Tricks to Making Patterns
When creating a pattern, especially a rotational pattern in Pro/E,
there are some pitfalls to watch out for. Here are some tips that can help.
Choose the Correct Pattern Options:
Pro/E gives 3 options for creating patterns, Identical, Varying
It is best to evaluate the geometry and consider how the part may be changed and pick the best option. It is possible
(most times) to redefine pattern options if the geometry has changed, causing the feature to fail.
- Use Identical if all instances are the same size and placed on the same surface. Identical
patterns are the simplest and regenerate the fastest of the three options. For an Identical
pattern, the system generates the first feature, then copies it exactly, including all the intersections.
- Use Varying if the instances vary in size or may be placed on, or intersect different surfaces.
For Varying patterns, Pro/ENGINEER generates geometry for each feature individually, then generates all the
intersections at one time. Since intersections are created as a whole group, DO NOT use Varying
with Thru Next.
- Always use General if a patterned instance might touch (intersect) another instance, intersect itself,
or cross surface boundaries or edges. The system makes no assumptions about the instances of General
patterns. Therefore, Pro/ENGINEER calculates the geometry of each individual instance and intersects each feature
separately. This option takes the most regeneration time, but is typically the most robust.
Rotational patterns are created by using an angular dimension as the pattern parameter. For best results, this
angular dimension should position a datum plane created on-the-fly. (See June 2001 Tip.) This datum can be the
sketching plane or a horizontal/vertical reference created in the lead feature before the pattern is created. The feature
to be patterned must not reference any geometry, features, locations, or intersections that will change as the feature is
rotated. Care must be taken in the sketch to ensure only the desired elements are referenced.
A Trick to minimizing references for a rotational pattern is to reference only the center
axis (from the part, at the center of the to-be-created pattern) in the sketch, then draw horizontal and vertical centerlines
through the axis point. The centerlines become the dimensioning source. See the image. In this way there is
only one reference for the sketch.
If you place a rotational pattern on a revolved surface, always choose Varying or General.
This is necessary because revolved surfaces are divided into two halves.
Ref patterns are a great way to pattern multiple features. A reference pattern creates patterns a feature "on top of"
any other patterned feature. The feature that is to be included in a Ref Pattern must:
Make your life a pattern of excellence for others to follow.
Tip: It is a good idea to reference only 1 feature of the original pattern when
possible. Sometimes Pro/E gets confused if more references are made.
- Reference only stable global references that will always be consistent for each pattern member -- like a center axis
- Reference at least one element created by the original pattern.
With a Ref Pattern, the pattern options (Varying, General) and their associated characteristics
are taken from the original pattern. If they need to be modified, it must be done in the original pattern.
- Do not reference more than one pattern -- Even if a second pattern references
a first, make references to features of only 1 previous pattern.
- It is very important to create the new feature on the leader of the original pattern. Use the Model Tree or look
at the axis numbers (if applicable) to determine the leader of the pattern.
Other related tips from our Tip-of-the-Month Library include patterning tricks for
Patterns of Patterns and
Converting a 2D Pattern into a Non-Uniform Pattern.
One item missing from patterns in Pro/E is the ability to reroute or redefine the references and/or parameters chosen
for the pattern. Right now if you wish to make these changes, you must delete the pattern and re-create it.
If enough of us request a change to this, maybe PTC will include it in a future release.