I'm trying something fancier.. hopefully it will be clear from the screen-shot.. linear and circular patterns work. now, however, I'd like to spiral the cuts. first try isn't working.. it gave me an error at one point, but I didn't comprehend it, and it hasn't shown up again.
partial solution: I tried the following (somewhat lame, it gave me no sound?) tutorial and this time it worked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9xSMBdqcr4 . two things I've learned: the first one.. is rather trivial but irks me for some reason. a helix can't be created from an existing sketch, you have to create a fresh sketch just for it. this seems.. wasteful of time and effort, particularly considering the second thing I've learned: in order for the curve driven pattern to work, the helical path -must- be on the surface to which the object to be patterned is to be normal... so the question would become, why is solidworks built this way. is there a reason for it, or is it just an oversight? :-)