Monday, October 19, 2009

Parametric modeling

Parametric modeling

The biggest and initially the most intimidating new feature in AutoCAD 2010 is Parametric Modeling. You may be surprised to find that there is no actual Parametric command. That’s because it’s the name for a new set of tools that allow you to create geometric relationships between objects or restrict the dimensional properties of objects. The two different types of tools are referred to as geometric and dimensional constraints. That doesn’t sound that complicated now does it?

Well before you panic and pull out the old dictionary that you used to use to decipher what Dennis Miller said on Monday night football, relax. We’ll go through the tools and their usage in plain English and before you know it, you’ll see that it’s really not complicated at all.

All of the constraint settings and display options are handled by the Constraint settings dialog box. You can open it with the CONSTRAINTSETTINGS command. We’ll refer back to this command as we cover the different constraint functions and commands.

Another important feature that is used with the constraints are the Constraint Bars, these show which constraints are applied to drawing objects. The CONSTRAINTBAR command effects how the constraint bars are displayed. When constraint bars are displayed, you can pass the cursor over a constraint to view the constraint name and the objects that it affects. You can also control the display of constraint bars with this command or use the Show, Show All, and Hide All options on the Geometric panel of the Parametric ribbon tab.

There is a new Tab on the menu ribbon for the parametric modeling tools called the Parametric tab. This tab is broken down into three panels, each with a different set of tools that you would use for the different constraint functions. Over the next few posts we'll look at each separately.

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