SolidWorks offers a variety of pattern types to choose from. Some of these pattern types are available within a sketch while others can be used to pattern features. This tutorial will cover the use of a sketch driven pattern.
This is only available on features or parts, it cannot be used within a sketch.
Create any sketch to define the path of the pattern, insert points where new instances are desired.
Without placing points into the sketch, the sketch pattern cannot determine where to place new instances.
The selected sketch entities will depend on the requirements of the pattern. The points defining a spline are not used for instance placement.
Where spacing needs to be defined, consider using arc and lines. Using arcs allows for placement of an arc length. The points used for placing instances can be set to specific intervals.
By default, the centroid of the feature is set as the reference point for the pattern. This can be changed to “Selected point”, this will offset the placement of the new instances of the feature.
The points used as the reference can be existing geometry or points from other sketches. Although offsetting can be a quick fix for repositioning instances, it is generally preferred that the instances are relatively close to the points sketched. This makes editing the part easier in the future, as the originator may not be the same user editing the component.
Editing the position of the points within the sketch is the clearest method to reposition instances. When other reference points are used, the user needs to determine what reference was used and how it affects placement. This may be obvious in a relatively simple part, however this can become more tedious in a complex part/assembly.