select the items.

4. Accept the Coincident

mate.

5. Close the PropertyManager. 6. Click Isometric 7. Drag the table. The table and saddle are still not fully constrained. Next (Standard Views toolbar).

Mating the Table and Saddle (continued)
You could add limit mates, which would allow the saddle and table to move, but only within a specified range. However, limit mates can slow performance significantly, so they should be used only when necessary (for example, for collision detection). Instead, add mates to lock the saddle and table in position, to prevent unexpected movement of these components as you add more components. First, mate the right plane of the saddle to the right plane of the table. 1. Click Mate (Assembly toolbar).

If an item was already selected in the graphics area, it appears under Mate Selections. Right-click in the selection box and click Clear Selections. 2. In the flyout FeatureManager design tree:

Expand saddle and table. Select the following for Entities to Mate

:

Right Plane of saddle Right Plane of table

3. Accept the Coincident Next

mate.

Mating the Table and Saddle (continued)
Mate the front plane of the saddle to the front plane of the assembly. 1. In the flyout FeatureManager design tree, select the following for Entities to Mate a. Front Plane of the assembly mill b. Front Plane of the component saddle Do not accept the coincident mate. Instead, add a distance mate. 2. In the PropertyManager, under Standard Mates: a. Click Distance . :

b. Type 250 for Distance and press Enter. c. To see how you can flip the direction of the dimension, select and then clear Flip Dimension several times. d. Position the saddle near the center of the knee.

3. Click

twice, to accept the mate and close the PropertyManager.

The positions of the saddle and table are fully defined. In the FeatureManager design tree, the prefix (-) no longer appears for saddle and table. Next

Mating the Table and Saddle (continued)
Rename the mates to make them easier to find. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, expand Mates .

2. Click-pause-click on the last Coincident mate in the folder. 3. Type to rename the mate Table Lock, then press Enter. 4. Rename the Distance mate Saddle Lock. 5. Right-click mill at the top of the FeatureManager design tree and select Collapse Items. 6. Save the assembly. Next

Using Windows Explorer to Add Components
Another way to add components to the assembly is to drag them in from Windows Explorer. 1. Start Windows Explorer. 2. Navigate to the <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\assemblymates folder. 3. Click each item listed below individually, and drag it into the graphics area. Place the items approximately as shown.   head.sldprt bracket.sldprt   scale.sldprt   Next

Mating the Bracket and Saddle

Hide the table to make it easier to mate the bracket and saddle. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click table<1> and select Hide. The table is hidden, but not removed from the assembly. The icon in the FeatureManager design tree changes from to .

2. Click Mate

(Assembly toolbar). mate between the back face of the bracket and the front face of the saddle.

3. Add a Coincident

Next

Mating the Bracket and Saddle (continued)
Set the distance between the bracket and saddle. 1. Select the top face of bracket and the top face of saddle.

Do not accept the coincident mate. Instead, add a distance mate. 2. Click Right (Standard Views toolbar), then zoom to the bracket.

3. In the Mate pop-up toolbar: a. Click Distance .

b. Type 3 for Distance and press Enter. c. Click Flip Dimension if necessary to position the bracket below the saddle face.

d. Accept the mate. Next

Mating the Bracket and Saddle (continued)
Add a third mate between the bracket and saddle to fully define the bracket location. 1. Click Isometric 2. Add a Coincident . mate between the Right Plane of bracket and the Right Plane of saddle.

3. Close the PropertyManager.

Next

Positioning the Encoder Head
Add mates to position the encoder head on the bracket. 1. Click Mate . mate between one of the small bottom faces of the head and the top face of

2. Add a Coincident the bracket.

Next

Positioning the Encoder Head (continued)
Add a concentric mate between a hole in the bottom of the head and the corresponding hole in the bracket. 1. Use Select Other to select one of the holes in the bottom of the head: a. Right-click the side face of the head approximately over the hidden hole.

b. Choose Select Other. The side face is hidden so you can see the faces underneath. The pointer changes to .A box appears with a list of the items that were beneath the pointer when you right-clicked. Hover the pointer over items, either in the list or in the graphics area, to highlight them in the graphics area. If the pointer was not directly over the hidden hole when you right-clicked, the hole does not appear on the list. However, you can still highlight the hole in the graphics area. c. Click with the left mouse button when the intended face is highlighted.

