Distance of cells by variable

 For  a first glimpse into Dimension Driven Design: 

I need to place cells at a distance that can be changed through a variable:


Use the functions under Tools>Parametrics



  1. I like to set a Coordinate System (in the Coordinate Dialog RightMouseClick>Reset to Global)   and to hav the ACS Triad visible - Ctrl+F (SaveSettings)
  2. The size of the Constraint Symbols is dependent on the currently set texstsize
  3. Rotate the view - for sake of ease - into Top View
  4. Set the View to Wireframe (maybe set Settings>Colortable - Background Black)



  1. Draw a staight line that shows the direction of the desired distance
  2. Put a Fix Angle Constraint on to this  line
  3. Place two points
  4. Constrain the points "Constrain Point On" to the line
  5. Constrain the first point as a "Fix Point"
  6. Dimension the distance of the Points
  7. Write a Text for the Name of your Distance Variable
  8. Constrain the Variable to the dimension


Place the Cells now or copy a existing (feature) cell

  • Attach the Cells to the constraint points


At Last you may want to test the distance changing the variable


Try yourself with attached example files


More Videos (3 hrs) about Dimension Driven Design can be found under:


For a first impressions you may want to look into e.g # 19 ff or # 08 ff before you Start learning from scratch starting with video # 01


If you need 3D parametric cells - even driven by a table of values (parameter set) :
There some interesting parametric cells delivered with the example Projects - e.g. a  ladder that can be set by variables - delivered with in the cell libraries MicroStations "Examples|Plant". Those are build as "Feature Cells": Use the function "Place Feature Cell" in  the Feature Modeling Tasks. To learn how they work go into the help and check out the chapter Working with feature cells .
You can take any Standard catalog and create your parametric cells easily.



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