8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2017 5:06 PM by Allen Renfroe

    Using Smart Mates With Reference Sketches

    Allen Renfroe

      I've created a 3d sketch part with no features added, then I made this 3d sketch-part the base part of an assembly.  I"d like to add cylindrical parts to the assembly using the 3d sketch as my centerlines, and I want to use Smart-Mates, however Smart-Mates don't seem to work when you're mating to a sketch.  If this sounds like a piping system to you, then you're right.  And maybe you think it would be an easy solution if I were using SolidWorks-Routing, but I don't have this tool.  I'm using SolidWorks-Standard - Am I doing it wrong?  Is there a way to use Smart-Mates with reference sketches?


        • Re: Using Smart Mates With Reference Sketches
          Deepak Gupta

          You can sweep a surface along that path and then use smart mates.


          Also have you looked into using weldment?

          • Re: Using Smart Mates With Reference Sketches
            Vladimir Urazhdin

            My experience with "smart mates" is pretty much negative.

            Try to replace "smart mates" with equation driven Global Variables, linked to distances, dims etc.

            • Re: Using Smart Mates With Reference Sketches
              Allen Renfroe

              Thanks for the good replies.  The following will be an explanation of my failure in creating a pseudo-smart piping solution for Solidworks-Standard edition, mostly written as therapy to me.  If you're interested, read on.

              After several different attempts I finally gave up with this one: The idea is to outline a piping system's centerlines w/ 3d sketches, then import the sketch into an assembly (I guess I could just do the sketch in the assembly to begin with, but whatever).  Then I'd add to the library of existing (Solidworks-provided) piping components with my own design table driven parts, because the Solidworks standard library of imperial piping components is all flanged... who uses flanged elbows in their piping? I could drop the elbows, tees etc. into the assembly using smart mates to snap them to the right spot on the layout sketch and indicate the right size from my list of configurations.  Then, I'd create a smart pipe component that could snap into place, again using smart mates, and use the auto-diameter feature of the smart part to auto-size the pipe to my elbow or flange or whatever.  After that, I'd just employ an already defined smart feature in my pipe to specify the length of the pipe by choosing the end face of whatever elbow/flange/valve was on the opposite end of that pipe.  It was a grand idea.


              The only problem is that none of it worked.  Smart mates don't work on sketches.  Smart mates, for some reason, also won't do a concentric mate from one cylindrical face to a circular edge at the end of a cylinder (which is required if you're mating to a pipe to a curved elbow) (this type of mate works fine if you do it the "dumb" manual way).  There was the good suggestion of mate references, but if you're creating a unique assembly every project you do (which I am) you still have to go through and create named references for everything, which takes just as long as manually doing the mates.  The smart component thing was a neat idea, but I failed to consider the fact that 1 - If I have multiple instances of a thing - like pipe elbows - and I use a face on one of those elbows to define the height of a feature (i.e. the length of pipe) then all those pipe elbows have that feature added to them... that don't work.  And 2 - if I had multiple instances of pipe pieces of the same size (i.e. configuration) in the assembly they'd all have to be the same length.  Creating new configurations for each would kill any efficiencies I'd hoped to gain with this project.  Curse the $10,000 price of upgrade to Solidworks Premium (also, maybe just for this forum, we could fix the spell check so that "Solidworks" is not a misspelled word... just a tip)


              Well, back to the drawing  board.

              Yes. The pun is intended.

              ...you're welcome.

              Thanks The Internet, for hearing my digital scream into the void.