If you have SW2014, in your assembly you can create a new sketch with a spline or curve. Once your curve is create you can use a curve driven component pattern. If you do not have 2014 you can create a curve in the teardrop part and then use curve driven pattern for the teardrop body. The second option will make it more difficult to create various curves but it is do-able with configurations. (pic is using assembly component pattern)
hi steven, thanks for your response. i have 2013. dont they have splines and curves with curve driven component patter in assembly in 2013 as well? i know i've used the spline and curves tool before. so you're saying i have to create several curves with the curve driven pattern tool in order to create the wave pattern that waves in all different directions from left to right and front to back? i guess there's no way to just create one big wavy surface and make the droplets automaticaly form in a pattern on that surface?
i created a wave surface and created a curve driven pattern based on one edge of the wave surface. does anyone know how i can automatically create a sea of droplets using the entire wave surface instead of creating one profile curve individually one at a time following the contours of the wave surface?
SolidWorks doesn't have tools to scatter or distribute bodies across a non-planar surface and unfortunately, patterning a pattern only works if your surface is a simple extrude or revolve. You're gonig to have to do some grunt work to get the effect you want.
Start with your tear-drop shape. Define it as a single body, positioned at the origin of a part
Define a surface on-which you wish to space the teardrop
Create iso parametric curves on the surace(Tools>>Sketch Tools>>Face Curves). Isocurves follow the UV normal directions
This is going to produce a grid of curves in the shape of your surface.
After that use the move/copy body tool to position your tear-drop at one of the corners of your surface
Once you've done that, use the curve driven pattern with one of the iso curves at the corner where you placed the teardrop to space it along the curve.
That will give you your seed bodies which you will then pattern in the other directions along each of their nearest curves
When you're done, hide your sketch and face pattern and you should get the effect you're looking for:
There are other ways to approach this problem. Since all of your teardrops are hanging and oriented the same way, you can try creating a table-driven pattern using an excel worksheet where you calculate the X,Y,Z coordinates of each drop based on regular intervals on differentiable surface using that whole f(x,y) thing you learned in Calc III. It will take longer to set this up and it stands to reason you have to know some pretty advanced math, but in the end it's a lot less work to increase the density of the distribution or change surface form and update the drawing.
None of this is a good substitute for a face pattern, so it'd be good to put in an enhancement request for this.
wow thanks very much, john burrill for your reply and taking the time to explain a solution and doing all that work! definitely the best answer i've received after asking around for a while. much appreciated! i dont think i'll be touching the other solution with the excel spreadsheet as i havent touched calculus in years, lol.