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Manually defined component pattern

Phenom
Phenom

Ok, this is a basic question and I feel the function should be much more intuitive than it is. Yes, I am reading the PromptBar!

All I want to do is to create a simple 2X2 pattern of a component! Should be very simple. Place component. Mate to the outside edges (don't have mtg holes yet). Select Pattern component, select component(s) to pattern and then define the pattern.

 

I'm not finding how to manually define a pattern since my feature pattern doesn't exist. You would think this should be identical to the pattern feature function- create a 2D rectangle and be done. Everything is exactly the same! Grrr....this should be simple. This is like the very first thing you do in assembly design for any CAD system!

(Yeah I need some sleep or caffeine right now!)

It's all a design workflow. We don't create holes in both parts then assembly. We place parts and then put holes in. So, I don't want to hear that I need to mate holes to holes! ;-)

 

I am working with a very simple part that (I didn't create) is a plate with a pattern of 2x2 holes that is patterned (2x1) to create one series of holes for 2 brackets (8 holes total). That pattern is then mirrored to create the next set of holes for the brackets on the other side of the plate. This gives me a 2X2 pattern of mounting holes.

Capture.PNG

 

 

When I do the feature pattern option it puts 8 brackets into the assembly. Not what I'm after! So that drives me a manual definition of a simple 2 x2 pattern!

What am I missing?!

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor
You will need to creat an assembly sketch with the pattern rectangle to use as the pattern if no feature pattern exist.


Ken
Production: SE 2019 MP5, Testing: SE 2020
http://Grundey.blogspot.com

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Phenom
Phenom

@KennyG You are up late tonight! Work ended at 5, right?

 

Head plant..that's very intuitive. So basically we are tied directly to "pattern" to create a pattern. Confusion abound...you can't pick the sketch off the screen! You have to pick from the PathFinder?? AND you have to pick it twice! Now here's a great example of how to reduce complication, mousing travel and confusion! If there is not an ER to change this functionality it should be at the top of the list! 

 

I was hoping to hear something like: 

"Just pick the base block face to define the X vector and the perpendicular face to define Y and then enter a count for X and Y." Bamn done. Same thing for a circular pattern select an axis or define a vector for center of pattern, radius or diameter of pattern, orientation (type) and count. 

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Gears Honored Contributor Gears Honored Contributor
Gears Honored Contributor

No need to pick the sketch from PathFinder, the QuickPick can be used to select directly from the graphics.

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Phenom
Phenom
@Tushar You are correct. That helps. My attempts to select always selected the component body. Once you attempted and selected the component you need to start over. You have to be pretty darn precise and patient to wait for the QuickPick selection! Which I'm neither! ;-)

Looking at this from a new user standpoint this function is way too complex. You are required to create a parent feature (either pattern in defining component which in itself is limited- as in my case OR create a sketch at an assembly level) just to create a simple 2X2 pattern! Heaven forbid if you have to create 10-20 different patterns in your assembly...you are going to have a top level sketch riddled with sketch geometry.

Using a surface normal to define a direction is so much simpler and much more intuitive. Wouldn't you agree?

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

Hi @RyanM

 

 

 

or - an alternative way to do it - is to use the Clone Component function of SE!

This will detect those four holes needed for one bracket and should place them as wanted

regards
Wolfgang

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Phenom
Phenom

@hawcad Yep I agree...but the workflow doesn't have holes in the brackets, yet. When the the first bracket gets placed in the assembly it is located off of the edges of the plate and mated to top face of plate. So there is no relationship create to the holes.

 

I tried that option too! Unless I didn't understand the error message about  ...selected reference face geometry was not found...

 

Like I mentioned it shouldn't be this hard or confusing. I think we can all admit that this function- which may be based on the competitor software- goes to show that software can be improved. Making changes to this function can improve the software and make it much more simpler to use and learn.

I recall a time in the NX world where we were at this a similar point with about 3-4 different features for making copies of geometry- copy face, feature array, pattern geometry and copy/paste. All of these functions where about reusing existing data and creating a defined set of patterned geometry. As a tech committee chair for Modeling & Assy we took on the job, along with development and the product manager, to help define a feature that would combine all the three legacy functions into one- because it was confusing to customers. It took a good year of development and back and forth with UI ideas and adding additional functionality (like pattern styles and pattern along a curve- a spline) but it was successfuly done.

 

Maybe we can get a group of people together and work with Siemens to do the same here! Anyone up for that?

 

The images below shows how things can be easily defined for a pattern and how the same UI elements are used in the component patterning (array).

Capture.PNGPattern FeatureCapture1.PNGPattern Component

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

@RyanM  It should theoretically be pretty easy for development to do since the commands are essentially already there as a sketch and all we are talking about is creating that all in the context of the item you want to pattern which is really the same as patterning in the context of a feature in Part.



Ken
Production: SE 2019 MP5, Testing: SE 2020
http://Grundey.blogspot.com

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Gears Honored Contributor Gears Honored Contributor
Gears Honored Contributor

@RyanM wrote:
My attempts to select always selected the component body. You have to be pretty darn precise and patient to wait for the QuickPick selection! Which I'm neither! ;-) 

The QuickPick is un-necessary here. It's a wrong way to design a command workflow.

If the command is expecting the user to pick a sketch/pattern, it should not highlight the body but filter out the sketch when the mouse hovers over it.

I had to take extra efforts just to figure out if it would work that way and gladly it did.

 

This command certainly needs a complete revamp.

 

And I can see what you are expecting. Solid Edge should let you define a pattern using existing geometry like model edges or surface normals and build the underlying sketch/pattern skeleton transparently. This could be used later only for edits, but the user should not be expected to define it in the first place. Correct?

 

Re: Manually defined component pattern

Phenom
Phenom



 

And I can see what you are expecting. Solid Edge should let you define a pattern using existing geometry like model edges or surface normals and build the underlying sketch/pattern skeleton transparently. This could be used later only for edits, but the user should not be expected to define it in the first place. Correct?

 

I agree with everything except the "..build underlying sketch/pattern..." SE shouldn't require that at all! You only need to define an X or Y direction (rectangular pattern) and that could be defined by selecting an existing edge of a component in the assembly, a surface normal off a component in the assembly or the surface normal of the base reference planes. Then you just need to determine type of pattern and count. Once defined you are good to go. Need to edit the direction then redefine you vector. Need to replace a part that defines a vector then redefine the pattern after the replacement process.