ZWCAD Helps A 79-year-old Volunteer Design Automated Watering System

August 04, 2016     ZWCAD ZWSOFT CAD 2017


Jim Duthie is a 79 year old designer in Australia. He used to work for Ford Motor Co. in 2000 as a Logistics and Packaging Engineer to assist the Barra Launch. He was required to design, manufacture and he has introduced over 50 packaging designs to satisfy Ford operational and OH&S requirements. After he retired in 2007, he volunteered his services to the community and continued to design works for the community.


The 79-year-old volunteer Jim Duthie


This time he is asked by Hampton Park Uniting Church to design a sprinkler system for the community garden. This community garden is to improve people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education. Jim was a volunteer of the Hampton Park Community Renewal group. When the church decided to use part of their ground to develop a community garden and show people how to grow their own food, he was asked to join their committee and make it happen. Since its introduction the church provides a free lunch every Thursday for members of the community who are in financial distress. They also run raffles and other activities to provide funds for what they do to aid others.


The need for an automated watering system here was driven by the need to provide regular water supply to the plants in the garden. During the summer with many garden plot owners not having the time to water their plots and also their summer holidays (as much as 3 weeks or more away at Christmas time) their plants would brown or die in the hot Australian sun.


Logo of Hampton Park Community Garden


Design with ZWCAD

Jim became one of the very first CAD users in the world when designers began to go paperless decades ago, and prior to ZWCAD, he has used 6 to 7 other CADs. When he first tried out ZWCAD in 2013, he was amazed to find that ZWCAD was among the very few that ran on his computer without the image lines flickering while maintaining a seamless compatibility to mainstream CAD software.

With his previous experience using ZWCAD, Jim felt it would be an ideal choice for his needs. So he immediately reached out to see if ZWCAD might be able to help, and we were happy to answer the call as part of the effort.



Jim and his work partner were required to identify the requirements, establish the equipment required, estimate their costs, detail the amount of work for installation and produce drawings of the irrigation system. However, when they were examining the garden, they found that the areas to be irrigated were not that clear, so they needed to identify which areas required irrigation and which did not.



Layout of the garden with annotations


During their preparation, Jim and his partner measured the garden and wrote down all necessary dimensions before they drew the layout. Leveraging ZWCAD, they were allowed to draw lines and different shapes quickly and mark them with distinguishable colors. Also, in order to better illustrate, they annotated every object with texts and specific dimensions. Jim found ZWCAD familiar to use, as a 79-year-old new user, he didn’t have to learn the software again from scratch.



Real scene of the garden plots


Compared to other CAD software he tried out, “ZWCAD is one of the best, if it’s not the best CAD that I have ever used.” Jim found. “Summing up ZWCAD is the only CAD software which has the speed, adaptability and capability of AutoCAD which as a user met all requirements at a fraction of the cost. Thank goodness there is an affordable professional CAD program now available for not only users like myself but for businesses that need this software.”



Real scene of the garden plots



Despite the fact that the original garden layout was done with no consideration towards future irrigation, with ZWCAD, Jim was able to quickly analyze the layout and measure out the proper place to build the sprinkler system. The project is not complete yet, but the church has received funds for the purchase of two water tanks and is going to purchase these and install them. Jim and his team members are preparing the list of all parts for the system before the installation.


To learn more about the incredible work of Jim and what the amazing people at Hampton Park Community Garden are doing, visit their website.





Alan Ou

+86-20-38289780 ext.: 520

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