Why engineers should be implementing parametric modelling

When parametric technology was first introduced, it revolutionised the CAD industry. It changed the way that engineers were able to develop 3D models, as well as the way they made amends to drawings. Here’s why we think engineers should be utilising it more.

What is parametric modelling?

Parametric modelling (also known as parametric design) is an approach to 3D CAD that involves using constraints and features to capture design features. This then allows users to automate certain elements of the design, particularly repetitive changes.

This leads to the creation of a digital model based on a number of parameters (which are usually computer-generated rules or algorithms). This process boasts a number of benefits as it can help to resolve a number of issues from the structural to the material.

This works by establishing relationships between different elements of the design. For example, a rule can be devised to ensure that the walls of a building must begin at floor level and reach the underside of the ceiling. If any alterations are made later to the floor-to-ceiling height, the walls will adjust automatically to suit the design.

What are the benefits of parametric modelling?

When it comes to modernising the construction industry, we must focus on automation and technology. While a number of roles in the sector have traditionally been thought of as quite manual, there are now lots of tools available to us to utilise, in order to remove some of the manual efforts.

Parametric modelling is one of these tools. Building intelligence into models provides a lot of power and helps to automate the whole process. This means that if you’re to change the design of a model or a certain aspect of it, parametric design allows for automatic updates so that engineers aren’t having to constantly tweak the whole thing.

By increasing the efficiency of your operations, it’s almost always a given that you’re therefore increasing your profits by saving on costs too. While with parametric modelling there may be a large upfront cost to its implementation, the automation abilities will then save money in the long run.

Another benefit for parametric design is that all the tools are cloud-based. This means the entire project can be remotely accessed by everyone on the team, allowing them to make adjustments, comments or add new information as necessary.

Parametric modelling is especially useful if you’re working on non-conforming piece of infrastructure, such as a bridge or a building that’s irregularly shaped. The technology affords engineers flexibility, and helps the design team to create magnificent buildings without worrying about whether or not the aesthetics will work alongside being structurally sound.

This technology has led to several curving, non-rectilinear creations in the last couple of decades. For example, the Beijing National Stadium used specialist parametric modelling software to develop a bowl geometry inspired by the Chinese-style 'crazed pottery.'


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