SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal: Body and Fill Patterns

By Dave Bazinet on June 6, 2019

SOLIDWORKS offers an extremely robust set of tools that enable an efficient workflow for designing anything your mind can think of; consumer products, weldments and sheet metal parts. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we'll go over the patterning tools that can be used to help you save a lot of time to add details to your design.


When you leverage the pattern tools in SOLIDWORKS, you are really accelerating your modeling process by creating copies of your design that you can leverage multiple times. Specifically, in this week’s Video Tech Tip we share with you some of the recent enhancements to the patterning tools.

First, we share with you an enhancement to the workflow of body patterns. What has changed is the new ability to switch between a feature pattern and a body pattern. This saves you time, but really enables you to have added flexibility in your design process, because now patterns can be switched between feature and body patterns without the pattern “blowing up.” This is the sort of robustness we all strive to include in our designs.

Next, we share with you an enhancement to the fill pattern. This is an incredible time saver, especially with sheet metal parts. The fill pattern feature lets you use a predefined shape to fill a space. This is typically done to add perforations to sheet metal parts. This usually adds tens or hundreds of instances of a feature so as you can imagine the instance count is important, because no one wants to sit there and count each perforation. What we share with you in this video is how to use the validate count feature. This has been added to ensure that only instances that create model geometry are included in the count, as opposed to the theoretical count. The difference could occur if some instances of the pattern do not cut the geometry because of the lay outside the geometry boundary.

With these tools, you can now create model geometry quickly, with the robustness all power users need in their designs.

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