An often forgotten feature within SOLIDWORKS, sketch driven pattern is extremely useful if a repeated feature is patterned on a planar face without a singular directional vector, or ‘irregular’ spacing. Take this simple example; the aim is to create an array of tapped holes at irregular intervals where the linear pattern would not be applicable- unless it was done with many features.
Rather than drawing out each hole separately then adding relations and dimensioning each instance, a sketch driven pattern would require only the position of each instance to be marked with a sketch point:
To complete, select the ‘point sketch’ when using the sketch driven pattern feature to place a copy of the feature:
Points could also be placed using ordinate dimensions, to pattern features with changing spacing along larger lengths, particularly useful if repeated holes are positioned from a datum edge. SOLIDWORKS 2014 includes better visual feedback for patterns. The "Seed" feature (original) shows in pink, while the "Instances" (Copies) show in blue.
By Ben Garrett