Arrays are used to swiftly copy and arrange objects based on certain rules. In ZWCAD 2022, both the integrity and efficiency of the Array function have been greatly improved: you could now create three kinds of arrays (Path/Rectangular/Polar) and they are associative.
Of course, there are more tips on using Array to boost your design productivity, keep reading!
Make Arrays Follow Your Path
Previously, arrays can only be created in rectangular or polar patterns. But now, you can copy objects along a custom path (line, polyline, spline, circle, etc.), that is, create a path array. If the path changes, the disposition of array items will change accordingly.
To do that, first, click the Path Array button under the Home tab in the Ribbon menu, or input ARRAYPATH in the command line; next, select the objects to array and an object as a path; then, adjust the array by specifying options like method (Divide for distributing the array items equidistantly along the path or Measure for distributing them at specific intervals), base point, etc.; finally, complete the array.
Figure 1. Path array
Adjust Arrays Efficiently with Grips and Accurately with Panels
You might have noticed that dragging the grips on the path array will increase or decrease the number of items automatically. This is called Grip Editing, which is very useful and flexible. Simply by moving your mouse and dragging the grip, you could change the quantity, spacing, angle, etc. of array items conveniently.
Figure 2. Grip editing
What you might be thinking is that although Grip Editing is convenient, sometimes accuracy is required. For example, if we are to set a precise interval value or create 30 rows of array items, dragging the grip doesn’t seem like a good idea.
So, how to make arrays accurate? One of the answers is the contextual panel. When you click the associative array, this contextual panel will appear on the Ribbon menu. With this panel, most of the array properties, such as the column number, row number, and spacing can be set. If you prefer the Classic interface, just click the array to invoke the Properties panel where you can do the same things.
Figure 3. Perform more accurate operations in the contextual panel
Edit One Source, Replace All Items
As mentioned at the beginning, you could create associative arrays in ZWCAD now. It means that the time of having to delete the flawed array and recreating another one is gone. Now that the powerful Edit Source function is available, when one of the array items is edited, the rest of them will be updated correspondingly.
One way is by clicking the Edit Source button under the Array tab in the Ribbon menu, choosing and modifying the source object, and finally, clicking the Save Changes or Close Array button. Another way is illustrated below: input ARRAYEDIT, select an array, enter the Source option, edit the source object, input ARRAYCLOSE, and finally, click Yes to save changes. As you can see, the whole array will be updated according to the modified source object.
Figure 4. Edit Source
Apart from replacing all items at once, you could also replace just one or multiple items in the array with the Replace Items function.
Figure 5. Replace one or multiple array items
As you can tell, the Associative Array feature is indeed an efficiency booster, especially for interior designers, landscape designers, etc. Feel free to start your 30-day trial of ZWCAD 2022 and share your impression of it in the Facebook ZWCAD User Group!