Smart Mates are quite handy for creating commonly used standard mates in your assembly. As a matter of fact, the first time I learned how to create a Smart Mate I figured I would never create mates any other way. Just hold the ALT key down, select a face of a component and drag and drop it onto a face of another component. Confirm the mate and BAM! you are done. Efficiency I say!
But what if I need to rotate my assembly in the middle of creating the Smart Mate? I can’t use the left mouse button to select/drag and also the middle button to rotate at the same time – or else the universe will implode. Foiled I have been! Until now.
I ran across a solution to my Smart Mate dilemma and it was right there all the time – hidden in plain view – on the Move Component property manager.
To use this version of SmartMate, click the SmartMates icon shown, then double-click on the face of a component you intend to mate to another component. **At this point you can rotate the model around if you like (Woohoo!)** Then click on the face of the other component and confirm the mate.
Sometimes the best place to hide things is in plain sight…