Have you ever needed a similar pattern of an object, but needed a dimension to slightly change? Or maybe increase in value every time it was patterned?
There is a way to do this in SOLIDWORKS, and it is quite easy once you know the tool is there and maybe a little knowledge about how to use it. We are going to try and keep this as simple as possible to get the base understanding, but I am sure you crazy CAD users will come up with more complex designs as you vary the dimensions.
In this example we are going to model some strings on a guitar. Instead of using one sketch to drive one string, then another sketch for another string, we can pattern the first sting. The feature that we are going to use is Linear Pattern. The setup is the same by selecting the direction and the feature. This will not work with Bodies, and the option will grey out if that is selected, so keep that in mind.
To start, it will look something like this:
We need to scroll down to the bottom of our property’s menu and toggle on “Instances to Vary”.
I have already made a few selections here, so let me explain. I started with the smallest string and modeled that (Boss-Exturde4). D1@sketch7 is the diameter of the sting that I am starting my pattern with. When in the selection box, the dimensions of your feature will show up for selection. What I would like is to increase the size of the string each time an instance happens. That is what the 0.5mm increment is for.
Here is what the result will looks like:
As you can see, I might want to space out the stings a little bit as the stings grow in diameter. Let us go back and edit our feature and add a .5mm spacing increment.
This gives us a little more space between the stings.
This method of patterns can be very useful for something like a guitar string, but there are plenty more to ponder. To broaden this idea out some more, this would be a great way of varying a model that you would like to physically test. Pattern and change a dimension very methodically and manufacture the results for fitment, or materials testing.
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.