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The circular pattern is much like the rectangular pattern. However, we need an axis of rotation versus a direction. We can choose features or bodies and the number of instances we want it to pattern, as well as the angle between the instances. To get started here, I've got a sketch laid out on this face here to cut a hole. So I'll start off by cutting that hole. And you can go up to Extrude Cut, and let's go ahead and say Extrude Cut Up to Next. So it's going to cut through that flange. Click OK. And there's my hole.
Now, I could have gone back to that sketch right here and I could have done a circular pattern by clicking on the dropdown arrow > Circular Pattern. And pattern that little hole all the way around here. But that would make a very complicated sketch. So I prefer not to do patterns in sketch mode, and I'd rather prefer to do it on the feature level. Now I have this cut I can come up here to directly under linear pattern if you click in the drop down is Circular Pattern. Now, it asks me number one is what do I want to revolve around I need some type of axis or we can pick an inside face.
That will allow me to pattern around that face and then click on the features to pattern. In this case here, I want to pattern that cut extrude one. Notice as soon as I do that, it automatically gives me a spacing or a layout, and I can change this number up or down. Depending on how many bullet holes I want all the way around that pattern. So it makes it really easy to update and change this as needed. So let's go ahead and put 12, and make it go through a 360 degrees. And make sure we're patterning this cut. Click OK. And there it is, really simple. The other great thing about using a circular pattern is it's very easy to change.
If I want to change this, go ahead and click on Circular Pattern, open it up. Change how many degrees you're going to be patterning through, maybe change it to 180 and this time I only want six. So you only have six holes on one side of the part. Quickly change it from one to the other, no big deal. If I want to change it back; go back over here, change it back to 360. And we'll leave it at six right now, click OK. Now, if I want to change the hole for instance, easily go back, change that sketch, change the size. Let's change it to half inch, so 0.5, click OK.
Exit out of that, and then the pattern automatically updates with the new hole size. This is a really great way to utilize a very simple cut, and a pattern to get some pretty complicated shapes. The circular pattern is by far my favorite feature in SolidWorks. It is simple to use and the results are awesome. Play around with the various combinations of instances and angles, for simple bolt holes or wild creative patterns.
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