Part Modeling > Edit Features > Pattern > Fill Patterns > About Fill Patterns
About Fill Patterns
When you create a Fill pattern, you fill an entire area with instances of the feature, positioned in a grid. You can select one of several grid templates (such as rectangular, circular, triangular) and specify the grid parameters, such as the spacing between pattern member centers, radial spacing for circular and spiral grids, the minimum distance between the pattern member centers and the area boundary, and the rotation of the grid about its origin.
To define the area to be filled by the pattern, you can sketch it or select a sketched curve. Instead of filling the whole area with the pattern instances, you can also select the Curve grid to locate the pattern members along the border of the area.
Fill patterns are created by transforming the member locations out from the origin according to the grid, the grid orientation, and the spacing between members. The sketched area and the border allowance determine which members are created. Any member whose center is within the sketch boundary will be created. The border allowance does not change the position of the members.
You can change the origin of the Fill pattern by specifying an alternative origin. This helps you to move certain pattern members into or outside the fill boundary. If the origin of the pattern members lies outside the fill area after you change the origin of the pattern, then those members are excluded from the pattern. Changing the origin of the pattern does not affect the pattern distribution except if you select Curve as the grid type on the Pattern tab.
You can also make pattern members follow the shape of a selected surface. The pattern members can either follow the selected surface or maintain constant orientation similar to the pattern leader. For pattern members to follow the shape of a selected surface, the pattern leader and the sketch plane must be tangent to the surface selected. If the sketch plane and pattern leader are tangent to the selected surface, then pattern members follow the selected surface according to the selected orientation type.
While creating or redefining a Fill pattern, you can change the following parameters:
Spacing—Specify a value for the spacing between the pattern members.
Minimum Distance—Specify the minimum distance between the pattern member centers and the sketch boundary.
Rotation Angle—Specify the rotation angle of the grid about the origin.
Radial Spacing—Specify the radial spacing for circular and spiral grids.
Skip pattern members—To skip a pattern member, click the black dot that identifies the pattern member. The black dot turns white. To restore the pattern member, click the white dot.
Pattern member orientation—In Circle and Spiral templates, you can rotate pattern members about an origin in addition to rotating them along the template.
If you create a Fill pattern by specifying values for the parameters listed above, these values become dimensions after the pattern is created. You can edit these dimensions or use them in a relation. A relation controls a dimension when you use an expression instead of a dimension value while creating or redefining features.