In the previous post, we looked at how to use the linear pattern tool to speed up the process when sketching repetitive entities. The linear patterns were constrained to two directions (usually the x and y axis) circular patterns, however, follow a predefined arc.
These types are incredibly useful when working with any entity which needs to follow a circular path, an example being bolt holes on a pipe flange.
An example of this tool can be seen below.
As you will notice, there are many similarities between this toolbar and the one seen in the linear pattern example. The main parameters in which you will need to fill out include:
- Center of Rotation – This is the where the patterned elements will be rotated about. The easiest way of defining this point is to create a construction circle before opening the toolbar. If you select this circle it will automatically select the centre. NOTE: SolidWorks may automatically select this construction circle as an entity to be patterned, you may need to remove it from the selection. There are some offset x and y dimensions, however, I personally have never had to use these.
- Angle to Rotate Around – This is the number of degrees you wish to pattern the entities. In most case it will be 360, however, editing this value will reduce the distance the entities travel. It is also important to ensure that the equal spacing check box is selected, this will ensure that the angle between each of the patterned elements will be the same.
- Number of Instances – Simply how many elements you wish to have, in this example it is 8.
- Entities to Pattern – As I mentioned previously, if you select the construction arc it may appear in this box. To remove it simply right click and press delete. You can now select the entity you wish to pattern in this case it is ‘Arc2’.
This is another really useful tool which can really speed up your sketching. Like the linear version, there is a circular pattern tool which can be used to pattern features. This has very similar parameters, however, you will need to select an axis of rotation rather than a point.