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Best way to extrude and pattern a feature on a curved surface?

Question asked by Daniel Hartmann on Sep 10, 2014
Latest reply on Sep 11, 2014 by Tony Vitale

I am trying to extrude a feature (a “leaf”) on a curved surface (a “plug”, or "puck") and then pattern it (using, for example, the CirPattern command).   I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it, and I’m not satisfied with anything I’ve tried.


First, I tried this way:
a. Drew the sketch of the leaf
b. projected it onto the curved surface using the “Curves” --> “Project Curve” cmd.
c. Created a 3d sketch and used “convert entities” to convert the projected curve to a 3d sketch
d. Extruded the 3d sketch

For some reason I cannot merge the result; I always get the error “Unable to create this feature because it would result in zero-thickness geometry.”  I therefore un-check the “merge result” box, and am able to get the following pattern (which has ONE of the three “leaves” I want on my plug):



This is basically what I want, except that I now want to pattern the little “leaf” three times at 120 degree intervals.  But I cannot pattern an unmerged feature, so I’m out of luck.


Next, I tried using the wrap command.  To do that, I first had to define a plane tangent to the surface on which I was extruding.  Then I drew my sketch and did a “Wrap” -->Emboss.

The wrap works, and I CAN pattern the wrap…but the problem here is that I can’t bring the bottom edge of the embossed patterns down to the bottom of my surface.  If I do, I get the error message:   “ Wrap failed, could not use any contour(s) from sketch”.



Both of these ways seem quite laborious, and neither gives me exactly what I want.  Can anybody suggest some better ways?