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Parametric Objects in Blender


window.jpgYorik van Havre is a freelance architect from São Paulo, Brazil, who does more than 80% of his work with Blender. He uses it for both perspectives/presentations and for concepts and project design. We wrote about Yorik's 'Urban Design with Blender' tutorial last April, and today he shows us how to achieve parametric modeling in Blender.

Yorik writes:

If you happen to paste this title in google, your first result will probably say "Blender is not and will never be a parametric modeller.

[...]it came to my mind that Blender has two very useful tools that can be used to give graphically parameters to objects: shapekeys and armature. And with python scripting there is also all that is needed to make them communicate.

For example I would create a door object, give it "width", "frame thickness", "door type" and "opening angle" parameters, and I would have a kind of door block I could use everywhere in my model, but each one with different values for the parameters.

To resume a bit, in Blender, a parametric object would be an object you can modify without entering editmode."

The result is a demonstration of five techniques which can be used to 'parametrise' objects such as windows, doors, staircases and curtain walls. Really nice stuff! Check out the full article on his site.

To see more of Yorik's work, visit his gallery.

Oh, and I also dig his Blender theme ;^)

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Fabulous stuff! As somebody else engaged in using Blender in architecture, it was pretty inspiring to see the amount of time and thought Yorik has put into it. Its also interesting to see somebody using the aesthetics of architectural presentation rather animation in Blender - slightly different approach.

    I think Blender has a lot of potential for parametric design just by virtue of its object-oriented scripting approach. With a few small tweaks (most of which Yorik mentions in his tutorial), Blender could become a very strong parametric modelling tool. I would love to be able to model in Python, the node editor and the 3D window simultaneously, with everything updating on demand.

  2. WOW!
    Thanks, Yorik.
    Really helpfull stuff here. It will help me damn much, as I am an architectural student.
    Also visited your gallery. It makes me admire we have such a blenderhead here ))

  3. Thanks for the kind comments... Sorry about my website's poor performance... I have 1Gb daily access quota, and it got swallowed today in about 2 hours... So many blenderaddicts...

  4. Hi Yorik,

    I am quite interested in the live dimensioning tool you have developed. I have downloaded the .blend, but unfortunately when i move the armature bone the text object does not update itself.

    do i have to set up/enable some kind of scriptlink?

  5. edit: sorry for pestering you, Yorik, I got it to work. i was looking in the wrong part of the blender interface to enable scriptlinks. many thanks.

  6. Wonderful work. This is exactly what I've been looking for as I tend to over-complicate things when referring to thickness of frames and sills and such. These are wonderful examples! Have you considered doing any video tutorials to explain your thought process? I really do enjoy how simple you make it seem. Keep it up.

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