ShapeDiver is an online service which allows 3D designers to upload a special kind of CAD models called parametric models. In a few words, parametric models are interactive 3D models which can be edited by anyone through the use of parameters that were defined by the designer himself.
Traditionally, parametric models are used by designers in order to easily produce multiple design iterations for their work and collaborate with colleagues or clients to explore potential solutions for their projects. They are mostly used in the fields of architectural and product design.
At ShapeDiver, we realized that parametric models could become a very efficient way to build product configurators by using model parameters to define different variations and options of a specific product. Customers are usually not skilled enough to actively take part in the design of a product, but they enjoy the possibility to personalize their purchases and value those items more than mass-produced acquisitions.
In that sense, offering customers the possibilities of parametric design has two advantages:
- taking part in a product's design is done through simple controls (range sliders, text inputs, dropdown lists, colors...) that anyone can understand and use for exploring their options
- the parametric model always live within a CAD system, which means that whichever product variations are chosen by a customer can instantly be exported to a set of files that are ready to be used for manufacturing