Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Case for Using Project Parameters

Project Parameters are most effective when the information stored with them has no direct geometric impact on the families and categories they are associated with. For example if you expect the information to alter a family's size it can't be a Project Parameter, it needs to be part of the family itself.

One example of a Project Parameter could be the horsepower rating for a motor. A family might get larger when its designed to provide more horsepower but that value alone seldom drives a specific dimension. A manufacturer will provide dimensional parameters for that and HP (horsepower) usually happens to increase as the capacity and physical size of the motor increases.

With this in mind, we can create a Project Parameter for horsepower it can be applied to one or several categories, such as, Mechanical Equipment, Electrical Equipment, Generic Model and others. Every family that we load into our project and belongs to one of those categories will inherit that parameter without first having to edit any families to add it manually. The project adds it to each family that is loaded for us. If we edit a family, apart from the project, the parameter doesn't exist.

This is a benefit but it also has a cost. All loaded Mechanical Equipment, for example, will inherit the parameter (Horsepower for example) even if it is irrelevant to some of the mechanical equipment families. Generally the benefit outweighs the cost though.

A Project Parameter can be created isolated within a project or based on a Shared Parameter. Shared Parameters are like definitions stored in a dictionary. The Shared Parameter file (dictionary) provides a common single location to store parameter definitions we are likely to reuse. That means Project Parameters (and Family Parameters) can be created from a Shared Parameter (definition) stored in the dictionary (shared parameter file) or just created and stored in an individual project.

Whenever we want to create a parameter in families and/or projects AND apply a tag to display the same parameter value and/or include it within a schedule we must create and use a Shared Parameter. If you'd like to read older posts about parameters check out my SUMMARY POST.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Biggest advantage of using Project Parameters(Not the Shared Pro.Par.) for non geometry driving data entering is that they're Key Schedulable.