Following on from the mirror tool in SolidWorks, we can now have a look at the other pattern tools that are available. The two different pattern types are linear and circular. The linear pattern tool allows you to make a 2D array of objects whilst the circular pattern duplicates an object multiple times around a central point. These pattern types are very situational, however, can save a great deal of time if used effectively.
Looking at linear patterns first, we can see an example in the image below.
As you can see, this process allows us to make and dimension only one circle then use the pattern tool to create the rest. This feature is very useful when making multiple sketches with repetitive features on a 2D plane.
NOTE: the linear and circular pattern can also be used on some features and not only in the sketch environment. The toolbars are almost identical, with the only exception being you add features to be patterned and not sketches.
To perform a similar pattern to the one above, the following options are needed to be set up in the linear patterns toolbar.
The toolbar consists of three main sections; direction 1, direction 2 and entities to pattern. Direction 1 & 2 have the same fields that need to be filled out, these are:
- Direction – The direction that the pattern will travel along. In most cases, this will be an axis. In this example, it is the X-axis. NOTE: There is a reverse direction button to the left of the selected axis, this will flip the direction. This was done in direction 2 as the Y-Axis is in the upwards direction, however, the pattern needed to go downwards.
- Spacing – This value defines the distance between each entity.
- Number of Instanced – Refers to the number of patterns you wish to create. In this example the original circle is patterned 3 times, resulting in 4 instances.
Finally at the entity in which you would like to pattern must be selected. In the example, it is the ‘Arc1’ which relates to the original circle.
Hopefully this post will shed some light on how to use the linear pattern tool. As previously mentioned, there is also a linear pattern for features which can be done in almost the exact same way as the examples shown above.
In the next post, I will be coving the circular pattern.