How do you all do this?
The geometry is very simple and can be found in your Machinery's Handbook.
Should take less than 30 minutes to create a parametric configuration editable for any size.
I would consider using a simple cosmetic texture applied to a Sweep or Extrude rather than individual links.
Do you really need modeled links (if yes, how long of a chain are we talking about), or can you use a cosmetic representation?
Do you also need motion?
No I don't need motion.
For me this all depends on what I'm doing with it. If I'm just showing a representation of a chain then it's a rectangle with a sweep. If for some reason you want a pretty picture maybe you can do an appearance like J. Mather suggests. I've never tried that. If for some reason I'm doing a study, motion or for some reason want to show the actual chain I will do a chain component pattern.
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