Here is a sample assembly I created to show a simple but powerful Intelligent Design automation. Most experienced users will usually attempt this kind of automation by utilizing interpart expressions. This is what I did with basic Sketch and Modeling techniques without worrying about manually creating any interpart expressions, datum, etc.
Do the following to understand its behavior:
1. Open the assembly “auto_pattern_asm.”
2. Move the components around and you will observe that they will remain/rebuild centered to the “head_plate” (Design intent).
3. In the graphics area, double click twice the “head_plate” and resize the sketch. Press OK.
4. Observe the other plates and bushings are updated accordingly.
5. Screw holes automatically update to be in line to each other.
6. Change the block thicknesses. Components and holes are updated accordingly.
7. Edit the sketch “SHCS” in the “head_plate”. Move, add, or delete points as you wish and press OK.
8. Observe that all of the screw holes and spacer bushing quantities are updated to new points of #7.
9. You will notice that the assembly constraints of the spacer bushing are also created with the new components.
10. In the assembly, expand the “Component Patterns” and RMB the “Reference Pattern” and then select “Delete”.
11. Check the components and assembly constraints.
12. Recreate the pattern by clicking “Assembly>Pattern Component” and select the “spacer_bushing” (Pattern definition= Reference)
13. Check again the components and their assembly constraints; they are creating automatically.
14. In the main assembly, copy and paste “thread_plate” or “spacer_plate” and rename it using “Make Unique.”
15. Move the plate @14 to a new location (You could add assembly constraints)
16. In the plate @15, there will be broken links. Edit (double click) and relink them accordingly. (Follow the parent part @14 and use selection filters.)
17. Notice the screw holes are intact and repeat #7 to verify.
18. Edit the screw holes accordingly to show the correct representations i.e. C/B, screw clearance and screw to be at the last plate.