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A graphical language used by engineers and other technical personnel associated with the engineering profession. The purpose of engineering drawing is to convey graphically the ideas and information necessary for the construction or analysis of machines, structures, or systems. See Computer graphics, Drafting, Schematic drawing
The basis for much engineering drawing is orthographic representation (projection). Objects are depicted by front, top, side, auxiliary, or oblique views, or combinations of these. The complexity of an object determines the number of views shown. At times, pictorial views are shown. See Pictorial drawing
Engineering drawings often include such features as various types of lines, dimensions, lettered notes, sectional views, and symbols. They may be in the form of carefully planned and checked mechanical drawings, or they may be freehand sketches. Usually a sketch precedes the mechanical drawing.
Many objects have complicated interior details which cannot be clearly shown by means of front, top, side, or pictorial views. Section views enable the engineer or detailer to show the interior detail in such cases. Features of section drawings are cutting-plane symbols, which show where imaginary cutting planes are passed to produce the sections, and section-lining (sometimes called cross-hatching), which appears in the section view on all portions that have been in contact with the cutting plane.
In addition to describing the shape of objects, many drawings must show dimensions, so that workers can build the structure or fabricate parts that will fit together. This is accomplished by placing the required values (measurements) along dimension lines (usually outside the outlines of the object) and by giving additional information in the form of notes which are referenced to the parts in question by angled lines called leaders.
Layout drawings of different types are used in different manufacturing fields for various purposes. One is the plant layout drawing, in which the outline of the building, work areas, aisles, and individual items of equipment are all drawn to scale. Another type of layout, or preliminary assembly, drawing is the design layout, which establishes the position and clearance of parts of an assembly.
A set of working drawings usually includes detail drawings of all parts and an assembly drawing of the complete unit. Assembly drawings vary somewhat in character according to their use, as design assemblies or layouts; working drawing assemblies; general assemblies; installation assemblies; and check assemblies.
Schematic or diagrammatic drawings make use of standard symbols which indicate the direction of flow. In piping and electrical schematic diagrams, symbols are used. The fixtures or components are not labeled in most schematics because the readers usually know what the symbols represent. See Schematic drawing
Structural drawings include design and working drawings for structures such as building, bridges, dams, tanks, and highways. Such drawings form the basis of legal contracts. Structural drawings embody the same principles as do other engineering drawings, but use terminology and dimensioning techiques different from thoses shown in previous illustrations.