I have to admit this is my greatest fear – one click ago, the assembly was fine, make one wrong click (deleting a sketch or feature), and BOOM – mate references are lost and the FeatureManager design tree turns into a red Christmas tree. Especially when this certain sketch entity or feature was used as reference for several other mates, you might spend the next hour fixing all mates!
Now in SW2016, you can replace all missing reference once and for all and fix all errors. When you replace the mate reference for one of the many affected mates, a dialog box offers the option to replace it in all other mates with the same missing reference.
The current version is able to replace a lost mate reference that was used by multiple components, but in SOLIDWORKS 2016, this feature is being extended to include mates to a component that is used multiple times. The new selection tool is called “Select Identical Components”.
I’m not the only one who was excited about this enhancement, a customer whom reported this issue last year is also glad that SOLIDWORKS is listening to the user requests, he called to tell me specifically: “This enhancement will help to save my time in resolving all missing mates one by one, thanks!”

Ken Foong
Senior Data Management Engineer | CSWP-D