SolidWorks 2013: What’s New – Varying Dimension Pattern

By Jordan Lemley

Have you ever wanted to do a linear pattern that varies from instance to instance? With SolidWorks 2013, now you can. New in 2013 is the ability to vary the dimensions of a patterned feature, as well as the spacing in between each instance to increase design flexibility and ease of use. Let’s take a look.

Here is a part with a slot that needs to be patterned. However, the design intent is that each slot should be a different length, width, and distance apart. Those dimensions need to vary. In SolidWorks 2013, you can do exactly that.

First create a linear pattern with the existing slot as the seed.

Then, after initiating the linear pattern feature, choose an option in the PropertyManager, labeled “Instances to Vary”.

When you enable this option, you are given the ability to constantly increase the distance between increments. For example, you can set the increment distance to 10 mm, which means that the distance between instances will increase by 10 mm each time (e.g.  30, 40, 50 mm, etc.).

Selecting the blue box under Instances to Vary and then selecting a dimension allows you to choose dimensions that you would like to vary along the pattern. For example, you could increase the slot length by 25 mm and the slot width by 5 mm for every instance.                  

But what happens if you want the last patterned instance to be different than the others?  No problem. You can simply modify that particular instance by editing the feature and left-clicking on the centroid and selecting Modify Instance. This allows you to enter any desired value for the instance width and length, regardless of prior incrementing.

So there you are. With SolidWorks 2013, you can create a linear pattern that can vary dimensions and distances between increments. The possibilities for making customized patterns are endless.

For more information on what's new in SolidWorks 2013, visit the Hawk Ridge Systems website - or download the What's New in 2013 datasheet.


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