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How to design a deckTuesday, June 15, 2010
I run the Introduction to Mechanical Design (MEAM101) course at Penn, where I teach students how to capture their ideas using a program called SolidWorks. So, when faced with the task of designing a new deck, it didn't take too long before I decided to go way overboard and create a full three dimensional CAD model of the back of the house and the new deck.

As you can see here, the stairs of the deck are moving to the side nearest the back door from the kitchen, and the stairs down to the basement entrance have switched sides. We're not sure yet what shape the patio at the base of the deck stairs will be, but we're quite certain that it will be made natural-cleft Pennsylvania Bluestone, while the deck with be made from Brazilian Ipe.

Was spending 30 hours to model this in SolidWorks overkill? Yes. Was it useful? Absolutely!

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