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Curve driven pattern alignment

Question asked by Harold Black on Dec 4, 2019
Latest reply on Dec 4, 2019 by Glenn Schroeder

I've ran into some modeling issues where I have needed the option to pattern a feature or body along a curve, keeping the alignment tangent to the curve but also keeping the initial orientation of the feature or body the same. I have a cylinder (this may not always be the case) with a curve on the surface. I have a body that is tangential to the surface and touching the endpoint of the curve. I would like to pattern this body along the curve while keeping the initial alignment (in this case vertical) while also keeping tangency of the bodies face to the surface. I provided some screen shots to help clarify. Using "Tangent to curve" does keep the face tangent to the curve but it also rotates the body, which I do not want.


My tedious work-around is to create x number of lines along the curve to define the orientation alignment, where x is the number of features or bodies I want. I would then create a perpendicular line from alignment line to the next alignment line. These lines will represent the tangent control. Then I create a weldment profile and use this to create weldments. The weldment feature allows me to select a horizontal alignment axis, the tangent control lines. The features or bodies are place on the curve because they are controlled by the orientation alignment lines and are also tangent to the surface because tangency is controlled by my selection in the weldment feature. Why doesn't SolidWorks just give us an option to have tangency along the curve while maintaining initial alignment to the body or face? It could ask for a line or planar face to keep the alignment the same.


I also included an image of what I am trying to achieve without all the work involved. disregard the hole through the vertical columns as this is something I had to do for work. I almost want to create a macro that will automate my tedious process for me.