Saturday, November 28, 2020

Zipline Platform from Solidworks to Reality

Years ago, I installed a zipline between trees for the kids to play on. Since we didn't want to install a pool or get a trampoline, I decided on a swing between trees and zipline so we'd have outdoor playthings that were completely different from everyone else.

For years we just climbed a step ladder to get onto the zipline, which was ok, but not exactly safe or convenient. 

This year, as part of our home improvement quarantine activities, I finally designed a zipline platform. Having just learned Solidworks in the past year, I whipped up this design in a matter of hours! Here's the model, next to the modeled tree. The bar in the back is a handrail to steady yourself when standing on the platform.

And the assembly drawing:

There's a bill of materials for assembly. The different lengths of lumber of simply different configurations of the 2x4 or 2x3 base part.

We were lucky to have leftover decking and some lumber, but needed to purchase more 2x4s. Here's the cut list for determining how much lumber to buy.

This shopping trip started a Snapchat Home Depot meme for Dova. Apparently none of her girlfriends' moms take them Home Depot. Geez, who's gonna raise the next generation of Rosie the Riveter?! Also, straight 2x4s are are to find!

We call it our big life guard chair. We ended up cutting off 6" off the bottom of the legs because the platform was too high. Then later we decided to raise the starting point of the zipline anyway, so that wasn't necessary. It's secured by to the tree by lag bolts using the extra 36" 2x4s (6th row above) attached to a 2x4 the same width of the tree attached to the stand. 

If we were to do it again, I'd make the steps up to the top at an angle so that it's not as tippy. Usually we have someone stand of the backside to keep it steady, although it does stay put without it.

Here's master builder Doug testing out the platform:

And now that Dova is a teen, it's a big hit with S'mores night in the dark!

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