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  1. I recently tried designing a safe deck myself and found it quite interesting. I did my design in ZWCAD, but the logic behind the design process should apply to all kinds of CAD software. If you're interested in designing one yourself, feel free to download the sample drawings here . Okay, here's how to design a safe deck. Step 1. Prepare a plan of your house and its surroundings. Then, decide where to locate the deck and the basic shape of it, based on the plan. Step 2. Outline the shape of the safe deck, which will be the base of your design. At this stage, your top consideration should be practicality. For example, if the ground were noticeably uneven, consider designing a multi-level deck. Step 3. Draw the dividing lines on the deck to represent the placement of the wood. And don't forget to add dimensions to your design. For those who also use ZWCAD, you can use the Super Hatch function to texturize the deck with realistic wood images, to make it easier to read. Step 4. Create the layout of the supporting pillars. You should allow for the moving load on the deck, which means the distance between two pillars is usually about 3 to 4 meters. In ZWCAD, you can quickly place the pillars with the Array function - first, select the pillar as the basic object, then set the distances on the X and Y axes. Step 5. Design the elevation, which is mainly to show the height differences of the deck and its railings. Note that the deck should be lower than the house floor to prevent water from flowing back into the house during rainy days. As for the railings, the height is suggested to be 1 meter. Step 6. Insert your title block in the layout space to display the necessary information, such as materials and size. Then, decide the paper size for printing out the layout. In this case, I think A3 is just fine. With the printed layout, now you can contact your local contractors and discuss it with them. That's the whole process of designing a safe deck!
  2. I recently learned some tricks on drawing and exporting an electronic system diagram, which has been really helpful in saving my time. So I thought it'd be nice to share with you guys. I did my drawing on ZWCAD, as I recently switched from AutoCAD to it for a lower cost. If you also use ZWCAD, feel free to comment below. Tip 1 - Use Block Attribute to create a customized component library for easy reuse Step 1. Start the Tool Palette through [Tools] and click [Tool Palette Window] or use the shortcut command [Ctrl+3] on the menu bar. Step 2. Select the required component block on the current drawing, then hold down the left mouse button, drag it to the tool palette and release it. After that, the block will be added to the Tool Palette. Tip 2 - Use ZWCAD Smart Plot to output multiple electronic diagrams all at once Step 1. Open the drawing to be printed, click [File] in the toolbar, and then click [Smart Batch Plot]. Step 2. Select the printing device and choose a [Frame Style] in the pop-up dialog box. Step 3. Click [Select batch drawings], and select the drawings to be printed. Step 4. Click [Highlight], and finally click [Plot].
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