Assembly (Part IV)

Fourth part of the air quality measuring device design in which we learn about assemblies, different types of mating of the parts and problem detection before setting up the parts for 3D printing.

Check out the first three parts of the tutorial here.

Step 1

New assembly

After we have created both of the parts needed for our enclosure, next thing we want to do is assemble them and check for any mistakes, misalignment or any other problems that may occur later in the process.

To do this, open Solidworks and under File tab, go to New - Assembly.

Step 3

Top-down design method

In Top-down design, parts' shapes, sizes, and locations can be designed in the assembly.

The advantage of top-down design is that much less rework is needed when design changes occur. The parts know how to update themselves based on the way you created them.

Step 4

Import parts

To import parts, on the left side of the screen, under 'Part/Assembly to Insert' click on Browse.

Search for the folder your parts are located in and select them. Click anywhere on the canvas to place the part.

Do the same for the second one. You can rotate them any way you want in the left bottom corner of the screen.

Step 5

Rotating and positioning the parts

To rotate or move the parts that you have inserted in the assembly, you can use different methods.

One of the method is a simple Move/Rotate command. Click on the part that you want to move/rotate and under Assembly tab click on either 'Move component' or 'Rotate component'.

Step 6

Mating the parts

Another way of moving or rotating the parts is by using mates. Mates create geometric relationships between assembly components. As you add mates, you define the allowable directions of linear or rotational motion of the components.

To add a mate, click on 'Mate' tab. In this example, we want to mate two surfaces of our parts. First, click on the surface on the top part. After that, click on the surface on the bottom part that you want it to be parallel to the previous surface, and then choose 'Parallel' as your mating method.

Step 7

Different types of mates

There are a couple of different types of mates available. In this tutorial, we will go through only the standard ones, since advanced and mechanical ones require a bit more of practice and understanding.

Standard mates include angle, coincident, concentric, distance, lock, parallel, perpendicular, and tangent mates.

Coincident mate is a mate between two features that you want to coincide with each other. Generally we use it for making two planes parallel and coincident.

Concentric Mate is a mate between two concentric features, meaning they share the same center point or axis. Any time you want a pinned connection or a piston cylinder type connection you will use a concentric mate.

Distance mate sets a pre-determined distance between two parts.

Lock mate is a mate that locks two parts instantly and does not allow further moving or rotating.

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Step 8

Detecting problems

You can check for any problems in Solidworks by using different evaluation methods.

With Clearance Verification, you can check the clearance between selected components in assemblies. The software checks the minimum distance between the components and reports clearances that fail to meet the minimum acceptable clearance you specify.

You can dynamically detect the clearance between components when moving or rotating a component. As you move or rotate a component, a dimension appears indicating the minimum distance between the selected components.

You can detect collisions with other components when moving or rotating a component.

Interference Detection identifies interferences between components, and helps you to examine and evaluate those interferences. Interference Detection is useful in complex assemblies, where it can be difficult to visually determine whether components interfere with each other.

Hole Alignment checks assemblies for misaligned holes.

Sensors monitor selected properties of parts and assemblies and alert you when values deviate from the limits you specify.

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