Knurling/Pattern not Rendering or won't pattern well

I have some cylinders in my model that I projected a rectangle on to. I then extruded it, and filleted the outer edges. I then tried to use the pattern tool to have it repeat around the cylinder. Each time I tried it would take for ever to render, if it rendered at all.

I then tried using the rotate/copy tool, I made one more, then 4, then 8. I selected them all and unioned them. Then rotate/copied that group of and and so on. It was a disaster.

So then I tried doing it like it was shown in another answer, where instead of repeating the object, but to pattern the sketch around, then project it.

I’ve tried that here, you can see it in the video

When I do this, you can see the projections are way off, and all different sizes.

I’m pulling whats left of my hair out. I’ve been messing with this for two days!

Hi oceanthrsty!
The Project tool projects the selected elements from a given point, if the target face is a cylinder it will distort the projection along the curve.
If I understand your problem correctly there is a workaround for that, but there are easier ways to create a knurling: