SOLIDWORKS 2018 has made tremendous improvements in mate features, and none is more impressive than the enhancements done on magnetic mates. SOLIDWORKS 2018 now allows you to specify multiple ground planes making assembly of components onto such surfaces much easier since a component can now be simply snapped onto the surface (Ground plane).
For the assembly line shown, we can see two floors specified under the Ground planes feature. You can switch in between these two surfaces by clicking on activate.
This allows the design to snap associated components onto the surface specified as a ground plane
Clicking on the tab key as you place your component on the surface rotates it thus changing its orientation.
Moving the component close to the assembly onto which you would like it to be snapped orients automatically and joins these two components.
Locking this mate is now made much simpler in SOLIDWORKS 2018 since the icon is much more discoverable as opposed to previous versions of SOLIDWORKS which required one to Identify the Lock mate Icon under the feature manage tree. Conversely, Unlocking the mate has also been made easier.
It is important to note SOLIDWORKS 2018 now includes keyboard shortcuts that can be used to cycle between magnetic mate options between the moving and stationary components. The left square bracket is used to cycle through mate options on the moving component while the right square bracket is used to cycle between mate options on the stationary component as shown.
These Improvements to the mate features are aimed at reducing the time taken to do assemblies of components as well as to simplify the entire process.
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