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Why is my SOLIDWORKS Sketch Pattern Under Defined?

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE created/updated February 12, 2017

In general, it’s good practice to create a Feature Pattern rather than creating all of the geometry in a single sketch with a Sketch Pattern.  Sketch Patterns are usually slower to rebuild than Feature Patterns and you also have less options available.

However if you create Sketch Patterns for simple geometry, you may have noticed that it doesn’t fully define the instances, even if you opt to Add Dimensions. In this tech tip we’ll answer the common question: Why is my SOLIDWORKS Sketch Pattern Under Defined?

Linear Sketch Pattern - Add Dimensions

Linear Sketch Pattern – Dimensions added

Why is my SOLIDWORKS Sketch Pattern Under Defined?

SOLIDWORKS 2016 – Instances Under Defined

The reason is because the sketch instances can rotate.  You could previously Fully Define the instances by adding a Horizontal or Vertical relation on one of the construction lines tied to the instances.

SOLIDWORKS 2016 – Instances Can Rotate

SOLIDWORKS 2017 has been enhanced so that the instances are now locked based on Direction 1 and won’t rotate.  The angle for Direction 2 is the angle between axes (with respect to Direction 1), so this will Fully Define the sketch with all dimensions added.

Fully Defined Instances Automatically in Linear Sketch Pattern

SOLIDWORKS 2017 – Fully Defined Instances Automatically in Linear Sketch Pattern

 

However the Circular Sketch Pattern will still remain Under Defined in SOLIDWORKS 2017, so just be sure to add Horizontal or Vertical relations (or any required relation/dimension) to the construction lines to fully define the pattern.

Circular Sketch Pattern – Under Defined

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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