Tips & Tricks: Flexible Pattern Tool with Rounds and Chamfers
Written By: Aaron Shaw

Within PTC Creo Flexible Modeling Extension (FMX), the system can now create patterns when you simply enter a few parameters into the new Flexible Pattern tool. To access the tool and create a pattern, just select a feature in the geometry, like a hole or a boss. Then, in the Flexible Modeling tab, click Flexible Pattern (Fig. 1).


Figure 1. Flexible Pattern button in the Flexible Modeling tab.

You should find the tool straightforward; but here’s an interesting detail. Imagine the feature you want to use for your pattern is a boss with a chamfer or a round attaching it to your model as in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Boss with chamfered attachment to wall of part.

You have several options for how the system could handle that attachment geometry within the pattern. Look at the same boss duplicated in a pattern in Figure 3 (arrow points to original boss). Because of the way certain options were selected, the boss was recreated eight times, but the chamfer was lost, and some of the bosses don’t attach at all to the wall of the part.


Figure 3. Boss after replication with a Flexible Pattern command.

This configuration probably won’t prove useful to most developers. Here’s what you need to know to get the attachment geometry you want in patterns you create with the Flexible Pattern tool in PTC Creo FMX.

1. By default, the system will extend geometry that’s not attached to the model, and recreate the original attachment (Fig. 4). Do nothing, and this is the outcome you can expect.


Figure 4. Default behavior. Geometry extended and attachment chamfers recreated.

2. But you also have options that allow you to not recreate the rounds/chamfers (Fig. 4), not extend the geometry (Fig 5), or even extend the chamfer instead of the boss (Fig 6).


Figure 5. Geometry extended and attachment chamfers not recreated.


Figure 6. Geometry not extended and attachment chamfers recreated and extended.

3. You can find the options for handling attachment geometry in two places within the Flexible Pattern tool. To reach these menus:

  • Create your pattern. The system creates a new object in the model tree with a name like Flexible Pattern 1.
  • Click the new Flexible Pattern name in the model tree. An Edit Actions menu appears (Fig. 7).
  • Click the edit icon as shown in Fig. 7. A group of tabs appears at the top of the viewer, including Attachment and References. Use the options within these tabs to specify exactly how you want the system to manage attachments on your new pattern.


Figure 7

Want to see step-by-step instructions? Open the Flexible Pattern Tool tutorial on PTC’s Learning Exchange. Note that you may need to create an account if you don’t already have one. The good news is that it’s free and after creating your new login, you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of in-depth demonstrations and tutorials for PTC products. In fact, we highly recommend this short video, Pattern Propagation in PTC Creo Flexible Modeling, which covers changing features in patterns created in PTC Creo FMX.

You can find more discussion of the Flexible Pattern tool and PTC Creo FMX in this Community forum post.

And watch for future “Did You Know?” and “The Why and the How” posts here on the PTC Creo blog for more tips on how to make the most of your design work with PTC Creo tools.

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About the Author Aaron Shaw

Aaron Shaw joined PTC in 2013, currently he is the Senior Manager, CAD Demand Generation. He is responsible for the CAD marketing strategy and execution worldwide. He enjoys playing golf, eating spicy foods, reading, traveling, and rooting for all Boston teams. Aaron is a graduate of Penn State, you can follow him on Twitter @AaronEShaw.