Diagnosing Assembly Errors with MateXpert in SOLIDWORKS

Have you ever opened a small or large SOLIDWORKS assembly that you or someone else created and to your surprise you see red and yellow all over the Feature Manager Design Tree? From there you’re probably asking yourself where you do you even start to address the issue(s) the assembly seems to be having. Well, hopefully after reading this blog you learn another great diagnostic tool on how to trouble shoot errors in your SOLIDWORKS assemblies.

If we focus mainly on how to determine if the errors are coming from the mates, then the first error icon you will see is a plus sign in parentheses (+) next to the part or sub assembly in the Feature Manager Design Tree. See Figure 1 below. All over defined mates will appear with error markers and the (+) prefix, which does help in narrowing down the choices. Over defining a single mate generally causes a chain reaction of other mate warnings and errors. See Figure 2 below.

Errors in Feature Manager Design Tree

Fig. 1 Feature Tree error listing

Assembly Feature Manager Tree

Fig. 2 Chain reaction of errors

One error diagnostic tool that is often overlooked or forgotten about is the MateXpert tool. The MateXpert tool enables you to identify mating problems in an assembly. You can examine the details of mates that are not satisfied and identify groups of mates which over define the assembly. The MateXpert tool can be found by simply right clicking the assembly, mate group, or any mate in the mate group. See Figure 3 below.

Mate folders MateXpert option

Fig. 3 MateXpert option

When the MateXpert property manager pops up you simply click on the Diagnose button and the tool will then list a subset of mates that reproduce the mating failure and a mate or a list of mates that are not satisfied mates. See Figure 4 below. Once you know the mate or mates that are not satisfied you can next right click on the listed mate info under the Not Satisfied Mates list and choose to either suppress or edit the mate. See Figure 5 below.

MateXpert property manager          MateXpert property manager info

Fig. 4 MateXpert property manager info

MateXpert options

Fig. 5 MateXpert suppress or edit mate options

For the assembly shown in Figure 6 below we chose to suppress the mate that was not satisfied and in return all the errors were corrected in the assembly Feature Manager Design Tree.

Fixed errors in Feature Manager Design Tree

Fig. 6 Mate failures fixed

Hopefully you found this diagnostic tool info useful and worth trying out next time you open an assembly in SOLIDWORKS with many errors in the Feature Manager Design Tree. We feel using this tool will help alleviate the pains of dealing with errors in you SOLIDWORKS assemblies quickly.

Nick Pusateri
Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

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