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Rooftop Tent Designed with ZW3D: Ideal Chilling Spot in the New Normal

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Rooftop Tent Designed with ZW3D: Ideal Chilling Spot in the New Normal

ZWSchool 2021-10-14 14:58:00

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, our lives have been changing on many different levels, including the way we spend our holidays. Nowadays, it is safer to stay in open places, preferably outdoors, in contact with nature and our dear ones.
So, this makes camping a great idea! And what if you could take your camping tent literally on your car and decide where to go? Even better! Well, Alan Bat, an Argentinian Mechanical Engineering major with a passion for 3D modeling, is sharing his experience of modeling a rooftop tent with ZW3D.


My name is Alan Bat and I am currently a student at UTN (The National Technological University), Buenos Aires. Previously, I’ve shared my ZW3D story.
This time, I modeled a GeaTectum™ rooftop tent made in Argentina. At the end of this article, you will see how it unfolds in the 3D environment and real life. Please keep on reading!

Figure 1. The model of a GeaTectum™ rooftop tent in ZW3D

Figure 1. The model of a GeaTectum™ rooftop tent in ZW3D

Part 1-Main Body
To model the tent, I started sketching with appropriate dimensions.

Figure 2. The sketch with appropriate dimensions

Figure 2. The sketch with appropriate dimensions

After that, all I needed to do was to extrude the sketch and then make it hollow using the Shell command. Then, to finish it, I did some other sketches for the windows and added some fillets.
By the way, the commands I used are highlighted in the Ribbon menu, for example, Sketch, Extrude, Fillet, and Shell for the model below.

Figure 3. The extruded and hollowed model of the rooftop tent
Figure 3. The extruded and hollowed model of the rooftop tent

Part 2-Roof Cover
As for the roof cover, I extruded a line and expanded it in the Offset section of the command. Then, I added some flanges using the Sheet Metal Ribbon, specifically the command, Full Flange. Finally, I mirrored the geometry. Let me show you the whole process in detail.
To extrude the line, I used a reference sketch with the tent dimensions.

Figure 4. The line to be extruded for the roof cover
Figure 4. The line to be extruded for the roof cover

Now, to make a solid out of an extruded line, it is important to have the Offset option selected (in this case, to shrink or expand our extrusion), otherwise, the outcome would be just a surface.

Figure 5. Extruding the line for the roof cover
Figure 5. Extruding the line for the roof cover

Next, I used the command, Face Offset (please do not confuse it with the abovementioned Offset option in the Extrude command) and selected a random value just to make the outer face of the solid pass beyond the XZ plane (it will be trimmed later).

Figure 6. Using Face Offset to make the outer face of the solid pass beyond the XZ plane
Figure 6. Using Face Offset to make the outer face of the solid pass beyond the XZ plane

Then, I added two flanges by using the Full Flange command in the Sheet Metal Ribbon and picking the two exterior edges.

Figure 7. Adding two flanges alongside the two exterior edges
Figure 7. Adding two flanges alongside the two exterior edges

Here, you can see the trimming I have mentioned before.

Figure 8. Trimming the solid
Figure 8. Trimming the solid

Finally, I mirrored the geometry, also using the XZ plane as the reference.

Figure 9. Mirroring the geometry with the XZ plane as the reference
Figure 9. Mirroring the geometry with the XZ plane as the reference

Below is the final result!

Figure 10. The final roof cover model
Figure 10. The final roof cover model

Part 3-Realistic Visuals
To make your models look more realistic, I strongly recommend using the Texture Map command of the Visualize Ribbon. It will definitely help your models look really handsome!
To add a texture, just select the command and choose any picture in your computer for the File name option. Then, for the Face and Image Size options, select where you want the image to be displayed and adjust the size.

Figure 11. Make the model look more realistic with Texture Map
Figure 11. Make the model look more realistic with Texture Map

Part 4-Assembly Animation
Now the design of the main body of the tent and its roof has been finished. As for the floor mechanism and ladder that are shown below, I will be sharing some ideas of modeling and assembling them next time, please stay tuned!

Figure 12. The model of the floor mechanism
Figure 12. The model of the floor mechanism

Figure 13. The model of the ladder
Figure 13. The model of the ladder

Until then, let me show you how the floor mechanism works now! Unlike the tent’s cloth, its components are rigid, so we can animate them. Here, I’ve prepared a tutorial video of how to make the animation of an assembly in ZW3D.

And to conclude, here you can see the real tent deployment.

I hope you all find these tips useful for creating your own models with ZW3D!


 If you’d also like to share your ZW3D story, feel free to join the Facebook ZW3D User Group.
(Images and videos courtesy of Alan Bat)

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