Modify Instances in Assembly Patterns in SOLIDWORKS 2020

Article by Ben Crisostomo, CSWE updated January 27, 2020


The pattern function helps save time when it comes to inserting repeated parts, such as support beams for a temporary tent. But it can be a bit annoying when you need to modify one of those instances to make room for a custom door a client requested to reduce heat loss. In SOLIDWORKS 2020, the ability to modify instances in an assembly pattern is now a reality.  Let’s take a closer look to see how modifying a pattern works in a linear and circular setting.

Linear Pattern Instance Modification

All instances in a linear pattern have the ability to be customized. In the example below, the distance between the legs of the coffee table was made so that the distance between them was spaced out based on a Fibonacci sequence.

Linear Pattern for Coffee Table

When the user is applying a linear pattern to a part, the option to modify instances can be activated by clicking to the Modified instances space that can be found under the Instances to Override section of the Patterns Property Manager as seen below.

Modified instances Property Manager

Similar to selecting the instances to be skipped, a point will appear on each instance preview. Click the point and the drop-down menu in the image below will appear. Select the Modify Instance button.

Modify Instance

From here, the values can be modified. The distance from seed or the offset from nominal can be changed by either inputting the value or using the arrow buttons to increase or decrease them as seen in the image below.

Values to Modify

Instance modification for Circles

Similar to linear patterns, circular pattern instances can be modified as well. In the example below, a few of the leg pattern instances needed to be moved so that they did not intersect with each other.

Circular Pattern for Table

The steps for accessing the options are the same as the linear pattern except for the Values to Modify section. The angle of the instance can be changed based on Angle from seed or Offset from nominal as seen below.

Values to Modify for Circular patterns

The ability to modify instances in assembly patterns provide designers with greater flexibility when using assembly-based patterns. The feature is definitely a welcomed addition to SOLIDWORKS!

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Ben Crisostomo

Ben is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office