By Stephen M. Samuel PE
It was very difficult before – but not any more
In the old days, when you wanted to repeat a feature on some pattern and you wanted that feature to remain normal to a surface, it was difficult and tedious. The technique is useful when you want to model anything that looks like a hair brush, a heat exchanger, or the texture on anything that is cloth or rubber. In NX8 there is powerful new functionality in the Pattern Feature command. It’s awesome. In one step you are now able to create a pattern that “radiates” according to a “count” and a “pitch angle”, and will also “follow face” if you want. This means each associative copy of the original feature will maintain the same relationship relative to a normal vector and selected surface as the original.
Figure 1. Surface With Feature
In addition, there are new layout types. The layout type shown above is circular. Other choices are, linear, polygon, spiral, along, general and reference.
Figure 2. Chip With Hair
Figure 3. What a menu
The pattern feature menu is large because it has a lot of choices that it covers. I’m sure that there are some that will get confused by it. But once you get to know it, it’s a snap.