AnsweredAssumed Answered

Making Irregular Patterns - Best workflow

Question asked by Scott Lafortune on Aug 5, 2013
Latest reply on Aug 10, 2013 by Scott Lafortune

Hi SW Community!


This is a brand new rookie here, I've been using SW2013-SP4 for straight three days now and I have questions I am coming from a design and vfx background (have some experience in organic 3D modeling) so I am not all new into modeling stuff but the whole concept of SW is new to me.


I have a project where I have to make a casing for upcoming product. After going over eight hours of SW tutorials I think I tried to run before I could walk but hopefully somebody can help me out.


This is the sketch in Illustrator and from there on I went to work on the fan grille.



In order to make extrude cut I had to reverse the pattern which I did and ended up with the negative



As far as I know SW2013 cant generate irregular patterns so I had to do it somewhere else. Pattern was saved as .ai file and then I tried to open it up in SW but couldn't, error message: "You need to have Adobe Illustrator CS3 or newer to open this document". Weird! OK I tried with legacy .ai formats but nothing.


So I exported vectors as .dxf and went through the Import Wizard and set it as 2D sketch. After few tries I kind of made it to work with at least broken objects and disconnected points. Object went into a sketch as a Block (I have no clue what Blocks are, yet) so in order for me to edit it I did Explode Block. I did Repair Sketch and it showed me disconnected points so I wen manually in to fix it. I couldn't merge the point so I ended up deleting the geometry and replacing it from another pattern tile, trying to match it. That was just ridiculous. No idea why it wouldn't let me close the objects by connecting points.


Anyway here is the problem. As soon as I give it a feature to Extrude Cut and put in the dimensions of the cut, SW would screw up my geometry and some random lines and more unconnected points would show up! So I had to go in there to do a clean up!



This is how my sketch looks like, way too many points and geometry



After some luck I was able to Extrude the cut and here is the result in this poor render (still a lot of work to be done)




Now my question is "What would be the workaround of my workflow?" I am aware that I should not have too many points inside the sketch and that I should do all the mirroring and patterns as a Feature instead of doing it in a sketch. But I do not even know how would I mirror this or pattern it? Maybe make a one vertical row in a sketch and then repeat it? I have no clue but I am aware that people have been doing irregular patterns for a long time and they must know.


Thank you for taking your time to read and help another novice! I never knew what kind of power house SW2013 truly is. I am falling in love with industrial design!