Part Modeling > Edit Features > Pattern > About the Pattern Feature > About the Pattern Feature
About the Pattern Feature
A pattern consists of multiple instances of a feature. Select a pattern type and define dimensions, placement points, or a fill area and shape to place the pattern members. The result of the operation is a feature pattern. When you pattern this feature pattern, the result is a feature pattern pattern. You cannot pattern either a group pattern or a feature pattern pattern.
For most pattern types, the feature or feature pattern selected for patterning is the pattern leader. After you pattern the selected feature or feature pattern, the pattern leader that you selected is the pattern header while the instances are pattern members. To copy, mirror, and move patterns, you must select the pattern header instead of the pattern members.
You can create a Reference Pattern of a feature that references the geometry of any pattern member. The feature selected for patterning does not need to be on the pattern leader.
You can mirror a pattern, group pattern, or pattern of a pattern. You can also apply move or rotational transformations to a pattern, group pattern, or pattern of a pattern.
Patterns offer the following benefits:
Creating a pattern is a quick way to reproduce a feature.
A pattern is parametrically controlled. Therefore, you can modify a pattern by changing pattern parameters, such as the number of instances, spacing between instances, and original feature dimensions.
Modifying patterns is more efficient than modifying individual features. In a pattern, when you change dimensions of the original feature, the whole pattern is updated.
It may be easier or more effective to perform operations once on the multiple features contained in a pattern, rather than on the individual features. For example, suppressing a pattern or adding it to a layer.
You can only pattern a single feature. To pattern several features, create a local group and pattern this group. You can choose Unpattern from the shortcut menu when a group pattern or pattern pattern of the following types is created:
The result is a set of groups or feature patterns.
The line style attributes of a datum curve are not transferred to its pattern members.
A thin feature "remembers" the surface to which it is attached and patterns to this surface.
Pattern Types
There are several ways to pattern a feature:
Dimension—Controls the pattern by using driving dimensions and specifying the incremental changes to the pattern. Dimensional patterns can be unidirectional and bidirectional.
Direction—Creates a free-form pattern by specifying direction and using drag handles to set the orientation and increment of pattern growth. Direction patterns can be unidirectional and bidirectional.
Axis—Creates a free-form radial pattern by using drag handles to set the angular and radial increments of the pattern. The pattern can also be dragged into a spiral.
Fill—Controls the pattern by filling an area with instances according to a selected grid.
Table—Controls the pattern by using a pattern table and specifying the dimension values for every pattern instance.
Reference—Controls the pattern by referencing another pattern.
Curve—Controls the pattern by specifying either the distance between the pattern members or by specifying the number of pattern members along the curve.
Point—Places the pattern members on geometry sketch points, geometry sketch coordinate systems, or datum points.
Pattern creation methods are different, depending on the pattern type.
To create a pattern, select the feature or feature pattern that you want to pattern and click Model > Pattern, or right-click the feature name or feature pattern name on the Model Tree and choose Pattern on the shortcut menu.
Internal Sketches for Patterns
You can use an internal sketch to define pattern member placement for the following pattern types:
When you enter Sketcher to create the internal section, the pattern leader is represented with a known point at its origin. Horizontal and vertical reference lines that pass through the pattern leader point are displayed.