Family Tables in MicroStation

Parameter Set in MicroStation:

Parameter Set Table contains various parameter values of a given Feature Solid grouped in individual set. These set of values further used to generate unique feature cells as a placement Instance of a given family member. Parameter Set table proves to be handy when user has to place multiple solid models with typical change in size. Following example gives the brief idea of using Parameter set Table in MicroStation.

1.       Create a New 3D DGN File, lets save it as ‘Family.dgn’.

2.       Create Primitive Feature Solid...for example create a Slab of Length = 5 units, Width = 3 units and Height = 1 unit.



3.       Open ‘Feature Modeling Global Variables’ dialog Box (Tools > Feature Solids > Feature Modeling Primary > Feature Modeling Variables).

4.       Create Global Variables (Refer To ‘3D Design Modeling’ Help Topics namely ‘Variables and Equations’ and ‘Variable Driven Modeling’) Global_L, Global_W and Global_H having values set to 2, 5 and 3 respectively.


5.       Assign these global variables to given Feature solid (Slab) parameters. To do this select given feature solid and Right click on its manipulation handle. Further use option ‘Modify’ from the popup menu. ‘Edit Slab’ dialog box can also be opened by using Tool ‘Modify Parametric Solid or Feature’ (Tools > Feature Solids > Modify Feature > Modify Solid Or Feature). You will find three local variables that are associated to the given Feature solid; these are _SLAB1_Length_, _SLAB1_Width_ and _SLAB1_Height_.


6.       Inside ‘Edit Slab’ dialog box, use Equation button (Calculator icon) available in front of each Parameter and assign respective Global variable to it. You could do this by double clicking the respective global variable name available in the popup list.


 Note : User could also form the simple equation by keying in Text and Numbers for e.g.  5 + 1.8 * (Global_W + Global_H) / 2.  At this point, user is accessible to vast Mathematical capabilities that have been provided by MicroStation. To keep this example simple, I have equated only respective Global variable to individual Local variable. i.e.

_SLAB1_Length_ = Global_L

_SLAB1_Width_ = Global_W

_SLAB1_Height_ = Global_H


After the assignment, Parameters appear in Gray (read-only) format in Edit Slab dialog box.


7.       Press Ok to complete the assignment. You will observe the Shape of Feature Solid changed to the value… Length = 2 units, Width = 5 units and Height = 3 units


8.       Next prepare Parameter Sets Table (Tools > Feature Solids > Feature Modeling Primary > Parameter Set Table). To begin with, try to fill the values as it has given below.

Note: The <empty> value set to any Parameter is capable of accepting values at the Runtime OR at the time of placement.



9.       Save and close this file.

10.   Open any other 3D DGN file where you would like to place the members (parts) of the family.

11.   Detach any cell file that it has already attached.

12.   Use ‘Place Feature Cell’ Tool (Tools > Feature Solids > Modify Feature > Place Feature Cell) and Browse to cell file ‘Family.dgn’.

13.   Select any parameter set, lets pick ‘Part3’, the Parameter values defined inside it (Global_L = 2 units, Global_W = 3 units and Global_H = 5 units) will be used for the placement Solid.

Note: Check Extended setting to see the Parameter value defined for that specific Parameter set.

14.   Give Data button click on Design area to place this instance of a Family member (Part).

15.   Check Placement of ‘Part5’, where you can change any  parameter value before placement (Global_L = 5 units, Global_W = 5 units and Global_H = 1 units )

More blogs are coming up so be there....