When you create an assembly Mate and add bushing properties on the Analysis tab of the Mate PropertyManager, it may be important to know the coordinate system orientation used for the bushing translational and torsional directions.
The reference coordinate system used for the bushing is the local coordinate system of the mate. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to see the mate coordinate system when creating or editing the mate. This limitation has been reported through SPR 479043 - “There is no way a user can know the mate coordinate system used by the bushing option present in Mate -> Analysis”.
For more information on locating the mate coordinate system, please see solution S-034818 in the SolidWorks Knowledge Base.
The default initial location of the mate in motion analysis is determined using the first entity in the definition of the mate. The reference coordinate system of the mate is located at the center of that first entity in the definition of the mate. For a Hinge mate, the Z-axis of the local mate coordinate system is along the axis of the hinge.
The help documentation on the location and orientation of the local mate coordinate system does not clearly explain this. To correct this, SolidWorks has filed enhancement SPR 663343 – “*enhancement* Provide additional information on mate locations and directions in Online Help. This information is necessary when defining bushings.”
Currently, the easiest method for finding the location and orientation of the local mate coordinate system is to click the Results and Plots button on the Motion toolbar and then select a mate. As soon as you select the mate, it will show a triad in the graphics area with the location and orientation of the local mate coordinate system. You don’t need to complete the result plot. And you can just clear the selection and continue to select other mates if you want to see the triad for other mates. This seems to be the best solution at this point for visualizing the location and orientation of the local mate coordinate system until SPR 479043 is implemented.