Quick tutorial on how to make metal looking patterns in Illustrator using the Pattern creator. Simple to create, easy to use.
Start with a circle, fill it with a dark color.
Duplicate the circle, then create another duplicate just off from the first.
Use the Pathfinder to Minus Front the two circle to create a wedge. Color the wedge lighter and place it on the first circle.
Select the circle and the highlight. Open the Pattern Panel under the Window Menu. Click on the cheese grate (drop down menu) and select Make Pattern
This will create a pattern and put it in the Swatches Panel for later use.
The Pattern will show up as a center element that you can adjust or change size, then the see how the pattern looks with the other elements around it.
From the Pattern Type in the Pattern Panel, choose the alignment of the pattern.
Create a shape and fill the shape with the new pattern that is in the swatch panel.
This one I put a darker box behind to make it look like a drain grate.
To create a screen, start with a square.
Create a copy of the square then duplicate the square off to the side a bit. Use the Pathfinder to Minus Front the two circle to create a sliver. Color the sliver lighter and place it on the square circle.
This gives the look of a highlight. Then select the shapes and using the Pattern Panel, turn it into a pattern.
Create a shape and fill it with the patter and it now looks like a screen.
The this is a metal fence look. Draw a line.
Use the Effects menu > Distort>Zig Zag. Set the settings to smooth and one "lump".
Then choose Object > Path > Outline Stroke.
Duplicate the squiggle and then create another copy of it. Offset them and use the Pathfinder to Minus Front the two circle to create a higlight. Color the highlight lighter and place it on the first squiggle.
Copy the set then turn them so they are perpendicular to each other. Select both and turn it into a pattern.
Fill a shape with the new pattern.
To edit any pattern, simply double click on the pattern in the swatch panel and make any adjustments. It will then change the look of the places where the patterns were applied.