One checkbox to speed up your pattern rebuild time and decrease file size!
So, you have a love/hate relationship with patterns in SolidWorks? You love how they allow for faster modeling and easier changes, but hate that they increase your rebuild time and file size. The answer is “Geometry Pattern”!
In Figures 1 and 2 we have a pattern of a cut (Yes, that is a cow. If you want to know why it is a cut of a cow, watch my recorded webinar on Patterns). In both figures the cut has a “Through All” end condition. However, in Figure 1 the thickness of the plate is uniform and in in Figure 2 it is more of a wedge.
If you edit the pattern there will be a check box under “Options” called “Geometry Pattern”. Figure 3 shows this box. Please note, “Full Preview” must be active to see the correct preview of the “Geometry Pattern” checkbox.
In Figure 4 you will see the preview of the pattern with “Geometry Pattern” Unchecked. The result is that each instance of the pattern will calculate its own “End Condition” of “Through All”. Notice the depth of cut 1 versus the depth of cut 5.
We can also check the Feature Statistics (Tools ->Feature Statistics) and see that the Pattern takes 3.59 seconds to rebuild. This is captured in Figure 5. Also, the file size is at 1.93 MB as seen in Figure 6.
Now let’s check the “Geometry Pattern” checkbox and compare results. In Figure 7 you will see the preview of the pattern with “Geometry Pattern” checked. The result is that each instance of the pattern will take on the depth of the first cut. Notice the depth of cut 1 versus the depth of cut 5.
We can also check the Feature Statistics (Tools -> Feature Statistics) and see that the Pattern now takes 1.34 seconds to rebuild. This is captured in Figure 8. And, the file size is at 1.77 MB as seen in Figure 9.
So in closing, if you are mimicking Figure 1, you can speed up your patterns and shrink your file every time by checking “Geometry Pattern”. However, if you have something like Figure 2, you will need to make a judgment call if the end condition of your cut is important.