In SolidWorks assemblies, the word component can refer to either parts or subassemblies at the top level of an assembly. Component patterns can therefore be patterns of parts, subassemblies, or combinations of parts and subassemblies.
For best pattern performance, you should use subassemblies as the patterned unit as much as is practical. Multiple patterns of individual components are not as efficient as a single pattern of multiple components. A single pattern of a single component, where the single component is itself a subassembly, is the best choice, if available.
Another performance issue is the fact that component patterns require external references (for the direction or center of the pattern). These external references have the potential to increase rebuild times if you do not choose them carefully. Reference geometry internal to the assembly would be the best choice.
Although you can experience possible performance problems with patterns, patterns can also significantly decrease the number of mates in an assembly, which always improves performance.
Component patterns come in two varieties: local patterns, which include linear and circular patterns, and feature-driven patterns, which are driven by a feature pattern in ...