I had a customer send me a file recently because they were having issues with the performance of their part file that had several pattern features in it. When you look at the file from the surface you do not see anything out of the ordinary but our Feature Statistics they tell a different story of a 108 second rebuild time and Linear Pattern8 & 9 taking a majority of that 108 seconds. Also if you try to edit one of these patterns you are met with a long wait time to Edit Feature or to check OK even if no changes have been made to the feature.
So the questions is what can we do to decrease the edit and rebuild time of these features. We can start with the Geometry Pattern option in each of the pattern features. The Geometry Pattern option allows SolidWorks to pattern features while not solving the end condition of those patterned features. This option was not applicable for this part so there was no benefit in using this option for our part.
Our next option is to look at the part in a different way and to do that we need to look at each group of features that needs to be patterned as its own solid body. So with some simple changes to uncheck the Merge Result option on some features and to be selective as to which bodies merge with each other in other features we are able to set out file up so that we can pattern Bodies vs. Features.
You can see the results below as we deleted the 2 problem patterns and replaced them with pattern features that utilized bodies and not features. This cut our rebuild time from 108 seconds to 12 seconds.
The only item we had to add after the patterns was a Combine of all the solid bodies and if you are going to do any modifications to the patterns you can easily use the Roll Back Bar to go above the combine.
Note: If we had not added the Combine feature our rebuild time would on been .75 seconds.
CATI Support Manager
Josh Altergott is Support Manager at Computer Aided Technology, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the CATI Tech Notes blog.