Some of you have probably been waiting for this one for a long time… Well it's finally here!! SOLIDWORKS 2015 now has a chain pattern feature. With this feature you are able to choose from 3 different type patterns and some familiar variables.
The three types are Distance, Distance Linkage, and Connected Linkage. Let's take a look at each.
Start with an assembly. First a sketch for the chain pattern is needed to show the path of the chain. Then some chain links or whatever components you want. Doesn't even need to be a chain link per say… just a component to pattern is all we are really looking for. Maintaining good design intent is the key to this. A well placed plane in the links will prove useful as a location plane is necessary in the chain pattern feature.
Where to find it?
This one may have some different uses from the typical chain. Notice the links are not aligned with the sketch, only a single reference is picked in the options. Also notice the familiar selection manager, instance count, and equal spacing options. The Dynamic option allows the pattern to move like an actual chain would, the static option fixes the chain in position.
In this example the links are aligned with the sketch and the patterns will move as if attached by both reference points. Similar options exist for this pattern as well as the Distance pattern.
This option is the typical expected pattern for a chain as this allows 2 selections for components to pattern, inside and outside links. So you will need to add a few more references but well worth it.
John Van Engen
CATI Senior Technical Analyst