NOTE: if you are not familiar with the layout of SolidWorks, then click here to familiarize yourself with the layout




SolidWorks has a simple, yet powerful mating feature. It is used for joining parts in an assembly and simulating how they fit together and move together. The picture of the engine above shows an intricate assembly. This tutorial will cover the most basic mates that we will use to simulate simple mechanical systems. To use mates we will be working with more than one part and therefore must be in the assembly mode of SolidWorks. To enter this mode follow these steps:


This tutorial uses part files from the archive. Make sure you download and extract the files to your computer before continuing...

Concentric Mate:


The most common mate is called a concentric mate, and as the name implies, it is a mate between two concentric features. Any time you want a pinned connection or a piston cylinder type connection you will use a concentric mate. We will mate a pin to a link in the following example:


NOTE: In solidworks assembly mode ,the FIRST part you insert is automatically fixed in space. This means it can not rotate or translate. Every other part you add is "floated" in space which means it can rotate and translate. For more information about fixing and floating parts please see the Planar Joints Tutorial.

To further restrict our pin we will want to do a second mate:


Coincident Mate:

A coincident mate, like the name sounds, is a mate between two features that you want to coincide with each other. Generally we use it for making two planes parallel and coincident. In this tutorial we will use it to mount the link onto the pin so that it cannot fall off of it. When we do this, the link will spin around the pin, but it will not be able to slide up and down the pin. Follow these steps to achieve this mate:

[NOTE: you can also use the middle mouse scroll button to zoom and rotate]


you are now ready to try mating exercise 1

Mating Exercise 1:

Try to create the following assembly for more practice:




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