Home » How to do Curve Driven Pattern in SolidWorks?

Solidworks’ model pattern commands are a Solidworks user’s best feature regarding replication and enhancing overall efficiency. Linear, circular, and curve-driven patterns are common commands the average Solidworks user uses. You need to learn how to do curve driven pattern in Solidworks. A curve-driven pattern does something that a linear design cannot. It enables the user to follow a curve and pattern on a feature, face, or body. A divided line, a projected curve, a composite curve, a curve that passes through the points QPR, a helix or spiral, or even a 3D drawing can be used to construct the curve. Solidworks’ curve-driven component pattern capability allows users to pattern assembly components along unique pathways. Users must have a valid path for their pattern to use the curve-driven component functionality.

How to do curve-driven pattern in Solidworks

The Curve Driven Pattern tool enables you to build patterns following a planar or 3D curve. You can use any sketch part or the edge of a face (solid or surface) that sits along the plane to define the pattern. Your pattern can be based on an open or closed curve, such as a circle. You may skip pattern instances and patterns in one or two directions, just as with other pattern kinds like linear or circular. 

You will learn how to do curve driven patterns in Solidworks with the curve-driven pattern tool. Follow the instructions to learn how to do curve driven patterns in Solidworks.

Step 1: Compose a component with a feature you wish to pattern along a curve. Then, choose Curve Driven Pattern from the Features toolbar or Insert > Pattern/Mirror > Curve Driven Pattern.

Step 2: The Curve Drive Pattern PropertyManager displays when you create a new curve-driven pattern feature or when you edit an existing curve-driven pattern feature. The PropertyManager controls the following properties: 

Direction 1: The pattern axis can pick an object in the graphics area. It could be an axis, circular edge, linear edge, linear sketch line, cylindrical face or surface, revolved face or surface, or an angular dimension. This axis is used to construct the pattern. 

To modify the direction of the circular pattern, click Reverse Direction. The distance between the centers of instances is defined by instance spacing. The angle is set to 360° when equal spacing is used, representing the angle between each occurrence. The number of instances of the specific feature is specified here. These features also apply to Direction 2.

Activating Features and Faces enables the Features and Faces options. The Features to Pattern makes the pattern by utilizing the selected feature as the seed feature, whereas the Faces to Pattern creates the pattern using the faces that comprise the feature. In the graphics section, select all of the features’ faces. This feature is helpful for models that only import the faces that include the feature, not the feature itself. When utilizing Faces to Pattern, the pattern must stay within the same face or border. It can’t cross borders.

Instances to Skip: This feature allows you to skip the pattern instances you choose in the graphics area while generating the pattern. When you hover over a pattern instance, the pointer changes. To select a pattern instance, click. The pattern instance’s coordinates are shown. To restore a pattern instance, click it again. When patterning bodies, you must know that you cannot skip instances.

Feature Scope: You may apply features to one or more multibody sections by choosing Geometry Pattern from the Options menu and then using Feature Scope to specify which bodies should have the feature. Before you can add multibody component features, you must first design the model to which you wish to add them.

Every time the feature regenerates, the All Bodies option applies to all bodies. When you add additional bodies to the model intersected by the feature, they are also restored to incorporate the feature.

Selected bodies: the feature is applied to the bodies you choose. If you add new parts to the model intersected by the piece, you must edit the pattern feature, select those parts, and add them to the list of selected parts using the Edit Feature. If you do not add the new details to the list of chosen parts, they will remain unaltered. When you first create a model with multi- parts, the feature automatically processes all relevant intersecting parts (available if you click Selected bodies). Auto-select is faster than all parts because it only processes the parts on the initial list and does not regenerate the entire model.

This example below is a rib for an airplane wing with a flange that protrudes outward, where the panelling would attach to the rib using some rivets. It means that if you want to pattern the holes for the hooks along the curvature of the flange, You must use the curve-driven pattern command to pattern the hole along the flange, which will follow its curvature. I would focus on the key aspects that helped me create the geometry in the example above.

The Direction one group box allows you to specify the curve to pattern along with the number of instances to be patterned and the orientation of the patterned features. You could select the back edge of the rib as the curve to the pattern.

Use the features and faces to select the hole itself and ensure the number of instances is set to 16. In this case, you could also check the options for the curve method and alignment method. 

For this example, the curve method does not affect the final geometry, but you need to ensure the alignment method is set to the tangent to the curve so that the holes are cut perpendicular to the outer surface of the flange. If you want to remove a hole that you won’t use to attach a rivet, you could enable the instances to skip the group box and click on the instance in the pattern you want to remove.

After you click the green check, the holes are patterned around the flange, which remains perpendicular to the outer face of the model at each point.  


Understanding the features of Curve Drive Pattern PropertyManager work is essential to learning how to do Curve Driven Pattern in Solidworks, and I hope this article was helpful.