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.

Arduino 5V Relay Shield Circuit

A simple circuit was created to test a Sunfounder, 2-Channel, 5V Arduino Relay Shield. The relay was set up to control a low powered circuit consisting of an LED, a 9V battery and a resistor.

In the next test, I plan to use the relay module with a variable DC power supply to activate one or more pinball solenoids.


An overview of the circuit:

– The VCC and GND pins of the relay module were connected to the 5V and GND pins of the Arduino.

– The input of the first relay was connected to Digital Output pin# 1 on the Arduino.

– The positive terminal of the 9V battery was connected to the COM (power) pin of the relay switch, and the NO (normally open) pin of the relay was connected back to the LED circuit.

– This tutorial provided some help.


Arudino Relay-Edit 002

Arduino Bluetooth Communication

The aim of this mini-project was establish Bluetooth communication between a Macbook and an Arudino UNO.

The project was completed with the help of this useful tutorial.


The key stages of the project were:

  1. Upload code to the Arduino to establish serial communication
  2. Connect up the HC-06 Bluetooth module with voltage divider
  3. Run the Code with the Bluetooth module as the serial input
  4. Connect to the Device with the Macbook
  5. Install and run ZTerm Terminal Emulation software to provide inputs

Several tutorials I looked at were using the Arduino Micro which may be useful for future projects.

Arduino to HC-06 Code-001

Arduino to HC-06-002