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parametric modeling

Using the computer to design objects by modeling their components with real-world behaviors and attributes. Typically specialized for either mechanical design or building design, a parametric modeler is aware of the characteristics of components and the interactions between them. It maintains consistent relationships between elements as the model is manipulated. For example, in a parametric building modeler, if the pitch of the roof is changed, the walls automatically follow the revised roof line. A parametric mechanical modeler would ensure that two holes are always one inch apart or that one hole is always offset two inches from the edge or that one element is always half the size of another.

Parametric modeler software also provides tabular views of the components (parts list, door schedule, window schedule, etc.) and maintains their association with other views of the model. If a component is edited graphically, the list is updated; if a component is edited on the list, the graphic views are updated. See parametric symbol.

Using Parametric Modeling
The door in this room has been "locked" to four feet from the right wall. When the wall is dragged to the right to make the room larger, the door maintains its relationship with the wall. This screen shot is in Autodesk Revit, the first parametric building modeler to tie together all component views and annotations parametrically for the A/E/C industry. In addition, the program maintains automatic interaction between graphic and schedule views (note door schedule at right). If either one is changed, its counterpart is updated. (Screen shot courtesy of Audodesk, Inc.,

parametric symbol

A drawing of a common architectural, mechanical or electronic element that contains parameters about its characteristics. With parametric symbols, the designer as well as the software are able to deal with the object as a real-world entity rather than just lines and polygons.

A Parametric Symbol
The parameters (end of screw, head, etc.) shown in the middle-left part of this dialog from IMSI's parametric symbol library refer to the currently selected hexagon screw. (Image courtesy of IMSI,

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