Mirrored Parts

The SolidWorks “Mirror Part” feature can be used to create an equal and opposite version of an existing part. Parts that are linked by a Mirror feature can be updated quickly, as any changes to the parent model will be reflected instantly in the linked part.
Mirrored parts can either be managed as separate files or as separate configurations within the one file. The drawings below look at several ways that Mirrored parts can be referenced within an assembly.

Block Assembly 002
Block Part 002

Mating fasteners with slots in SolidWorks

Aligning a fastener in a slot is a typical task in CAD modelling, and with SolidWorks there are number of different ways to do it. This post will look at some different methods that can be used for “mating” a fastener in a slot, trying to identify the method that is most stable and easy to edit. Click the images below to view them at full size.

The CAD model below shows four fasteners aligned in slots, using four different sets of mates:
Slot Mate 000

The middle-right fastener is constrained with two Symmetry mates, one acting in the X-Axis and one acting in the Y-Axis:
Slot Mate 005Slot Mate 002

The top-right fastener has a Concentric mate aligning the cylindrical surface of the fastener with the centre point of the slot feature sketch (below-left).
The middle-left fastener uses a horizontal Symmetry mate, like the fastener before, except this time it is used in combination with a vertical Width mate (below-right).
Slot Mate 001Slot Mate 003

The final lower-left fastener uses a coincident mate to align the Temporary axes of the fastener and the slot feature (below-left). This is the best method I have found so far, but it relies on the slots having a temporary X-Axis, which relies on the slot being created in the right way.
Slot Mate 006Slot Mate 004

The above-right image shows two slots – one that’s been created with a “Straight Slot” sketch feature and one that’s been created with a combination of line and arc sketch features. It can be seen that the “Straight Slot” feature has a Temporary Axis through its centre, whereas the slot created with line and arc features does not. I’d be interested to know if this is different in SolidWorks 2014.