SOLIDWORKS has a good amount of standard hatch patterns that you can use in your drawings. But there are some occasions that you may need to customize some of those standard hatch patterns or even make your own one. Now the question is…how do you modify or create hatch patterns?
SOLIDWORKS Hatch Pattern File Location
To answer that question we have to know where the standard hatch patterns come from in the first place. A file exists within the installation directory for the version of SOLIDWORKS you are using (C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Corp\SolidWorks\Lang\English) called “sldwks.ptn” which is where the information for the available standard hatch patterns is stored and read from.
Modifying a SOLIDWORKS Hatch Pattern
Now if you open this file with notepad, it provides instruction in the header of the file on how to create your own custom hatch patterns. For example instead of selecting a standard hatch pattern and changing its angle each time, you can edit your “sldwks.ptn” file and copy and paste the standard hatch pattern and then change the angle of that. From now on you have access to your custom hatch pattern in the drop-down box within your “Area Hatch/Fill” command. It is advised that you take a copy of the original and keep it untouched, just in case the modifications cause any issues.
Creating a New Pattern
What if you want to make a new pattern from the scratch? Well designing hatch patterns is not as easy as editing an existing one. So it is going to take a while if you want to make some extra complex patterns yourself. But if you don’t have the time don’t worry. You can always find and download ready to use patterns from internet. I found the following website which had a number of AutoCAD.PTN files available for free to download: http://www.cadhatch.com/#/autocad-wood-hatch-patterns/4555347745
You can then just open the file in notepad and copy the contents into the SOLIDWORKS .PTN file.
NOTE: However, there are a couple of things to remember. Each cross hatch has a number, and SOLIDWORKS has reserved the first 500, so any custom cross hatch you add must start like so *:501:<Name> where “501” being the unique number and “Name” being the name you want to appear in the drop-down list. The entry also needs to start with an asterisk.
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