Building patterns of features is an easy task in SOLIDWORKS. However, having numerous instances of complex geometry may put too much strain on your machine and significantly reduce rebuild times. Geometry Pattern option is a nice trick to reduce the computational complexity of your patterns.
Let’s start off with making a simple box. Make a rectangular
sketch on Front Plane and extrude it to 50 mm.
Create another rectangular sketch on the top face of the
box. Use it to perform an Extruded Cut offset by 5 mm from the bottom face of
Finish off with a Linear Pattern of the Extruded Cut. Make 8
instances of the feature along the length of the box. Set spacing at 10 mm.
Easy enough. Now let’s run diagnostics on this part to check
the rebuild times. Select Tools->Feature
Statistics. A window will pop up listing the rebuild times for each
feature. At this point Linear Pattern is taking 61% of the time to rebuild the
We can reduce this in just a few mouse clicks by simply
editing the Linear Pattern feature and ticking the box where it says “Geometry
Pattern” under the “Options” tab.
Accept changes and run Feature Statistics once again.
Nothing has changed geometrically yet rebuild time is now
reduced by 20 milliseconds. Although not a massive improvement in this simple case,
such a change would significantly cut the rebuild times for complex geometry.
So what’s the catch? – Geometry pattern reduces calculations
by simply copying the geometry of the seed part. Having that option disabled
would pass on all of the seed feature references and relations to pattern
part below was made exactly the same way as the first one
except the bottom face is now curved. Note how surface offset relation is
retained for the pattern instances in the first case. This is all lost when
Geometry Pattern is enabled.
case is faster to rebuild however does not meet the design intent.