Does Solidworks have a glyph selection type reference mate pair system similar to iMates within Inventor?
I am looking to replicate this functionality within Solidworks assemblies to quickly utilize component libraries that have been built.
The desired workflow would be dropping in a number components into the assembly and then making the connecting mates. In this case, dropping in multiple safety fencing posts and panels then snapping them together.
Within Inventor we have setup iMates, which are similar to reference mates, on each part that are designed to snap together. Once the parts are in the assembly space, a part can be selected which will show iMate glyphs for all available imates created on the part (see attached screen shot). The desired connection point can be selected (while holding the Alt key) and then dragged to the corresponding glyph on the other part. This provides a visual understanding of where the parts are allowed to be connected together and layouts can be generated quickly.
From my understanding, the SW reference mates can be created but only activated on the initial drop and the user must already know exactly where the connection is supposed to be. If the parts are already in the assembly I have not seen a way to make these connections.
I understand Smart Mates can be generated by grabbing geometry from one part and pulling it to matching geometry on another part. As can be seen in the screen shot, the actual geometry for these connections is very small and it is difficult to constantly zoom in and out to make these connections.
Is there a function similar to what I have described with visual cues? Could the connection points from the routing tool be tweaked to solve this issue?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.