I dug up a good thread where a guy named iQ answered how to do thousands of holes in a part. That thread is here:
I couldn't reply to that thread because it was too old but I have a few questions for iQ or whoever has gotten around the problem of SW being slow when trying to pattern many holes. We have a similiar problem where we are trying to make a large photomask with the same pattern over thousands and thousands of times. We tried making a part file of the photomask pattern and then inserting it into a new assembly. Then we tried doing a linear component pattern of this part in the assembly. This still took way too long (in fact I gave up and ctrl-alt-del the mofo). What I don't understand from iQ's post, is that he made the pattern as an assembly, not as a part. How do you do that?
good morning pope, iQ here. let me review what i do for this situation.
i have a model that has contact pads (solid model of an item that is either a round cylinder, a square with rounded corners , ... all extruded to .001 thickness.) in various arrays to compose a pattern, that are arrayed again to fill a quadrant of a round PC board, and another array to fill all quadrants of the PC board. we model one contact pad as a part model. we then make an assembly model of the pad to create the first array (this ends up looking slightly weird because of the size of these elements). we then take this assembly model into another assembly model that arrays the first array to fill a quadrant. and again we take this assembly into another assembly to fill all 4 quadrants. we then take this assembly model into another assembly model where we add the PC board and the rest of the features either in this assembly or in the model of the PC board part model. the tree structure looks like this.
final assembly model (where the final array is assembled with the PC board, which is what we use for detailing the model on a drawing) --> 4 quadrant array assembly model --> 1 quadrant array assembly model --> first pattern array assembly model --> contact pad part model
we do this with solid models and i have not tried to do this with surfaces which you might be using for your photomask. i cannot send any models due to propriatary product it is depicting. the modeling methods, i can discuss. i have tied this in a single model with multiple bodies and as a single body, and as you have seen this is not a workable solution. simplification of the first part model is absolutely necessary. have simplified and final configurations in all files so while we work with the locations of objects we are in simplified mode and when we get to the drawing we are in final configuration. helps with the generation of the model and helps with the detailing process, still not the best but at least it is now able to detail. iQ
p> I dug up a good thread where a guy named iQ answered how to do
Thanks for the detailed reponse. If I am to understand you correctly, SW will bog down if you do a large pattern off a part file in an assembly, but does not bog down as much if you insert a single part into and assembly, and then pattern that assembly many times in a new assembly. Am I understanding correctly? I just did a test of this, with a 1 inch square part, extruded to .001". I then inserted this part into an asembly where it is the only part in the assembly. I then inserted that assembly into a new assembly and patterned 100 x 100.
I then tried the same action, but patterning the part file in an assembly. My two methods are below:
--> assembly model of 100 x 100 pattern of the assembly below --> assembly model of one part of below --> 1" square x .001" part model
--> assembly model: 100 x 100 pattern of the part below --> 1" square x .001" part model
It does seem to me that the "assembly method" is faster. My computer didn't get unresponsive, but it still look a long time and was slow.