SolidWorks has given us some great enhancements over the years. One that I am finding really useful lately is the slot mate. This was released as an enhancement in 2014 but it seems to have been forgotten. Lets take a look at how it works.
To create a slot mate:
1. Click Mate (Assembly toolbar) or Insert > Mate.
2. In the PropertyManager, expand Mechanical Mates and select Slot.
3. For Mate Selections, select a slot face and the feature to mate to it:
There are four options you have to choose from once you select the Slot Mate:
- Free Lets the component move freely in the slot.
- Center in Slot Centers the component in the slot.
- Distance Along Slot Places the component axis at a specified distance from the end of the slot.
- Percent Along Slot Places the component axis at a distance specified by
the percentage of the slot length.
For slot-to-slot mates, you can select only Free or Center in Slot.
There are a couple of restrictions when using the slot mates. The slot radii have to be equal and the slot sides have to be parallel or concentric. Slots must not be open ended or have multiple directions.