Mar.22, 2013

Parametric parts give you the flexibility to create a single 3D model for a part family that can be updated to represent multiple part sizes. You simply create a 3D model of the part, and assign variables, or parameters, to control its shape and size. In this way you can define millions of parts through a single model.

Considering how beneficial it is to create pipe network shapes, a team of engineers and programmers started their own Parametric Parts, a web-based platform that allows consumers to customize, download, and print models, and allows designers to create models with a fluent API called CadQuery and make profit with it.

For users, each MasterModel, a script that can generate specific 3d models, has a number of parameters that allows you to control and create the output you want. You can preview the 3d design as you change the parameters. Once you complete your design you can download it locally to print yourself or send it to one of site's 3d printing partners. The file formats are common STL, as well as AMF and STEP for higher quality prints.

For designers it takes bit more time to learn CadQuery to build parametric 3D CAD models. CadQuery, based on FreeCAD, uses a standard programming language, python, and thus can benefit from the associated infrastructure. The learning curve is easier than that of OpenSCAD, said Parametric Products CTO Dave Cowden.

So if designers build script into their models to allow their end users to customize the diameters, size, angle, thickness etc, designers will eventually be able to make more profit by selling a model to more users. And users have a choice to download and configure free models or purchase commercial models.

Parametric Parts offers a free platform for most users. For specific requirement such as large amount of downloads, advanced formats (AMF, STEP) or monetize your models etc you have to pay to become "PowerUser" or "Commerical", "Enterprise" user. The prices are not yet announced.



Posted in 3D Printing Services


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