Minimize Rebuild Time with Geometry Pattern

SOLIDWORKS performance is an issue that often comes up the more complex your part designs are or the larger your assemblies get.  We have addressed those issues a lot recently through blogs and tech talks.  In this blog, I wanted to touch on a performance option that is often overlooked, possibly because you do not even know it is there or know what it would do, during part design, but could potentially speed up your part rebuild time, i.e. the Geometry Pattern.

If you do a Command Search for it, you will not come up with anything; that is because Geometry Pattern is just an option inside of the Pattern features (except Variable Patterns).


You may have never even noticed this, or just looked right passed it when you were creating patterns, but if you are creating large patterns, checking this one could be very beneficial to you, depending on your design intent.  What I mean by that, is this option affects the way SOLIDWORKS calculates the pattern.  With the Geometry pattern cleared, the end condition of the seed component is used in each instance of your pattern.  This adds more rebuild time to your model as it must re-calculate that each time.  With the Geometry pattern checked, just the geometry is patterned (hence the name!), and the end condition is ignored.  So, what does that mean?  In the two images below, there is a simple cut(blue) with an end condition that defines the depth of the cut to be offset from the bottom, and then it is patterned(orange).  The image on the right has Geometry pattern off and satisfies the design intent.  The image on the left has Geometry pattern on.  In this case, the end condition is ignored and the exact geometry of the seed feature is copied to each instance, which does not meet the design intent.


This is a simple case here where there would not be much effect either way.  However, if you were doing a large pattern where the end condition does not affect the geometry (e.g. a flat plate with a thru all cut), turning Geometry pattern on would not change the end result, but could improve rebuild time.


If this will meet your design intent and you are unsure how much performance boost you will get from it, you can do a before and after of the Performance Evaluation feature on the Evaluate tab to determine just how much.


Results will vary with this tool depending on the size and complexity of your pattern, but if Geometry pattern keeps your design intent, give it a try!

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