A technical drawing is required for software engineering

Technical drawing

Definition: technical drawing

The term "technical drawing" refers to any drawing that shows how a particular object works or how it is constructed. In contrast to artistic drawings, which can be interpreted in different ways, technical drawings are intended to convey information as objectively and clearly as possible. They function as a kind of universal language for engineers. As a project progresses, they tend to become more complete and detailed. Technical drawings can be made in the form of blueprints and diagrams. They can also include sketches and 2D and 3D models that represent the appearance of the finished object.

What a technical drawing contains

A technical drawing has two main areas: a drawing area and a title block. The title block includes the following information:

  • Name of the company or agency that created the technical sketch
  • Company or agency address
  • Names of the people who drew, reviewed, and approved the technical illustration
  • The project name
  • Purpose of the technical drawing (construction drawing or technical documentation)
  • The revision number if the construction drawing has been revised several times
  • The scale that indicates the ratio of the actual size of the object to the size on the technical drawing

On the other hand, the drawing area usually includes the front, side and top views of the technical sketch object. It can also show exploded views that show how an item is assembled. Technical illustrations can also be made manually on paper, but production with CAD programs (Computer-Aided Design) is now standard. In this way, several copies of the technical drawing can be printed out or passed on electronically.

Types of technical drawings

Mechanical engineering drawing: The mechanical engineering drawing represents an object and its individual components exactly using mathematical equations. It also serves as an aid to identify weak points in the mechanical construction of an object.

Architectural drawings: Architectural drawings are extremely detailed plans used by construction professionals to construct buildings and all structures. They help the architects turn a design idea into a proposal and determine the type of materials and labor that will be required for the project.

Electrical drawing: Electrical drawings are technical documents that represent and illustrate designs for electrical systems. They are used by workers to install power systems or to repair electrical wiring in a building. To avoid errors and mix-ups, each component and each type of connection has its own special symbol.

Technical drawings can also be used to keep operating instructions as language-neutral as possible. You'll find more about it here.

The advantages of technical drawings

Engineering drawings are the preferred design method in all engineering fields. Among other things, they offer the following advantages:

Shorter manufacturing and reproduction times: A technical drawing is meticulously drawn according to industry-wide standards in terms of layout, line width, symbols, text size, dimensions and more. This means that an engineer can understand them without further explanation. This minimizes the back and forth communication between teams and allows the production team to manufacture the product faster.

Consistent product quality: An accurate construction drawing enables you to manufacture and reproduce products of consistent quality. Because there is detailed technical documentation that every employee follows, you can always expect the same results.

You save budget: There are many ways in which you can make budget good by using an engineering drawing. The technical documentation enables the engineers to communicate smoothly, which reduces production delays. This also saves costs associated with inferior products.

Procedure for creating technical drawings

There are many approaches to creating an engineering drawing. The steps vary depending on the project requirements. Careful planning is very important to avoid delays. You should also create a guide or storyboard. Here are the basic steps for creating an engineering drawing:

Design sketch: A design sketch is the first level of detail in your idea. This is important for an engineer to prototype the product. It also allows him to explore different designs and material alternatives. The design sketch must contain the following elements:

  • Visual aesthetic that gives a clear understanding of what the product should look like
  • Materials and surfaces of the product and its components
  • General dimensions of the product
  • Description of the main functionalities, which provides information on how the parts are connected to one another or how the product should work

Didactic concept for the illustrations: In this step, you can discuss with an engineer which technical illustrations are actually needed or where the overviews should be used. The order and arrangement of illustrations and technical drawings provide the viewer with structural or functional information.

Preparation of the CAD models: This is where the CAD data for the product and its components are documented and finalized. The following information is provided:

  • 3D view: With CAD software you can visualize the product in any orientation.
  • Assembly: With the help of CAD models, you can visualize where the components are and how they are connected to one another.
  • Simulation: A very useful and powerful aspect of CAD models is the ability to run virtual simulations. You can check the performance of a component under load, the effects of temperature or the dynamics of liquids and gases, and much more.

Processing of the full surface illustrations: After the CAD models have been created, they can be exported from the CAD program. The subsequent processing can also take place in the vector-based graphics programs.

Creation and completion of the individual technical drawings: The final step involves creating technical illustrations for each component. The construction drawings are then completed by adding the graphic elements, symbols and item numbers. Then you can print them from all possible data sources in the desired quality.

Conclusion

An engineering drawing should contain enough detailed instructions so that someone who was not involved in the design process can correctly manufacture the product. Depending on the project needs, it may be better to use professional illustrators for the design process.

Johannes Greipl is Head of Design in Munich. His team includes specialists for all questions about brands and their visual design: from creative design and brand guidance to sustainable packaging concepts, packaging design and adaptations in series production.

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