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Easy way to create bolt holes in a solid?
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* October 05, 2018, 08:54:36 PM
Try to create (for example) a 12" diameter x 2" thick disk with 16 1/4" diameter holes 1" deep with a 3/8" diameter x 82 countersink - showing the proper drill point geometry - on a 10" circle.  The Hole Feature tool will get the hole, countersink and and drill point right, but I have  to create reference marks (e.g. 1/4" circles on the appropriate face of the disk) at each hole location (make one then polar duplicate the rest) so the cursor has something to snap to, then make the holes one at a time.

Alternatively I can take one of those reference circles, extrude it by 0.941", add a 118 cone on the end (total length of 1", if I've done the math right) and an 82 cone on the other, join the three, polar duplicate the result, and then start subtracting the holes from the disk - again, one at a time. 

I suppose I could start by making a simple block, duplicating it, using the hole feature tool on the duplicate with the appropriate geometry, and then subtracting this from the original block.  This should give the same resulting solid as the cylinder-plus-two-cones method which I can then polar duplicate, etc., but whether it's faster or easier I don't know...

If I want to make these 1/4"-20 threaded holes - and actually show the threads - it's even less fun (though in some ways easier as I can download IGES models of the screws from McMaster-Carr, then import these into TCAD).  But actually adding threads - male or female - to a feature seems to really slow things down, so I generally leave them out...

Is there a better way to create a multi-hole bolt circle on a part - threaded or not?  I'd love to be able to polar duplicate a hole, but this doesn't appear to be possible.  I've made things that needed dozens of holes, and that one-at-a-time clicking gets pretty tedious (and error-prone on a crowded drawing)...

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* October 06, 2018, 05:53:44 PM
Hi Khillig,
I don't know any way to do circular drill hole patterns other than the way you have described. If all you want are simple holes then the hole tool can do that.

Linear patterns can be copied. After making the hole, setting the drill point and threading it, enable the gripper and select it using the select deep tool. Hold down the option key and using the gripper arrow drag out a copy, in the data window set the distance and number of copies then return.



* October 06, 2018, 08:14:09 PM
I was afraid that would be the answer :( - but it looks like making a dummy part, duplicating it, putting a hole in the dupe and then subtracting isn't bad for making an anti-hole that can be copied and subtracted where needed.  Making holed with correct drill point geometry is a pain, and the point angle can't be specified when the hole is made, I've had to go into the Entities pane and edit each hole feature one at a time to do this.  :P

Interesting that this can be done for linear hole arrays - but I rarely need them, seems like 90% of my work is round...

Time for another feature request?

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