Alibre Options: Patterns Made Easy

8 May, 2006 By: Michael Todd

Use Alibre Design's pattern tool to save time when creating repetitive features.

Alibre Design's Pattern tool can quickly create a series of identical features in a part, saving you time. For example, it is an effective tool when you create holes on a grill or grooves on a gear wheel. A similar tool is available in assembly workspaces, but this month I'll focus on using the Pattern feature in a part workspace to duplicate features in a circular or linear array.

Create a Solid
To begin, create a solid part.

Step 1. Create a new part workspace by selecting New/Part from the File menu in the Alibre Home window.

Step 2. In the new part window, create a rectangular sketch as shown in figure 1. From the Sketch menu, select Activate 2D Sketch, then click the Rectangle by Two Corners sketching tool to create the shape.

Figure 1. Enter Sketch Mode and draw the outline of the initial feature to begin.

Step 3. To extrude the sketch to create a 3D object select Boss/Extrude from the Feature menu. When the Extrude Boss dialog appears, enter the values shown in figure 2 and select OK.

Figure 2. The Extrude Boss dialog box is where you select the dimensions, direction and name for the current extrude feature.

Step 4. Insert a Chamfer on the edge of the model. Select Chamfer/Edge from the Feature menu. When the Chamfer Edge dialog appears, click inside of the Edges/Faces to chamfer: box, so it is highlighted. Then select the edge in the 3D workspace. as shown in figure 3. and select OK.

Figure 3. A chamfer has been applied to one edge of the extruded model.

Create a Circular Pattern
Now that we have a solid to work with, it can be used with a circular or linear pattern feature. Let's look at using it in a circular pattern first.

Step 1. In the part window, select Pattern/Circular from the Feature menu.

Figure 4. Only features selected in the Circular Pattern dialog are included in the new pattern.

Step 2. From the Circular Pattern dialog, click in the Features to Pattern box so it is highlighted. In the Design Explorer, select the features you want to pattern. In this case, select the Extrusion feature and while holding down the Ctrl key, select the Edge Chamfer feature. Both show up in the Features to Pattern box (figure 4).

Step 3. Next, click in the Center box and then select an axis to revolve the pattern around. In this case, select the y-axis from the Design Explorer.

Figure 5. A preview lets you verify that the pattern is correct before you apply the feature.

A preview of the pattern is displayed once you have all the information inserted (figure 5). You can see how the 3D part moves around the y-axis in a circular pattern, with four copies, spaced at 90

About the Author: Michael Todd

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