Different ways to Mate with a SLOT -1

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.


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.


16 thoughts on “Different ways to Mate with a SLOT -1

  1. abdulla

    hello, thanks very much for this methods

    but i just wonder if i understand it, because i think it constrains the pin in the middle of the slot while it should move along the slot?!! am i right?

    1. Deepak Gupta Post author

      Yes most of the methods tends to lock the pin in the middle of the slot. But if you need your pin to move along the slot or vice versa, you may use limit mate or path mate.

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  4. Martin Streat

    Hi Deepak,

    Nice article, thanks. I too use the temp axis to mate to slots. I have the temp axis on a keypress “Z” so its quick and painless to flick them on and off. The temp axis is a great way to mate holes and shafts of any sort as its always visible even in shaded views. If you leave the temp axis visible all the time it does slow down big assemblies though, so toggle them off when finished.

    cheers Mart

  5. Rod Uding

    Great post on mating to a slot Deepak. I have used the methods you have shown before and each works quite well. Currently, I have found the using the “width” mate works very well by simply picking the two flat sides of the slot and the picking the outside of the cylinder to position the part in the center of the slot.

    1. Deepak Gupta Post author

      Thanks Rod. I never thought If I can use that too. The only reason of not trying that is only because in earlier version of SW, option of width mate was not there.


  6. Pete

    My slot sketch is on the top face and my pin sketch is on the top face this a construction line from centre point to outer edge. Add limit distance constraint between slot sketch centre point and pin sketch centre point. Add parallel constraint between both construction lines. Add coincident between construction both lines.

    If you need the pin to spin, replace the parallel constraint between the construction lines, to a coincident between the top faces

    This works best, as if you ever need to move the slot from either edge, the pin moves with it.

    If you have an attachment at a angle, you just change the parallel constraint between the construction lines, to an angle.

    If you send an email, I will sent the assembly so that you can see the benefits.

    As you will see, this pin moves freely from all angles without “hiccupping” as with some of the other methods.

  7. Angellica

    Good post, Deepak. Several things I have not thought of. My method of mating slots (usually) is to put a point in the slot sketch that is at the center of the slot. Then, I mate the cylinder of whatever fastener concentric with the point (the default is tangent, so be sure to change to concentric). Then you mate the face of the part coincident with a face of the fastener, and the part is constrained except for being able to spin in place. A parallel mate will fix that if you want it fully defined.


I'll be happy to know your views and opinions as this will help me to improve. You can share them as comments below.

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