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Superhatch Tip - Create your own hatch pattern in 4 easy steps

I was asked to look over a drawing the other day that utilised a complex repeating pattern, and it got me thinking as to whether there was a simpler way to create and use a hatch pattern. The original drawing made use of an xref'd pattern of a fixed size that was then copied and clipped to suit each location. This worked, but was a little cumbersome to use. This got me wondering whether you could utilise MINSERT instead, so I tried it, and it worked!

Attach an example drawing. To create your own superhatch you do the following:
  1. Create a BLOCK of the desired pattern.
  2. Use BOUNDARY to create a polyline boundary of the area you want to apply your pattern to.
  3. Use MINSERT to create the a repeating pattern that covers the area you want to apply it to.
  4. Use XCLIP to clip the pattern by selecting the  previously created boundary.
Seems to work quite well, and allows you to create patterns with much greater freedom and complexity than a traditional hatch.

Thanks to Damian Harkin for sending me the drawing that kicked me off.


Jason Bourhill

CAD Concepts 


  • I think this is a ripping idea even if it was by a Kiwi!  Apparently Kiwi's can think about something other than rugby.

    But it gets better!  In V16 we have associative arrays, eg ARRAYRECT.  By using ARRAYRECT instead of a MINSERT, we can easily vary the row and column spacing of a pattern that uses a repeated symbol or shape, even after we place it.   Surprising that Jason didn't mention this.
  • By Hoki your right! I didn't expect XCLIP to work on an associative array, but it does!!

    MINSERT also gives you the option to change spacing, column numbers etc from the property bar. This method should also work with earlier versions

    With ARRAYRECT & ARRAYPOLAR you get more flexibility if the source object isn't a block, as ARRAYEDIT allows you to quickly edit the source elements. With ARRAYEDITEXT you can manipulate or even delete individual elements.

    I've updated my original drawing to include these options. I haven't tried, but it would be interesting to try using an image as the source element.

    I think ARRAYPATH should give similar options to those wanting to create more complex linetypes.


    Jason Bourhill

    CAD Concepts 



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Origami is the Japanese word for paper folding. ORI means to fold and KAMI means paper and involves the creation of paper forms usually entirely by folding.

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