SOLIDWORKS 2018: Making Magnetic Mates Even Snappier

What is Magnetic Mates?

Introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2017, Magnetic mates was arguably one of the best new features, but as the Beatles put it: “It’s getting better all the time!”. With SOLIDWORKS 2018, things are not only getting better, snapping objects together is getting easier too.

Frustratingly, when using Magnetic Mates in 2017 there was often a struggle aligning connection points whilst ensuring the orientation was correct. However, good news awaits you as you read on! Basically, now it’s just: snap, snap, snap, snap!… giving you ‘The Power’ to do build awesome facility layouts with just a few clicks of the mouse.

So, new to SOLIDWORKS 2018, three pretty awesome Magnetic Mate enhancements make an appearance, making snapping more user-friendly, intuitive and fun:

Number 1: The ability to alternate between the active connection points.

When using a magnetic mate to insert components, using the square bracket keys, ‘[‘, ‘]’.

  • ‘[‘ cycles between the connecting points on the moving component
  • ‘]’ does the same but on the static component

This allows us to design our Slot Car racing tracks with a breeze!



Number 2: The new Lock symbol has come to greet you

In SOLIDWORKS 2017, locking the mates was a bit of a chore; searching for the mate in the FeatureTree, right clicking and selecting Lock… In 2018, the Lock symbol pops up upon Snapping, greeting you and begging for a click. Just one click and the mates are locked in position.



Number 3: Multiple Ground Planes (Yes, you can now mate directly to floors and walls!)

Now, in 2018, you can define multiple Ground Planes, allowing users to create multi-story layouts with multiple planes or floors. Imagine a giant 3D Jigsaw in the real world. This is now replicable in SOLIDWORKS’ virtual world by just dropping the pieces of your jigsaw, automatically snapping into place.



SOLIDWORKS 2018’s new Magnetic Mates make large layouts a quick simple task. What you will notice is super-fast placement of components; getting it right the first time; increasing your efficiency, accuracy and productivity.

Tailored towards facility layout, Magnetic mates can be used for many other applications, just like with our slot car track model – in fact, any assembly. Magnetic mates are a fantastic tool for increasing productivity and, in 2018, they are now even more user-friendly.

By Oliver Washington

NT CADCAM is the UK's most established SOLIDWORKS reseller in England, Scotland and Wales. Offering a fully supported CAD and CAM product portfolio and high levels of expertise internally, makes NT CADCAM unique within the SOLIDWORKS community, giving customers the confidence and assurance they need that their support issues will be dealt with both promptly and efficiently. As a SOLIDWORKS Certified Training Centre, NT CADCAM provides clients with fully certified and accredited trainers who are experienced engineers. NT CADCAM is part of the Solid Solutions Group.