What are Engineering Drawings

Engineering graphics uses standards for layout, sheet size, line type, text size, symbols, and view projections to create drawings that can only be interpreted one way. While common drawings can serve many purposes and have many meanings, technical drawings include additional details to make sure they clearly and concisely communicate intent. Engineering drawings are the tool needed to turn an idea into something physical for manufacturing, inspection or purchasing.

Alphabet of lines

Alphabet of lines refers to line types in drafting. ANSI Standard Y14.2M covers line type and convention specific to mechanical drawings. Lines on a drawing have specific meanings and are meant to convey information about the object represented. Below are common lines used:

Visible lines: Continuous lines that represent visible edges of an object

Hidden lines: Short narrow dashed lines that represent hidden features

Dimension lines: Thin lines used in dimensioning to show extent and direction of dimension

Extension lines: Indicate the ends of a dimension

Center-lines: Thin, short and long alternating dashes that represent axes of symmetry

Orthographic Projection

Objects are first examined to find which views best conveys the information required to create the part. This is key when creating a concise and complete drawing without unnecessary information that requires more time to process. Once the Front view is established, orthographic projections are used to represent a 3-dimensional object onto a 2-dimensional drawing. Third Angle Projection is standard in the United States while Europe and Asia opt for First Angle Projection.

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