So the little lady and I went to see an on-stage production of The Wizard of Oz this past week at the Ed Mirvish theatre in Toronto, and I saw a windmill in the opening scene and my thoughts immediately went to the patterning feature of SolidWorks. You see, the fins on the windmill were in 8 groups of 6 fins, and I kept thinking about how I could do this. I could use a circular pattern and skip every 7th fin. I could also make a pattern of 6 fins, then pattern the pattern 8 times. There were so many different possibilities of how to pattern these fins! Then I started to think about how to mount this to a spindle, so I put some mounting holes in, but soon discover that patterning a feature can get a bit tricky if I’m paying more attention to Dorothy and her little dog too than I am to SolidWorks. Just watch:
You can see that when I selected the seed hole as my feature to pattern, it only patterned the seed hole, but when I selected the patterned hole as my feature, it made a pattern of a pattern. My workaround was to select the hole in Faces to Pattern (the dropdown pane directly below Features to Pattern). Interestingly enough, if my hole feature had multiple points in it and I tried to pattern the hole feature, I would also get all the holes copying (because the feature includes 3 holes). But don’t take my word for it: try it yourself.
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