MicroStation CONNECT Edition Help

Variables Dialog

Used to create and manage variables and variations for the active model.

You can access this dialog from the following:
  • Ribbon: Drawing > Constraints > Dimensional
  • Ribbon: Modeling > Constraints > Dimensional
SettingDescription
New


Adds a new local variable or variation.

Duplicate Selection


Makes a copy of the selected local variable or variation.
Delete


Deletes the selected local variable or variation.
Note: Item type variables are removed from Item Type > Remove.
Move Up


Moves the selected local variable or variation up one position in this dialog's hierarchy. For variables, this controls the order in which they appear in the Properties dialog. For variations, this controls the order in which they appear in lists of variations such as that found in the Place Parametric Cell tool.
Move Down


Moves the selected local variable or variation down one position in this dialog's hierarchy. For variables, this controls the order in which they appear in the Properties dialog. For variations, this controls the order in which they appear in lists of variations such as that found in the Place Parametric Cell tool.
Apply variable values to model


Applies the variable values of the selected variation to the active model’s variable values.
Item Type Lists the available Item type libraries and item types which are populated from the Item Types dialog.
Properties The Properties section displays the properties of the objects selected in the left-hand side of the dialog.
Properties > Item Type Variable Name Displays the properties of the selected item type variable, set in the Item Types dialog.
Properties > Variables Displays the currently active values of all variables.
Properties > Variable Definition Displays the following parameters of the selected local variable:
  • Type - The type of the selected variable. The following types are supported for modeling :
    • Distance - A length quantity, defined in linear working units and displayed as specified in the Design File Settings dialog, Working Units category.
    • Angle - An angular quantity, defined in degrees and displayed as specified in the Design File Settings dialog, Working Units category.
    • Number - A unit-less floating point quantity, such as a scale factor.
    • Integer - A unit-less integer quantity.
    • True/False - A boolean value which can have the value “true” or “false”. Variables of this type can be used to control conditional expressions.
    • Area - An area defined in square of length and displayed using same units as used in Distance.
    • Text - A text string.
    Note: A variable's type controls the types of constraints and properties with which it can be associated. For example, all variables of type Angle will be available in the drop-down list when defining a radius constraint.
  • Expression - Allows you to use equations to calculate the value of the variable. Expressions may use other variables, conditional statements, arithmetic operations, and various arithmetic and trigonometric functions. The value of a calculated variable cannot be directly edited, but its value will update to reflect changes made to the values of variables referenced within the expression.

    Consider, for example, a simple slab that always has its width as 0.5 times its length, and its height as 0.75 times its width. Then Expressions could be created as follows:

    When, Length=5; then, Width=0.5*Length and Height=0.75*Width

    In this case, the variables would have to be created in the order Length, Width, and Height, as each includes a reference to the previously defined variable. You cannot create an equation that references a nonexistent variable, or which directly or indirectly references the variable to which the equation is assigned. With the above variables applied to the dimensions of the slab, only the value of Length is readily editable, but this would cause changes to the Width and Height also.

  • Scope - Controls whether the value of the variable can be edited when the model is placed as a parametric cell.
    • Instance - A The value of the variable can be edited during or after placement as a parametric cell. For example, when modeling a pipe it would make sense to set the scope of a "Length" variable to Instance as individual pipes tend to differ in length.
    • Definition - The value of the variable cannot be edited during or after placement as a parametric cell. For example, when modeling a pipe you may wish to define several variations such as "2-inch diameter pipe", "4-inch diameter pipe", etc. In this case it would make sense to set the scope of the "Diameter" property to Definition since pipes tend to come in fixed diameters.
  • Display - Controls the visibility of the variable when the model is placed as a parametric cell. Typically, intermediate variables which are used to generate geometry but are not considered useful outward properties of the object being modeled should be set as Hidden.
    • Visible - The variable will be visible in the Place Parametric Cell tool settings, and in the Properties dialog when the placed cell is selected.
    • Hidden - The variable will be hidden in the Place Parametric Cell tool settings, and in the Properties dialog when the placed cell is selected.
Properties > Variation Displays the description and variable values for the selected variation. You can put any desired description text for the selected variation.
Pop-up menu for Local Variables Right-clicking a local variable opens a pop-up menu with following choices:
  • Rename - Allows you to key in a new name for the selected local variable.
  • Duplicate - Makes a duplicate Copy of the selected local variable.
  • Remap References - Substitute another variable for this one wherever it is used in expressions or associated to constraints or properties.
  • Delete - Deletes the selected local variable.
Pop-up Menu for Variations Right-clicking a variation opens a pop-up menu with following choices:
  • Apply to Model - Applies the variable values of the selected variation set to the model in drawing.
  • Rename - Allows you to key in a new name for the selected variation.
  • Duplicate - Makes a duplicate Copy of the selected variation.
  • Delete - Deletes the selected variation.
File > Import

Opens the Import Variables dialog to import information about variables and variations from a .csv file produced either by exporting into the active model or from the old Feature Cells into the active model.

File > Export Opens the Export Variables dialog to export information about variables and variations from the active model to a .csv file.
Key-in: DIALOG VARIABLES TOGGLE
Note: If you try to delete a variable that has been referenced in an element, Confirm Delete dialog opens. You can choose to remap the reference to another available variable, as below:
If (None) is selected (default), you will lose all the references to that variable.