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Even though I found parametric feature is useful, I haven’t seen AutoCAD users use it intensively. My guess is because it’s too complicated for 2D drawings. I’m quite familiar with parametric features in Inventor. But I don’t think it would be useful in AutoCAD drawings.
Why not many people are using parametric design in AutoCAD?
1. Too complex
Although if you were working in mechanical design, creating parametric 2D drawing is very complicated. In Inventor we create simple sketches and constraint it, then create a feature from it. Then we create another sketch, constraint it, then create another feature. Most of the sketches are simple enough.
Sample image: parametric sketch in Inventor
This is how we draw in AutoCAD. Can you imagine how complex it would be, if we give constraint to the geometries?
We don’t draw everything in 2D then constraint the geometries. That would be too complex.
2. Only limited in 2D
If we can use it for 3D design, it would be great. But no, we can’t use parametric design in 3D. Only limited to 2D.
3. Only work for current model space
I was thinking if I can create user parameters then create simple sketches. Then I can create blocks, and use the parameters in my drawing. But again, I was stuck. I found that when I edit my block in block editor, I will not see my user parameter that I created in my drawing. I only able to use parameter in my model space. Not in my block, not even in my layout. There is no shared parameters here.
So when will parametric design be useful in AutoCAD?
Let’s think about where parametric design will work best:
- It has to be simple.
- Parametric design is very useful if we need to change dimension regularly. Either in design process or we use the drawing repeatedly.
If creating a parametric drawing consume more time than creating a regular drawing, then just forget about it. It may not worth the time you spent. So my best bet is to use it in block. We can use it when dynamic block can’t achieve what we want.
Open the file, select the block, then click the arrow near the window. You can change the window size using the arrow. You may want to experiment by adding more values in the table, from block editor.
This block is quite simple. If you want to try to create your own, you can try this tutorial we published here.
Do you create parametric design regularly?
I wonder if anyone has been using constraints in AutoCAD regularly. How do you use it? Do you find it useful? Will you share with us here?