Creating a belly pan diamond pattern

I’m trying to figure out the best way to do a aesthetically pleasing 254 style lightening pattern on a belly pan. It seems like the fill pattern tool would be the best for this but I can’t find a way to allow the diamonds to be cut by the boundaries (half triangles around the edge).

I also assume that the best way to make a belly pan is first doing the pattern then extruding your electronics mounts?

I’m doing a video on this this weekend.

Are sponsor wants to cut it tomorrow :eek:

Any chance you could point me in the right direction?

The important thing is not the diamond pattern but having one solid line that goes all the way from one corner to the other to prevent your frame from parallelogram-ing. Once you have those 2 solid struts making an X from corner to corner you should just do a series of parallel lines appropriately spaced so that you have a good mounting surface for whatever electronics or mechanisms are attaching to it.

I remember I spent 4 hours last season figuring it out, and a year later, I have no idea what I did last time. I really need to revisit it.

We typically use the vent feature (in the sheet metal section of SolidWorks). Fill Pattern can work too.

I would also go with Fill Pattern or Vent (if you are using sheet metal)

In the Fill Pattern - a couple of things

Define a boundary as a sketch- so you dont go too close to the edge - not good for stress or cosmetics.

Define your diamond feature before you go to Fill Pattern - you need the cut defined first.

If you are using sheet metal, check out the prefomed features in the design library. See what your mentor is using for standard tooling/punches. Saves time this way.

Also, expand Linear Pattern feature. There are many options - not for this case, but Sketch Driven pattern and Curve Driven pattern are helpful.

New in 2013 is Variable Pattern. You can have one size cut or other feature, and very the length of the slot as you translate along an edge. Marie

The fill pattern posted by roystur44 is a really useful tool but there is another way of doing it that has pros and cons.
I have created a part in SolidWorks that uses equations to position the pattern and spread it out evenly in the part. This is similar to the fill pattern but it lets you choose how many vertical instances and how many horizontal instances you want. For example you might want the pattern to appear horizontally more often than it appears vertically. The fill pattern will fill the given area with the pattern evenly and will not ask you how many instances you want vertically or horizontally. Instead, it will ask for the distance between the instances. I used hexagons in the pattern but with this part you could create anything that fits into a circle of a given diameter. A fill pattern will let you choose shapes but it will not tell you the maximum diameter these shapes can be before interfering. The equations in the part I made calculate the maximum diameter that can be used for the pattern without causing an overlap. If you do create your own sketch for a pattern, delete the relations in the last sketch that reference the edges of the hexagons I used and add your own relations. You can also create a pattern of different shapes. For example, you could have a pattern of a square and a pattern of a circle by modifying the second sketch of the pattern. Also, this part can create a fraction of a pattern along the edges. The fill pattern will ignore an instance if it does not fit into the given space. Alternatively you could tell the fill pattern to go out past the boundaries by using a negative value and then extruding a sketch around the boundaries to get the same result. This might be clearer if you open the parts I have attached.

If you do use my part, right click on the equations folder and choose manage equations. I have added comments next to them explaining what each number does.

As a side note, if you are using hexagons for a fill pattern you probably want an angle of 30 instead of 45 like roystur44 used for the rectangles.

Download for fill pattern and patterned part with equations:
patterned (1.69 MB)

patterned (1.69 MB)

patterned (1.69 MB)