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Optimizing ZWCAD 2009 Design Capabilities in Designing 3D Buildings

January 21, 2010

By T. M. Musa Zakaria
I began using ZWCAD 2009 immediately after I downloaded it from the ZWCAD website in January. I found that ZWCAD 2009 has many accessible 3D utilities. Here are the ones I am using:

 

Solids
I used solids like boxes, spheres, and cylinders to draw walls, door frames and panels, window frames, panels, and glass. I modified boxes by slicing them with cylinders to create curved plane shapes.

 

Solid Editing
I used the Union command to join two or more of the same or different shapes. With Subtract, I subtracted (cut) one shape from others. To make two shapes that were supposed to intersect each another, I used Intersect to keep the intersected part in place. I also used Separate to throw away the remaining parts that had been subtracted or cut.

 

Materials
ZWCAD provides the very important ability to apply materials to 3D objects. I easily made new materials using ZWCAD's Material Assignment: I imported the bitmap picture of real materials to be used in my design. I attached all materials to my design using the Attach by Layers options.

 

DVIEW
I used DVIEW to set perspective views of my model. At first, I was rather confused in trying to use this command, because ZWCAD doesn't show the on-screen result – even when the camera window appeared to set the camera positions. I then used text input mode (instead of the camera window dialog). I used 'Select All' (all objects to be set to perspective view), then set only two parameters: Zoom and Distance. I still was not satisfied, because what I saw on the screen was only the paralleled projection of the objects – not a perspective projection. After I tried to render the view, I got what I want! What else, I saw the Render to File feature of the Render Setting panel. It gave me the best result as a JPG file. I find that it was very nice rendered with colorful materials and natural-looking shadows!

 

I am really satisfied using ZWCAD, especially the 3D parts of it. The reason why I made my design completely with full 3D is that so that the mass of all of the materials (building components) in the design can be calculated. At the very least, the result can be used to calculate the building construction costs. This is based on my own method, and is used as training material at the Tutorial Center Institution in Depok and Jakarta, where I work as a CAD instructor.

 

I have written up this method in “Optimalisasi Kemampuan Desain CAD Dalam Merancang Arsitektur Bangunan 3D” – or “Optimizing the Capabilities of CAD in Designing 3D Building Architecture”, which is distributed locally to participants in our CAD training classes.

 

About the Author
T. M. Musa Zakaria is not only an architect, but also a CAD instructor at a Tutorial Center Institution: LP3-JBS in Jakarta, Indonesia. For more information, please contact him at
musazakaria@plasa.com.

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