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How to Hatch Efficiently in ZWCAD

July 20, 2012

The Hatchcommand is one of the most commonly used drawing commands in CAD software. It’s particularly used in mechanical, construction, and decorative design. Take ZWCAD for instance, I’ll introduce some useful tips about the Hatch command.

Similar floors and ceilings shown in below picture can be easily spotted in our working offices or living spaces.

Figure 1

Looking at the picture and you will find that both the floor and ceiling are formed with materials of the same shape and area. So, is there any way to design them in a rapid way? How can we arrange them so they will use the least amount of materials? In ZWCAD, the answers can be found with the help of Hatch command. Let’s first take a look at the hatch dialog box to understand the properties. Then I’ll introduce some hatch tips by explaining the laying design of floor bricks.

Figure 2

a. In Type and Pattern, you can specify the minimum display units for hatching. ZWCAD provides around 100 hatch patterns for you to choose from. You can also download PAT files from the Internet on your own. I’m going to use the regular square hatch pattern, and have specific requirements for the size of the minimum display unit. In the Type dropdown list, select Custom. The default lines are horizontal lines or vertical lines which depend on the hatch angles.

b. In Angle and Scale, set the Angle to 0, and tick the Double check box. In Swatch, you’ll see the minimum display unit is square now.

c. Tick Dynamic Preview to preview the hatch result.

d. Suppose the floor brick is 30*30, then the Scale needs to be set to 30. Please notice that in reality, there are spaces between each brick, but it’s not counted here.

e. Specifying different hatch origins can show different results.

Finish the settings as above, and perform hatch to object below.

Figure 3

The right object is hatched with 30*30 squares. Each square indicates a brick. Because the hatch origin is unspecified, some bricks are segmented. This is unacceptable in actual construction. Although we can reuse the left segmentations, it’s still uncertain whether they can be ultimately used in other places. Roughly 42 pieces of bricks are needed.

Specify point B as the hatch origin, the result would be different, as illustrated in Figure 4.

Figure 4

By specifying hatch origin, the bricks along AB and BC lines are not segmented. As a result, we can save half of bricks. In the meanwhile, the hatch result is more beautiful. This is a hatch tip which can be used in decorative design.

As a design software, ZWCAD can be applied in various industries. Just like the hatch tips I’ve introduced, you can also find many other useful tips in your practical work to boost work efficiency and make work enjoyable.

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