Once upon a time, if you were going to design a building, you would have to work out every detail in materials and layout by hand. With computers, of course, most design is now done using computer-aided design, also known as CAD. This process is still mostly top-down, with a human manually creating the building’s layout. This is hardly the best way to use computers to design something, since one should be able to program the rules and allow the software to do design work.
Indeed, that’s the very definition of parametric modeling. With parametric modeling, pre-programmed rules, or parameters, guide the creation of the 3D CAD digital model. This way, the model, or at least elements of the model, are generated using rules and internal logic. Some rules will be obvious and invariable; for example, the walls must start at the floor and reach the ceiling. Other rules will be variable, such as window placement. It’s even possible to create a balance between number and size of windows and lighting fixtures in a room to create just the right level of lighting. This associativity creating a direct relationship among parts, assemblies, and drawings is a key characteristic of parametric modeling.
Without parametric modeling capabilities, standardization is more difficult, design modifications require more work, and a high level of detail is difficult to develop and maintain. This is why Fibrebond is proud to use parametric modeling, employing a hybrid Top-Down and Bottom-Up approach. Top-Down is used to create a control sketch for a standardized but modifiable structural design, while Bottom-Up is used to model custom components assembled according to the customer’s unique needs.
The parametric model and drawing set are created through a design process between our in-house designers and third-party drafting service. This allows us to clearly, reliably and efficiently communicate with our customers, approval agencies and production personnel and quickly respond to changing needs and schedules. We can provide our customers with electronic files in 2D, 3D and BIM, with better representation of the product in all these formats. Moreover, we can provide an engineered-to-order product that is high quality, affordable and quickly delivered.
Parametric modeling, using dimensions and properties to define and modify the 3D CAD model, gives us the ability to produce flexible designs, and existing design model data can be reused to create new designs—meaning we’re not reinventing the wheel. We use this approach because we want to integrate better with downstream application and reduced engineering cycle time, and we aim for a quick design turnaround and increased efficiency.