Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Use mate to control plane location.

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Is any method available to use a mate to control the location of a plane within a sub-assembly? This also implies the location of that plane moves relative to the origin planes within the sub assembly.


In general, I want to create a sub-assembly with a floating plane. Then mate the sub assembly. Once mated, the floating plane would move to the plane it was mated too.


Then I can have parts, sketch's etc, driven from the updated plane position.


The attached screen show should help understand the specifics. The height of our tanks are custom for each job but the sight glass assembly does not change other than the overall length.


Re: Use mate to control plane location.

Gears Phenom Gears Phenom
Gears Phenom

Not easily.


  1. A combination of adjustable parts and/or linked variables could get you there.
  2. Possibly creating a part in place, that's grounded, and then create all part geometry based on references to assembly planes or adjacent component geometry.
  3. Define coordinate systems within each part and assembling by using coordinate systems.
  4. Using a skeleton model approach, like Virtual Parts, where you create the assembly sketch as a layout and then Include (now Project to Sketch) or copy-link that sketch geometry into your part.


These are four methods I would try.  I don't know enough about your product or future modifications to pick the one that would be the most intuitive and stable.

--Scott Wertel, P.E.

Re: Use mate to control plane location.

Honored Contributor
Honored Contributor

Thanks for all the suggestions.


#1 The Adjustable part is not what I was looking for, my goal is to simplify, not add files.

#2 Creating in place is one of the things I'm trying to a avoid with the process

#3 The coordinate system thing will not work because all of the assemblies I want to use this in already exist. Again the goal is to simple add a set of parts that are driven by two planes. And everything is ordered, so I can't move the system that is already in place.

#4 is what I will end up using. Adding a single link is the smallest price to pay for what I'm trying to do.


I was really hoping some method of letting a plane float in a sub assembly was available. The floating (sub assembly) plane would then move to the top level assemblies plane when mated.


#4 will work because that can easily re-size some of the components of that sub assembly. In this case, the length of clear tube and expanded metal cage. Then I can make one assembly (sight glass) that will be copied and linked to 100's of master assembly. Each with a different overall length