Auto Align And Mate Hole Patterns

With SolidWorks being a muilt-window application, there are a few tricks you can do with multiple windows tiled using drag and drop. As you may already know, selecting features from one part and dragging and dropping them into another part to copy them is a feature that has been around for some time now. This is where the technology for the current Design Library and the old Feature Pallette originates. This works for mating parts to an assemby that are open simultaniously within SolidWorks by selecting the edges or faces, holding control and drag and droping till your index finger falls off.

Circular edges, on the other hand, have a uniqueness when it comes to drag and drop mating. Grabbing a circular edge, with a drag and drop, mates the circular part coincident and concentric (2 mates) in one shot. But it goes one mate further when a circular pattern resides on both the mating part and the target assembly, assuming the patterns match. As illistrated to the left, selecting the upper part's circular edge and dragging it into the lower assembly containing the base and dropping it on the edge will mate the lid to the base coincident and concentric. In addition, it will automaticaly align the seed holes of the patterns and allow you to clock the alignment by tapping the TAB key. So in this case, 3 mates are added in one drag and drop action! This can be further automated by adding a mate reference to the outer circular edge. Mate references can add this automatic mating technology to parts without having to open them to select the edge on a drag and drop. It will tell SolidWorks to do this automatically so you can drag and drop your parts directly from Windows Explorer with the same result! ~Lou