Next

Positioning the Encoder Head (continued)
2. Select the corresponding hole in the bracket.

3. Accept the Concentric Next

mate.

Positioning the Encoder Head (continued)
To fully define the position of the head, add a mate between the head and saddle. 1. Drag the head to see that it still has one degree of freedom. 2. Add a Parallel mate between the head and the saddle:

a. Select the front faces of the head and saddle.

b. Click Parallel c. Accept the mate. 3. Click Next

.

to close the PropertyManager.

Mating the Scale and Head
Mate the scale with the encoder head. 1. Click Mate .

2. Add a Concentric mate between the scale and the cylindrical face of the hole that runs lengthwise through the head. Leave the scale free to move back and forth.

3. Click

to close the PropertyManager.

4. In the FeatureManager design tree, right-click table<1> and select Show. 5. Save the assembly.

Next

Using SmartMates
With SmartMates, you can create mating relationships automatically by inferencing the geometry of existing components as you drag new components into the assembly. Here you create a concentric mate and a coincident mate automatically. 1. Click File, Open, and open pillar.sldprt. 2. Tile the windows so you can see the part and assembly windows. 3. In the assembly window, change the view to Isometric 4. Zoom to the hole near the right end of the table. .

Next

Using SmartMates (continued)
Now drag the pillar into the assembly. 1. In the FeatureManager design tree of the pillar document, select Extrude2, the feature with the cylindrical face you want to mate. 2. Drag the feature name into the assembly document and over the hole.

The pointer changes to . This pointer indicates that if the pillar is dropped at this location, a concentric mate and a coincident mate will result. A preview snaps into place.

3. Press Tab several times to see how you can toggle the alignment (aligned/anti-aligned).

4. Drop the pillar. 5. Repeat steps 1-4 to add a pillar to the hole at the other end of the table.

6. Close pillar.sldprt and maximize the assembly window. Next

Using File Explorer to Add Components
Another way to add components to the assembly is to drag them in from the File Explorer in the Task Pane. 1. Click  Isometric . tab in the Task Pane.

2. Click the File Explorer 3. Click

in the title bar to pin the File Explorer (to keep it visible).

4. Navigate to the <install_dir>\samples\tutorial\assemblymates folder. 5. Click each item listed below individually, and drag it into the graphics area. Place the items approximately as shown.

clamp.sldprt pin.sldprt

6. Click

to unpin the File Explorer, then close it by clicking anywhere in the graphics area.

Next

Mating the Clamp, Pin, and Pillar
Drag the components into the approximate correct location and orientation before adding mates. This gives the mate solver application a better chance of snapping components into the expected location. 1. Check the Front, Top, and Right views, and drag the clamp and pin into approximately the positions shown.

Front

Top

Right

2. Click Isometric

, then zoom to the right front corner of the table.

Next

Mating the Clamp, Pin, and Pillar (continued)
Rotate the pin so it is vertical.

1. Right-click the pin and select Move with Triad.

2. Right-click the center sphere of the triad and select Show Rotate Delta XYZ Box. 3. In the box: a. Type 90 for DeltaX. b. Click OK three times, so the pin is vertical.

4. Click anywhere in the graphics area to close the box. Next

Mating the Clamp, Pin, and Pillar (continued)
Add the mates. 1. Add a Concentric mate between the clamp and pillar.

2. Add a Concentric

mate between the pin and clamp.

Next

Mating the Scale and Pin
1. Add a Concentric mate between the scale and pin. Flip the alignment (aligned/anti-aligned) if necessary to correctly orient the pin.

Because the scale is already constrained to be concentric with the head, the pin and the clamp move within their degrees of freedom to the position shown. 2. Add a Coincident mate between:

The planar face on the end of the scale The planar face on the pin

3. Close the PropertyManager.

Next

Copying Components
At the left end of the table, make copies of the clamp and pin. 1. Hold down Ctrl and drag clamp<1> from the FeatureManager design tree into the graphics area. Another clamp appears in the graphics area, and clamp<2> appears in the FeatureManager design tree. The <2> notation indicates the second instance of this part in the assembly.

