SolidWorks, Tips & Tricks

Different ways to Mate with a SLOT

Different ways to Mate with a SLOT

27 July, 2009

Now we have finished and learned the techniques of making a SLOT, the second question comes up in the mind is “How to Mate with a SLOT”. Again there can be several ways to achieve this and one may adopt the method which he/she finds easy and quick to use. In this chapter let’s discuss about various simple ways of mating with a SLOT. To use these methods you need a simple plate with a Slot of any size, a cylindrical, rectangular or square part with diameter/width equal to or less than slot width. In this chapter I’m going to use the cylindrical part (pin). I will be covering another discussion on same topic with a square part too. Start you assembly with the plate inserted as the base part and fixed. You can also use mating techniques to position your plate. Now insert you pin which you want to mate with the slot.


Method 1: With your assembly opened and both the part inserted, select the back face of the plate and bottom face of the pin. Add a coincident mate between them. You can select front and top faces too. This is to set the initial position. Now show on the temporary axis (View > Temporary axis) to display the temporary axis of the pin. Select the side face of the plate and the temporary axis of the pin and give a distance mate. Repeat this with the bottom face. Your pin is now in to the required position. MS4 Method 2: Using the same technique as described in method 1, use the planes instead of the temporary axis of pin to give distance mates with the side and bottom faces of the plate. Your planes may vary from the one shown in the picture. The difference in the above two methods is that in Method 1 the part is not fully define and its free to revolve on its axis whereas in Method 2, the part gets fully defined. Method 3: This is a combination of above 2 methods. Add a distance mate using the side face of the plate with the corresponding plane of the pin. Now show up the temporary axis if they are not on. Select either of the temporary axes of the slot and corresponding plane of the pin. Add a coincident mate. Method 4: If your slot width and diameter of the pin and equal then you can use this method. Add a tangent mate between the side face of the slot and the cylindrical face of the second part. Then add a distance mate with the bottom/side face depending upon the location of your slot with the corresponding plane/temporary axis of the pin.


Method 5: In this method, RMB on the edge of the plate and select “Midpoint”. Then select the corresponding plane of the pin and add a coincident mate. Then add a distance mate with the bottom/side face depending upon the location of your slot with the corresponding plane of the pin. Method 6: This is tricky method and I prefer to use this method most of the time. Open the plate and edit the slot sketch. Add these two construction lines to your slot sketch. Now in assembly, select to show the slot sketch. Use the planes of the pin and mate them with the corresponding construction line

These are few of the methods which I use for mating with a slot. I would be interesting to hear if you more methods or any other method that you use for mating with the slot.

You may also like

Tags: , ,


  • Chad says:

    IMHO only Method 6 is acceptable. None of the others consider design intent. They use distance mates from the sides of the part which may cause problems later. If you change the plate size, the the slot size, or the slot position, the pin won’t be located correctly in the slot. This would not follow the design intent of having the pin in the center of the slot. You would need to add equations for the distance mates in order to make the design robust enough to handle changes. This would be more complicated and time consuming than your last option or my variation below.

    I use one similar to Method 6. In the part, I add the construction line between the slot arcs. Then I place a point at the middle of the construction line.

    In the assembly, add the Coincident mate between the pin and plate faces like your example. Then show slot sketch in the assembly. Add a Concentric mate between the middle point and the cylinder face of the pin. This locks the pin to the center of the slot with only one mate. You can add another mate to restrict pin rotation if that is needed.

    The first methods are similar to common mistakes I see people make. They mate it in a way that may be correctly positioned at that time. However, you should always plan for design changes. I think it is very important to always consider the design intent and make sure your model matches that with the mating scheme.

  • Deepak Gupta says:

    Thanks Chad for you valuable information. Using distance mates, you can use the value to create equations. I just tried to present every single option of doing it that came to my mind.



  • Alin Vargatu says:

    Hi Deepak,

    What about using the width mate?

    Best regards,


  • Deepak Gupta says:


    Nice option. Never thought it can work on cylindrical faces too. I just tested that it can be used here effectively but one need to have two flat/parallel and one cylindrical faces which means it can be used for one direction only.

You must be logged in to post a comment.