The word ‘parametric’ is from mathematics. It is from the word ‘parameter’ which also means variable. In mathematics, parametrics is used to manipulate the result of an equation just by altering the variables in the given equation. Likewise in design, a model can be formed through altering the variables, input, and output. Such design is called a parametric design, and the model created with the design is called a parametric model. Parametric design is used in different fields or professions including; jewelry making, Engineering, arts, and graphic design, etc. Here we will discuss its application to furniture making.
With parametric design, simplicity can be achieved as it is easy to have different models of the same object without making different versions of the object. For example, if someone wants to make a chair, but three categories of people want to sit on the chair. Let’s say a toddler, a teenager and a fat adult who wouldn’t fit into just any size of a chair. The maker doesn’t have to make three different models of the chair. Instead, he can make one model and use an input value or parameter to vary the size of the model, and that is it for three chairs.
When we say an object is parametric, the dimension of the object can change the shape of the object that is being modeled. Once the value of the dimension is altered, the shape of the object is also changed.
What is parametric modeling?
Parametric modeling is a design modeling process that can change the shape and size of an object just by altering the value of the dimension.
Parametric modeling can be used to designed objects, or even systems so that the components of the model will look exactly like it will be in real-life form. In parametric modeling, the attributes of the system are manipulated using surface modeling, solid modeling, and feature-based modeling. Before, changing dimensions of a model was not easy for designers. For instance, if a designer wants to modify a cylinder, he has to change the height of the cylinder and the diameter of the circular faces. That sounds easy, what about a more complex shape or object with tens of dimensions? The ease that parametric design has brought surfaces here. If the designer changes just one of the parameters, the whole shape gets adjusted automatically. Parametric design has brought simplicity to the modeling of shapes so that objects or components that are defined.
Parametric models are products of a set(s) of mathematics equations. There are two major types of parametric models. This classification is based on their formation processes.
Constructive Solid Geometry
Constructive solid geometry is referred to as a model that is formed from the combination of basic (plane) shapes and synthesized shapes (e.g cones, cubes, pyramids, etc. ). This combination constructs model (objects) using Boolean (true or false) operations.
In Boundary Representation, solid objects are formed by defining the boundaries of the model. The boundaries can include edges, points, nodes, etc. The object is finally formed by joining the boundaries. This modeling gives room for the internal meshing of the object’s volume to be easily modified.
Why Parametric Design?
With parametric design, it is easy to produce flexible models for the intended object
It can view objects from a different perspective
The quick turnaround of designed models enhances the efficiency of the design.
It provides the luxury to create new designs from the data of an existing design.
Parametric Style of Furniture
Parametric style of furniture is achieved by applying the principles of parametric design and modeling to furniture making. Designers get inspirations from different sources to make design for parametric furniture. The source of inspiration results in different types of parametric furniture.
Organic: These are furniture styles that are inspired by nature itself. It is unarguable that nature provides us with beautiful designs. Seeing what nature offers us, a lot of designers that specialize in parametric style love to derive inspirations from the shapes, styles and patterns that are found in nature.