Associative Patterns (aka Arrays)

ARES CAD Software now brings array copies of the same entity along multiple lines and columns and lets you modify the pattern as you wish. Patterns allow you to replicate an entity following a linear or circular organization or along a path. These patterns are now associative. You can now edit them using grips or by a double-click on the associative pattern.

Using Associative patterns in ARES Commander

In this video, we will see how to use associative patterns in ARES Commander, also known as associative arrays in AutoCAD.You are probably already familiar with the ARES Commander “Pattern” Command that allows you to repeat the same object several times. In AutoCAD, you would do it with the command “Array”. The smartest version of “Array” in AutoCAD is called an “Associative Array”.

In ARES Commander its name is “Associative Pattern”.In this example, we are looking at an “associative matrix” made of 3D shapes representing containers. This is an associative array that was created with AutoCAD.We can see that it works the same way in ARES Commander and we can use and modify it as we wish.

Thanks to the grips we can vary the number of elements, including the separation between them as we will see later.ARES Commander also allows you to directly create new”associative patterns”, starting from scratch. Now we are going to see how we can create “AssociativePatterns” and edit the number of elements intelligently, simply by dragging from their grips,… or as we will see later also from its properties. Everything, directly in ARES Commander.

For this, we will use the same pattern command and dialog. Let’s see how it works. Here we have a block, although it could be a selection of entities since it would also work. We select Pattern, and inside the “Linear” tab we click on the selection icon.

We select the chair. In the dialog box, in the “Settings” section, we indicate that we want 3 vertical copies and 3 horizontal copies. Notice that the “Associative” option is active. We indicate the distances between the elements vertically, and also horizontally. Click OK.

Difference between Tradition and Associative Pattern

At first glance, it is a traditional Pattern. The difference is when we select the elements. Because we checked the “Associative” option, the objects behave like one and drag them from their grips to create copies. So much in one direction. As in the other. We could even create copies in both ways at once. Let’s make another example with this cube. We select “Pattern”.

Among the options, we write 3 copies for Vertical and Horizontal. We modify the distances for both axes. We select the Cube. We also want copies on the Z-axis so we modify the amount of “Levels”. We add a distance in “Levels”.Click OK. As with 2D elements, we can select this set of boxes and modify the number of copies by dragging their grips.

We can even modify the distance between them, also from their grips. Being selected, from the Properties Palette, we can vary the distance between levels, with the parameter “Level spacing”.As well as vary the number of copies on the Z-axis by modifying the “Level count” parameter.

Being able to also modify the number of columns, rows, and the distances between them. Let’s look at this other example. We have a glass square, with a horizontal and a vertical stud on one of its sides. Only with this, we could easily create a curtain wall that covers the entire facade of a building. We select “Pattern”.

Selecting elements for Associative pattern

Select the elements. We indicate that vertically there will only be 1, and the Levels will be 2. Keep in mind that we use Levels for the Z direction. We enter the distance between levels. We also do it between the horizontal elements. The distance between the vertical elements is indifferent because we only have one wall. Click OK. Now we select the entity, and we modify the number of elements through its grips.

Or by modifying the values in the Properties Palette, in this case, to modify the number of levels. And so we quickly get our curtain wall. In this other example, we are also going to use “Pattern” but this time from the “Circular” option, which we can also make associative.

We select the box. We indicate the number of copies, modify the angle, and press Enter. We can select the group of entities, and use the grips to get more copies. From the Properties Palette, we can prevent the elements from rotating. All copies would stay parallel. We can also vary the number of levels and the distance between them.

In the end, starting from a simple box, we could create more complex shapes. In this case, even when dealing with solids we could explode this associative array and perform boolean operations as we explained in some another tutorial-videos for 3D modeling. Among the available options, we can vary the angle in between the copies. Also, manage if the array goes clockwise or counterclockwise as it goes along an arc. In short, options are very intuitive for any user. Learn more about the new features in ARES Commander.