I'm thinking about writing in a request for a new assembly enhancement, but I'm not so sure about my idea yet. I was thinking that maybe I could write a quick summary here first and see if anyone else thought it could have some use.
The enhancement relates to the simple assembly and position of objects. For purposes of my example, I've drawn two cubes that we're going to assume are seperate parts in an assembly. (I understand that the attached file is a part file, I'm being lazy tonight.) What I'm thinking is almost a new clasification of mate type, one that would look to a special type of sketch feature that was placed on the two parts in question. Normally, if you wanted to line these two cubes up with eachother, you would need three mates, a top plane, a front plane, and a coincident surface to surface mate. What I've drawn on each cube is a sketch feature that looks like a circumscribed arrow, the thought is that you would be able to replace the three mates required with a single mate that would create a coincident relationship between the two sketches. Here's the storyboard on how that might work.
step 1. The user creates cube 1 and then creates a "fast mate" feature that exists just like a sketch. The user positions it just like a sketch at the center of the face. and then gives this sketch a unique name as an identifier.
step 2. The user, while creating a part, cube 2, creates a second "fast mate" feature and positions it on the sketch appropriately. He then gives this sketch a unique name as an identifier that matches the name from the part, cube 1.
step 3. During assembly, the user selects mate, and then selects from this new class of mate "fast mate" Solidworks then looks at all the parts in the assembly and locates each "fast mate" feature from each part, presenting the user with a list of paired names. Since the "fast mate" features from both cube 1 and cube 2 are the same, they are shown in the assembly mate dialog as a pair that can be selected for mating. Selection of this pair will mate the two sketches to eachother as coincident to eachother's sketch entities. a final toggle for the user let's them dictate which direction the mate goes.
and that's it. two mates have been cut from the assembly process, with fine control over position by the "fast mate" sketches.
I don't know if this would be more effiecent, or a hassle, or if anyone else would even care if this type of feature was implimented in a future release of Solidworks.
what do you guys think?