You can use Pro/ENGINEER parameters as Mechanica material properties, certain load and constraint values, design variables, or measures. This functionality enables you to do the following:
Define material properties in such a way that Mechanica can vary individual characteristics of the material—for instance, Young's modulus or mass density—during a design study
Vary Pro/ENGINEER dimensional parameters as part of a design study
Use Pro/ENGINEER parameters as the limits or goals of an optimization study
You can also use Pro/ENGINEER parameters to define the thickness of simple shells or the stiffness properties of simple springs.
Before addressing the specific issues that you need to consider when creating Pro/ENGINEER parameters for use in Mechanica, let us take a moment to review some basic concepts.
In Pro/ENGINEER, you can control many aspects of part design through the use of parameters. Parameters enable you to set particular values for a dimension, drive the value of one dimension based on the behavior of another dimension, dynamically suppress features based on changes in the part, and so forth.
You can define Pro/ENGINEER parameters in the following two ways:
Through the Tools>Relations command in Pro/ENGINEER — In this case, the value of the resulting parameter depends on other values, and can change as those values change. For example, if you define parameter1 as equal to d0 using the Relations command, Pro/ENGINEER ties the value of parameter1 to d0 as a symbolic variable and does not record d0's current value. Thus, if you later change the value of d0, parameter1 changes along with d0.
Parameters created through the Relations command are sometimes known as driven—or dependent—parameters because they are controlled by the equation you define.
Through the Tools>Parameters command in Pro/ENGINEER — In this case, the resulting parameter is a symbolic constant—in other words, a single, unchanging value. For example, if you define parameter1 as equal to d0 using the Parameters command, Pro/ENGINEER determines the current value of d0 and records parameter1 as equaling that value. Even if you later change the value of d0, the value of parameter1 does not change.
Parameters created through the Parameters command are sometimes known as driving—or independent—parameters because they are capable of controlling activity.
If a conflict occurs, bear in mind that parameters created through the Tools>Relations command override parameters created through the Parameters command.
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