The IDX Variable Constraint System provides variational sketching in AutoCAD®. It uses parametric 2D associative geometric and dimensional constraints.
Variational sketching allows you to enjoy greater control and productivity, empowering creativity. You will get more done, create part families faster, incorporate red-line changes more quickly, and have the flexibility to evaluate different designs with ease.
Note that the VCS runs in the basic AutoCAD product and is not supported for use with AutoCAD Architecture, Mechanical, MEP, AutoCAD LT®, or other versions at this time. It is not designed for mixed environments where round-tripping of files (to other platforms such as Inventor or Mechanical for further editing and having them return with constraints intact) is essential.
The Variable Constraint System provides variational sketching functionality within AutoCAD. It enables geometric or dimensional constraints to be applied that control relationships between drawn objects. Those relationships may be parametrically-driven and include values, variables, or mathematical formulas in relation to other variables. For example, relationships can dictate that two lines remain connected at their vertices; that a line is tangent to circle; that an object remains at a fixed angle to another object; or that circle A remains three times the size of circle B.
More specifically, constraints may be applied to unbound lines, circles, ellipses, arcs, splines, points, and specific geometries in two dimensions, or a two-dimensional subspace of three dimensions. It manages distance and angular dimensions that are attached to a variable, whereupon the variable may be a value or formula.
A fully constrained drawing can then be quickly modified to create several variations. By changing one element, or variable value, the entire drawing may change based upon the constraints applied which enforce the design intent. It is extremely useful for creating families of parts; using mirror images for parts that are updated automatically to mate perfectly with the first part upon changes; or for rapidly achieving design intent; enforcing design rules; or quickly updating entire drawings after red-line comments require changes.
The IDX Variable Constraint System enables:
Sketching and drafting productivity — quickly draw an object, automatically apply constraints, and then adjust the constraints to force dimensions and geometries.
Variational sketching, revision productivity — rapidly modify constrained objects, maintaining all rules for proportionality, centering, etc.
Creating intelligent behavior — e.g., easily control how a linkage moves.
Drawing profiles for 3D extractions — fully adjust 2D drawings used as a basis for building 3D models.
Developing entire part families — automatically have parts drawn in different sizes and configurations by changing parameters.
Bi-directional Parametric or Formulaic Variable-Driven Dimensions — dimensions may be driven by values or variables. Variable dimensions may include formulas based on other associated object dimensions.