The basics of mechanical drafting begin with understanding the concept of orthographic projection. Learning mechanical drawing is similar to learning another language. With a few simple tools and knowledge of views, drawings can be understood and made.
The first item needed is access to a mechanical drawing book. A good technical drawing book will be kept as the reference for a lifetime, and will be referred to as long as a person is in the industry.
The basic drawing tools are simple. An eraser, lead holder, mechanical pencils, or even wooden pencils of the proper lead weights are acceptable. Drawing paper, a tee square and two triangles, one 45 degrees, one 30/60 degrees, a compass and some plastic circle templates are the items a person needs to get started.
Other tools can be acquired as needed. A small drawing board for home use would be useful. A triangular drafting scale with different scales on each face is needed. It is not to be used to draw lines, but for measuring.
Understanding orthographic views is the basic knowledge of engineering drawing. If a person imagines an “L” with thickness, the L as printed would be called the front view. If looked at from the top, it is a bar with a line across the width to identify the upper portion of the L. This is called the top or plan view. From the right side, it is a bar with a line near the bottom to identify the lower portion of the L. This is called the right-side view.
Drawing paper for mechanical drawings is vellum. It is a thin paper so that it can be used to make blueprints. It is tough, and stands up to repeated erasures. In the corner is the title block for such information as the title, scale of the drawing, drafter, checker and date.
With the concept of the “L” layout in mind, the idea is to put it on paper. If the length of the upper leg of the L is 6 inches, the lower leg is 3 inches, and the thickness is 2 inches and the paper is 8.5 x 11, the drawing won’t fit.
If it were drawn half size, it would fit, but wouldn’t leave extra room. A quarter size would work. Draw the upper leg 1.5 inches, the lower leg .75 inches and the thickness at .25 inches. Enter the scale in the title block and draw.
Engineering drawing needs to have dimensions. Extension lines extend to identify features, and then lines with arrows at the end perpendicular to them give the number of the feature. On our “L” the upper leg would be 6, the lower leg 3, and 2 would identify the thickness of the legs and width.
These are the basics of mechanical drawing. Courses and books are available on the subject for more in-depth information.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Engineering Drawing Software
Engineering drawing software, like Auto-CAD or Solid Works, enables engineers and drafters to spend more time creating and innovating mechanical or electrical...
How to Read a Mechanical Drawing
Mechanical drawings are a type of technical illustration that describe the dimensions and features of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects. The level of...
Basic Drafting Tools & Their Uses
A drafter draws blueprints to guide the construction of anything from residential construction to jet aircraft. To draw clean and understandable pictures...
Technical Drawing Exercises
Technical drawing exercises are activities that beginning drafters perform to learn how to produce clear drawings, which are essential to the timely...
Engineering Drawing Tutorials
Engineering drawing tutorials are lessons that move students of engineering drawing closer to becoming professional engineering drafters. These tutorials are presented in...
Online Drafting Tools
Web-based drafting tools are mostly targeted at computer-aided design professionals and budding neophytes to create and exchange drawings with consultants, clientele, friends,...
Mechanical Drawing Exercises
Mechanical drawing generally refers to technical drawings of objects. San Diego State University points out that the idea behind mechanical drawing is...
Mechanical Drawing Tools
Mechanical drawing refers to the process of drawing plans for manufactured goods. Someone who engages in drawing is called a draftsman. Mechanical...
Understanding Construction Drawings
Construction drawings are used to show how a structure should be built. These drawings are created by architects and engineers based on...