What Are the Different Types of Technical Drawings?
Before any serious design, build, or assembly project begins, the technical drawing process ensures engineering plans are laid out according to plan and with exacting precision. Doing so requires knowledge of different types of technical drawings and how each technical drawing is best suited for different projects. You need different types if you’re designing a facility, car gear, or floor joist bracket to mapping landscapes, 3D moulds, or the trademarked contours of a soda bottle.
A comprehensive technical drawing also keeps stakeholders on the same page while ensuring everyone involved in the project works from exactly the same dimensions.
What are the different types of technical drawings? The formats differ greatly from architecture technical drawing and the designs needed for fabricating HVAC systems, doorknobs, or the intricate details of a watch. The following is a brief but comprehensive overview of the different types of technical drawings.
What Is a Technical Drawing?
Fundamentally, a technical drawing is a precise graphical form of communication. As with any form of communication, it is a language, and it's used to depict and convey the necessary components, dimensions, measurements, and material properties of a finished product. Done correctly, a finished technical drawing defines all necessary information for a project's architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC).
Technical drawing communicates ideas through spatial intelligence. This is an innate human faculty, described by Harvard developmental psychologist Howard Gardner as, "the ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately and to perform transformations on those perceptions."
Why Is There a Need for Different Types of Technical Drawing?
Different engineering projects require unique formats and perspectives to convey the necessary information to those tasked with the idea's creation. These needs vary according to the product, from homes and automobiles to sewing patterns, wiring or plumbing schematics, and product fabrication for just about anything under the sun.
What Are the Branches of Technical Drawing?
Technical drawing departs from other graphic illustration skills by foregoing illustrative devices, such as vanishing points, that depict objects from a single point in space. This creates an inexact, estimate-based perspective, where neither dimensions, angles, nor distances can be trusted exactly as depicted.
Most structural drawing, engineering design, and architecture drawing products thus depend on isometric drawing and orthographic projection. This is a perspective that aims to capture every measurable component of an object or space. It aims to eliminate misinterpretation issues that would otherwise occur with dimensional perspectives. To do so, it requires the technical artist to imagine the object(s) being designed from within a geometrical shape, most often a cube. Then they deconstruct it into all views. Sometimes, it only requires one of those views (e.g., a floor plan) to complete the necessary work.
What Are the Basic Types of Technical Drawing?
When drawing even the most complex plans, knowing what basic type of technical drawing to use is vital to keep the technical drawing project cohesive. The general fields of technical drawing include:
- Isometric drawing: These drawings forego vanishing points and single-point perspective. The objects are drawn correctly without regard to dimension and relative sizes. They emphasise correct proportions, even as they depict multiple sides in one view. This sometimes results in a slightly simulated view that mildly distorts angles to maintain exact lengths and other measurements. This may necessitate auxiliary views to show each side as they truly are.
- Orthographic projection: This is a flattened view of a single plane of an object or area. Often suitable for maps and floor plans. Multi-view orthographic projections comprise multiple separate flat views in one drawing. Professionals frequently use these types of technical drawings.
- Structural drawing: The backbone of all major technical projects
- Architectural drawing for ground-up construction
- Engineering design, or engineering drawing, includes multiple layers within a single image. It provides an integrated overview of every interoperating system.
- Working drawings: These depict particular portions of a design during relevant stages of project development.
What Are the Different Types of Technical Drawings?
Technical drawing differs almost entirely from artistic drawings, being concerned with exactitude and development processes. Those wondering what technical drawing is appropriate for their purposes must select the right type of different technical drawing formats to ensure the finished design print will depict all information necessary to create it.
- Structural drawing: Architecture technical drawing requires this type of design. It's where the terms "blueprint" and "whiteprint" come from (though these have been replaced with modern laser printing techniques).
- Technical illustration: These are more stylistic and detailed drawings, using colours, shading, 3D rendering, and other visual elements. These usually are not needed in a technical drawing for engineers but are useful for investors and promotional reasons while still being technically accurate. Technical illustrations often have a real-life setting made with freehand skills, vector graphics, or 3D modelling programs.
- Mechanical drawing: The highly information-dense schematics required by engineers and other specialists to apply the appropriate mechanical equipment and techniques needed to make the design a reality.
- Section view: This depicts cross-sections or single planes of a perspective.
- Assembly drawing: These graphically take a product or device apart, or "dissect" it. As a result, you can see each component individually and as it fits into the wider assembly. Thus, professionals commonly use the term "exploded view" to describe assembly drawings.
- Computer aided design: Programs such as AutoCAD apply designs directly to computer-controlled processes, such as CNC machining and 3D printing.
What Is a Technical Drawing Used For?
Most generally, a technical drawing ensures that the painstaking precision put into a structure or product's design informs the engineering processes needed to create it. Used skilfully, different types of technical drawings will translate directly to the finished item or construction project.
For example, when you can produce prints and related documents efficiently, it's easy to correlate an architecture technical drawing with a list of required components and procedures. Called the finish schedule, this easily converts the design into a list of action steps to coordinate. The construction and engineering teams can use both documents to easily and effectively collaborate and bring the original design to life in full, accurate detail.
Drawing On Inspiration
Today, engineers, architects, and others relying on technical drawing depend on large plotters and large format printers to bridge the divide between idea and reality. To do so, they must increasingly be able to use their plans in both physical and digital forms, thus needing to select between hard copies or .pdf files on demand.
When major architecture, engineering, and construction projects must wrap up as efficiently as possible, you can't depend on subpar technical drawing tools. That includes the printer required for clear, precise, and beautiful rendering of your design. HP is constantly innovating the equipment and techniques that can bring your ideas to life. So contact us today to discuss your printing needs for all of your different types of technical drawings.
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