# Parametrics: Dimensional Constraints for 2011

## Parametrics: Dimensional Constraints for 2011

__Parametrics: Dimensional Constraints for 2011__

The geometry in AutoCAD has always driven the dimensions. We draw a line the correct length and then dimension the line. What if you could drive the geometry from the dimensions? You change the value of the dimension and the geometry automatically updates! That is exactly what we have in AutoCAD 2011.

You’ll find the dimensional constraints located in the center of the Parametrics tab. You can also use the DIMCONSTRAINT command. Here you will find the familiar types of dimensions, but these dimensions are able to drive our geometry. For example, you can dimension a circle with the Radius option and later control that value. You’ll want to use Dimensional Constraints on geometry you want to be able to easily change or on geometry you want to constrain to a specific size. If the distance between two holes needs to always be 3mm, constraining it dimensionally will force that distance regardless of what happens to the rest of the geometry.

__TIP:__You can convert a traditional dimension to the new constrained dimension with the DIMCONSTRAINT command.

A lock icon displays to help you visually distinguish a constrained dimension from a traditional dimension. Their size is zoom-invariant (easily readable no matter how far in or out you zoom) and geometrically constrained dimensions don not plot. You’ll notice that each is assigned a name such as D1 and Ang1. These names are completely customizable and expressions can be set to be dependent on other values as well.

AutoCAD 2011 lets you select existing dimensional constraints to insert the constraint name (you Autodesk Inventor users will appreciate that). Dynamic dimensions that reference another parameter have a prefix of “fx”.

You can easily edit a dimensional constraint with a double click on the dimension text or by changing the value in the Parameters Manager. You can rename the constraints in that fashion as well.

**Shauna Charles**- Number of posts : 53

Location : Trinidad

Job/hobbies : AutoCAD Technician / Lecturer

Registration date : 2008-03-19

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