Keeping Sub-assembly Mates in SolidWorks

When trying to make a SolidWorks assembly with sub-assemblies, have you wondered why the mates in the sub-assemblies don’t seem to carry over into the main assembly?  How can you make your sub-assembly mates work in the main assembly?

Well I only learned this after spending hours and hours trying to get around this problem.  So hopefully after reading this you can save some time.

Of course, as with many things in SolidWorks, this is a simple easy fix once you know what to do and where to look.

Basically, you just need to set the sub-assembly as “Flexible”.  To do this, click on the subassembly in the FeatureManagerDesignTree in the left sidebar.  The familiar popup context menu will appear.  Click on the “Component Properties” button.

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 2.58.09 PM


This will bring up the “Component Properties” window.

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 3.01.29 PM

In the lower right corner, change the component from “Rigid” to “Flexible”.

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 3.02.18 PM


Now you’re sub-assembly will maintain all its pre-existing mates into the main assembly.  They can also be edited from within the main assembly.

Let me know if this helped you!


2 thoughts on “Keeping Sub-assembly Mates in SolidWorks

  1. Sir, you are a life saver. Thank you very much!

  2. Same auto setting for subassemblies as “rigid” exists in SolidWorks 2016. Icon looks a little different, but principle is the same! THANK YOU!!!

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