Posted by Gary R on January 28, 2003 at 08:13:58:
In Reply to: Parametric Design Definition posted by Nick Easton on January 28, 2003 at 07:18:15:
Pro Engineer (or Pro E, as users call it), lead the way in the field of parametric design, a few years ago. It works, basically, by allowing the user to design, not by drawing lines, circles, arcs, etc., but inputting dimensional and other data about what it is they want to design. As this data is entered, drawings in both 2D and 3D are automatically generated from the geometry implied by the data entered.
The same thing is at work, on a simpler and less useful scale, in such toys as 3D Home Architect and its ilk, which will generate a 3D model and rendering from 2D drawings, or vice-versa. At the high end are such professional packages as Chief Architect, SoftPlan, etc., and Autodesk's Revit plugin for Autocad. These cost thousands of dollars, but there are cheaper contenders entering the market that will force the price downwards as they offer the same capabilities for less.
The technology is still in its infancy, but promises to be the future of CAD. One day, architects will design buildings from 3D virtual models and the 2D construction documents will be generated from their models as they work. The technology isn't quite that good, yet, though. There is a big problem with how "intelligent" objects can be. As more manufacturers of building components come on board, though, there will be more solutions available to architects using parametrics. To some extent, it already exists, but there are bugs to work out.
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