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Re: parametric and analytical geometry

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  • Subject: [mg132702] Re: parametric and analytical geometry
  • From: Chris Carlson <carlson at>
  • Date: Fri, 9 May 2014 02:05:47 -0400 (EDT)
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On May 8, 2014, at 3:08 AM, Jim S. Lim < at> wrote:

> hi all,
> i am an architect and a newbie too mathematica. i wish to build a program
> related to parametric  geometrical design (2 dimensional floor plans) and
> parametric geometrical optimization.
> a few questions pops up and will just write them randomly as i think of
> one.
> 1. is there a way to draw vectors in mathematica the way we draw in
> autocad--meaning by more intuitive freehand mouse and visually drawing it
> instead of inputting formulas and nos. and rules? say, i want a quick
> drawing of a house, it's more intuitive to draw vector lines using mouse.

There are tools for interactive drawing, but they are rudimentary compared to a program like AutoCad.  I'd be interested in your feedback if you try using them to sketch houses.

> 2. how do i export vector drawings into mathematica from Autocad( dwg or
> dxf) ?

Mathematica will import dxf as well as a number of other 2D and 3D formats.

> 3. how do i measure areas and lengths of segments or radius of curves of
> the elements of the imported vector drawings?

It is not difficult to implement a palette that will do this, but it is not built-in.

> 4. If i don't import the file/drawing,  can mathematica "read" Autocad
> drawings?

Do you mean access a drawing by communicating with Autocad?  No, although that functionality could probably be implemented.

> 5. as mentioned,  I'm a newbie to mathematica and thought i should embark
> on this project by improving my proficiency in analytical geometry first as
> a starting point.
> I wish to use mathematica to learn and self-study about analytical
> geometry, is this possible and if so,  can mathematica "Teach" me?

For learning and exploring geometry, Mathematica can hardly be beat.  It's the best way I know of to get your hands on abstract concepts and work with them.  Alfred Gray's Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces explores many topics relevant to modern architectural design and comes with a complete set of notebooks.  Pottmann's Architectural Geometry would be a lot of fun to explore with Mathematica.

> any other suggestions as on how best to approach my 'project goals' are
> welcome and thanks in advance for your assistance!
> Jim

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