SOLIDWORKS Path Mate Explained

Article by Rodolfo Gutierrez on Sep 08, 2021

ISOLIDWORKS, the Path Mate is useful when trying to constrain a selected point on an assembly component to a path. It offers control over the pitch, yaw, and roll of the component as it treks through the path. 

In SOLIDWORKS, Path Mate is located in the Mate (Assembly toolbar) > Advanced tab > Path Mate. (Figure 1)

SOLIDWORKS Path Mate Location

Figure 1: Path Mate location

When using Path Mate, the first mate selection is for the component vertex; this is the point in the component that will pierce and travel along the path. (Figure 2)

Component Vertex Selection SOLIDWORKS Path Mate

Figure 2: Select component vertex

The second mate selection is the Path Selection. Here you will choose a curve, edge, or sketch entity. If you have more than one entity to select, click on the SelectionManager. (Figure 3)

SOLIDWORKS Path Selection

Figure 3: Path Selection

To optimize the movement of the component along the path, we are given Path Constraint, Pitch/Yaw Control, and Roll Control. 

Path Constraint allows you to constrain the vertex with a specified distance from the end of the path or as a percentage along the path. (Figure 4)

SOLIDWORKS Path Constraint

Pitch/Yaw Control constrains one axis of the component to be tangent to the path. (Figure 5)

SOLIDWORKS Path Mate Pitch/Yaw Controls

Figure 5: Pitch/Yaw Controls

Roll Control constrains one axis of the component to align with a vector you select. You must select a linear edge or planar face for Up Vector. (Figure 6)

SOLIDWORKS Roll Controls

Figure 6: Roll Controls

Tip: You cannot use the same axis for both Pitch/Yaw Control and Roll Control. 

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About Rodolfo Gutierrez

Rodolfo Gutierrez is a Mechanical Engineer by profession specializing in SOLIDWORKS, Routing, PDM, Sheet Metal, and Weldments. Lucky husband and goofy dad. Loves productivity hacks.

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