The pattern feature is a commonly used time saving tool, an often over looked part of the feature is the Geometry Pattern option. This blog looks into exactly what it does.
1. Pictured is a cut extrude that has been done from the sketch plane on the bottom surface, with the end condition of 10mm offset from surface, hence producing the curved internal edge to the cut. I then patterned it both with and without the geometry feature switched on.
2. With the geometry pattern option switched off, SOLIDWORKS effectively recalculates the end condition of the cut for each instance. This results in a variation in the patterned feature throughout the part so that the cut always gives the same offset from surface, which can be very useful in different cases for producing varied geometry whilst still utilising the time saving of the pattern feature.
3. With the geometry pattern option switched on, SOLIDWORKS doesn’t recalculate any end conditions but produces an exact replica of the geometry. The preview for this is pictured below and shows how a geometry pattern works.
4. In some instances, the geometry surrounding the patterned feature means the geometry pattern function won’t affect the final part produced physically at all. However, enabling geometry pattern still will save a large amount of rebuild time. The following photos show the same geometry being produced using a pattern both with and without the geometry pattern function turned on. Although the geometry produced is clearly identical, there is a relatively large impact on the rebuild time. The use of a geometry pattern saves 25% of the rebuild time, and although this is on a small scale this is a very significant impact and could be considerably more problematic on larger patterns and parts.
5. This is as a result of having to recalculate the extruded cut on each iteration of the pattern and although this is a relatively simple part it demonstrates the computational effect. Furthermore, you may be using patterns on much more complex features and in much larger quantities, therefore it is useful for reducing build time to use the geometry pattern feature where ever possible.
Watch the Video Tutorial Here:
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