Solidworks help pattern on complex shape

So this is a replica that illustrates the problem I am having getting a texture or grip onto a complex shape. Please see the images and caption!

I can’t seem to get my pattern to follow the surface in a more natural way. Anyone have advice on tackling this?


what specifically are you trying to acheive? If you post up a sketch of what you want it to look like, then I could try to help answer your question. How natural of a look do you want, is it supposed to be all uneven like that, etc.

There’s probably a few ways to do it, but please be really specific about what you want.

Use curve driven pattern-follow curve–
Need to use a 3D sketch for the curve to follow. Once you have the 3d curve (should be on the surface) then create a plane on that curve and make your extrusion- both directions, deep enough to go into the part.

the way i’ve done it is crate a planar sketch than split face, convert that sketch to a 3D sketch.

You could also do a spline on surface which would give you better control on where the curve is on the surface cross surfaces.To do this you need to get your faces to be one surface (either revolve a single entity spline- which i know will work) or create offset surfaces at zero offset and use that single surface as the surface to lay down you 3d spline on surf ( havent tried but i think it will work)-

hope this helps–

Will this be a soft rubbery part or hard molded plastic? Having the bumps normal to the surface looks great but won’t be moldable in a hard material.

If I were building them, I’d extrude the hex “posts” from a single direction, revolve pattern them around the main body axis, then use an offset surface of the main body to get the hex posts trimmed down to the proper height. At least that way, the hex posts are perpendicular to the revolve axis.

Thanks for the help. I will give this a try.

This will be made out of a soft material, with very little material actually extruded. I think it should be moldable with those things in mind.

I really appreciate the help, will update with my progress!

Not positive how you’d do this in SW, but if you do something where you generate the surfaces for the knobs normal to the surface (like the last drawing) and then draft the edges of those features down with your draft/pull angle, you should be able to get a very close surface appearance while maintaining the ability to mold it. Will just take some thought as to how the features are laid out around your part line.