When patterning a feature in SOLIDWORKS, you’ve surely been intrigued by the geometry pattern option. It doesn’t scream for attention, so it can be easy to gloss over or shrug off with simple ‘meh.’ But before you disregard it completely, you should know exactly what geometry pattern means and how it can reduce rebuild time and file size.
What does the geometry pattern option do?
Simply put, the geometry pattern option controls the way SOLIDWORKS adds instances of a pattern.
How does it control the way these instances are added?
It comes down to the notion of copied versus solved. A geometry pattern is nothing more than a copy of the seed feature (or the feature you want to pattern). This means that SOLIDWORKS is not solving things like the end condition for each subsequent instance of the pattern.
Here are two examples with the cut feature:
These examples highlight the differences between copying a feature and solving for a feature that was defined using the offset from surface end condition.
How does this help you?
Using a geometry pattern will save you a great deal of rebuild time because SOLIDWORKS is not solving each instance of the seed feature. It’s nothing more than copies of that existing feature spaced however much you like. In addition to the time savings, you will also find that your files are much smaller.
You can see for yourself how this option can come in handy on the right.