2. Repeat step 1 to create a copy of pin<1>.

Next

Copying Components (continued)
Rotate the clamp to reposition the flats.

1. Right-click the clamp and select Move with Triad.

2. In the box: a. Type 90 for DeltaX. b. Click OK three times, so the flats on the clamp are positioned as shown.

3. Click anywhere in the graphics area to close the box. Next

Copying Components (continued)
1. Add a Concentric mate between the clamp and pillar.

2. Add a Concentric

mate between the pin and clamp.

Next

Copying Components (continued)
3. Add a Concentric mate between the scale and pin.

Do not add a coincident mate between the end face of the scale and the side face of the clamp, because that would over define the location of the components. 4. Click Isometric 5. Save the assembly. .

Next

Reviewing the Mates
You can use the FeatureManager design tree to review the mates you added. 1. At the bottom of the FeatureManager design tree, expand Mates .

Each mate is identified by the type, instance number, and names of the components. If you have added or deleted mates, or if you selected mate components in a different order, the names of the mates in your assembly may differ from those shown here. 2. Click any mate in the FeatureManager design tree to see the relevant components highlight in the graphics area.

Next

Reviewing the Mates (continued)
You can also review mates for a single component. 1. Expand pillar<1> in the FeatureManager design tree. The features used to make the pillar are displayed. The mates in the mill assembly that involve folder. pillar<1> are listed in the Mates in mill

2. Right-click the assembly icon at the top of the FeatureManager design tree and select Tree Display, View Mates and Dependencies. The mates that involve pillar<1> are displayed. The features used to make the pillar are listed in the Features folder.

Displaying the FeatureManager design tree using View Mates and Dependencies is useful if you want to focus on the structure or hierarchy of the assembly rather than the details of the sketches and features. Next

Editing a Mate
Change the Coincident mate between scale<1> and pin<1> to a Distance mate. First use View Mates to find the mate. 1. Right-click scale<1> in the FeatureManager design tree and select View Mates. The View Mates PropertyManager appears at the bottom of the left panel and displays a list of all the mates that involve scale<1>. 2. Hold down Ctrl and select pin<1> in the FeatureManager design tree. Mates that involve pin<1> are added to the list. The mates between the scale and pin are bold.

3. Select the bold Coincident mate. The mate highlights in the graphics area. 4. Click Zoom to Selection (View toolbar).

Next

Editing a Mate (continued)
5. Right-click the bold Coincident mate and select Edit Feature. 6. In the PropertyManager, under Standard Mates: a. Click Distance .

b. Type 5 for Distance and press Enter. c. Select or clear Flip Dimension if necessary to position the scale as shown.

7. Click

twice.

The PropertyManager closes and a duplicate panel of the FeatureManager design tree appears. 8. To close the duplicate panel:

a. Place the pointer on the horizontal bar between the panels, so the pointer changes to b. Drag the bar to the bottom of the panel. Next

.

Checking the Assembly
Check the assembly to make sure you added all the necessary mates. 1. Click Isometric .

2. Right-click mill at the top of the FeatureManager design tree and select Collapse Items. 3. Click Rebuild (Standard toolbar).

4. Examine the components in the FeatureManager design tree. The prefixes indicate the status of the locations of the components: Prefix Component Status fixed (f) knee<1> under defined (-) scale<1> pillar<1> pillar<2> none all other fully defined components The under defined components still have a rotational degree of freedom. Their rotational positions are not relevant to the design intent of this assembly, so it is not necessary to fully constrain them. Next

Checking the Assembly (continued)
Suppress the Table Lock and Saddle Lock mates so you can see how the assembly components move in relationship to each other. 1. Expand Mates , hold Ctrl, and select Table Lock and Saddle Lock.

2. Right-click and select Suppress. The table and saddle are now free to move. 3. Select and drag a face on the table.

The table and saddle move. All the mating relationships (except the two you suppressed) are maintained. 4. Hold Ctrl, and select Table Lock and Saddle Lock again. 5. Right-click and select Unsuppress. The table and saddle return to their locked positions. 6. Save the assembly.

Congratulations! You have completed this tutorial.

 

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