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"Mates have been reversed" - Can I turn it off? - Plus a couple of other assembly questions - 2014

Question asked by John Wayman on May 12, 2016
Latest reply on May 12, 2016 by John Wayman

Before I start, let's be clear: I am using SW 2014, not 2016. That may well affect some of the answers I receive.


When I mate a part in an assembly, SW frequently (almost always) makes the wrong assumption about the sense, or direction, of the mate I am attempting to make. That's fine, I can fix it later. My workflow tends to be to slam in the necessary mates, then adjust their direction to correct the position of the part.

However, Solidworks insists on "helping" me by reversing the sense of a random previous mate (again, almost always the wrong one) to make the mate I am creating work. It very politely tells me it has done so, but offers me no option of declining its help, or of undoing the change. It only gives me the option of viewing the havoc it has wreaked.

The net result is that I end up changing more mates than I would otherwise have needed to, had the wretched thing just left me to my own devices, or at the very least having to revise my strategy for correcting the mates. To compound the problem, it will change more mates as I correct the erroneous ones, sometimes undoing the change I have just made.

Is it possible to disable this assistance? If not, is it possible to have it offer a "No, Thanks" option? Am I missing one of those options settings tucked away somewhere? I hope so.


Whilst on the subject of assembly mates, let's say I am in a large assembly and I mate, coincident, a face of my part to a face of my assembly and press the green tick. The part in question disappears off screen to some random location, co-planar with the face of the assembly. That's OK, I can deal with that, IF I CAN ONLY FIND IT.

Is there a nifty trick for locating the part in such a case? Sorry to keep making comparisons, but, in Pro/E, the tiny part would be equally invisible, but its standard-sized origin symbol, all multi-coloured and easy to spot, would light up like a beacon, showing me just where it was hidden. Of course, there was also the old-school method of having the part in a separate window, which was a great help. I realise that clicking the part in the tree makes it turn red, but a tiny red dot somewhere in a large assembly remains invisible.


Thirdly and finally (for now), when I make an incorrect pick and try to mate, coincident, 2 faces that are already constrained to be orthogonal, SW helpfully advises me that, no, it is not possible to do that. But then it goes and does it anyway and half of the mates in my tree turn red. Now, call me old-fashioned, but, if a mate is not possible, I would prefer the software just to tell me it is not possible and leave it at that. Is there a way to disable the completion of ridiculous mates? I don't mind if the software tells me I am a fool even to try doing that, as long as it doesn't just go ahead and do it to humour me.


I am optimistic (yes, really!) that there is a good way to deal with all of these problems tucked away somewhere in the darkest recesses of Solidworks that I have simply failed to stumble across.

Any helpful pointers to reduce the amount of stumbling required would be gratefully received.


SW 2014, SP5