This is a post by Emma Rudeck on the Concurrent Engineering Site.
Where do you stand on the parametric vs. direct modelling debate? For some design engineers, the openness and flexibility of direct modelling makes it the ideal design tool. Others, however, prefer the control that comes with using a parametric approach.
For many, the value of direct modelling is the ability to capture and record new geometry quickly, without having to worry about constraints associated with parametric modelling. On the other hand, by using parametric modelling technology, users are able to capture full design intent with the features and constraints that make it possible to automate repetitive changes.