The importance of technical & engineering drawings
Technical & engineering drawing are real clear-cut languages used in the technical and engineering design processes for visualization, communication, and documentation; these are areas where technical & engineering drawing are very important.
As you may know, drawings are graphical representations of objects, shapes and structures that are drawn using either freehand, mechanical, or computer methods.
Generally speaking, any technical or engineering drawing serves as a graphic model or representation of a real object or an idea that existed originally in the mind. Drawings could be abstract, such as the multi-view drawings shown in the figure below.
Figure 1: Multi-view drawing of a journal bearing which is actually a shaft or journal that rotates in a bearing
On the other hand, drawings could be more concrete, such as the computer model shown in the figure below.
Figure 2: A 3-D computer model of the inner part of an automobile
Only knowledgeable and experienced practitioners of technical & engineering drawings can sufficiently interpret the types of lines, know the exact shapes of objects (rectangles, squares, circles, etc.) in figure 1, and have a clear mental picture of how objects would appear in three dimension (3D).
The 3-D computer model in figure 2 can be more easily interpreted and understood because its drawing or graphical details are expressed with different types of lights, colors, shades and shadows.
The projection techniques shown in figures 1 and 2 (in 2D and 3D; on paper and computer screens) took probably a hundred years or more to develop. Actually, it has taken millennia for the techniques of technical & engineering drawing to evolve into what we use today.
We will take a brief look at the importance of technical & engineering drawing in the following areas:
Technical & engineering drawings help in visualization, and problem solving
Technical & engineering drawing is a powerful tool that designers use to enhance their ability to develop greater ideas in the mind, and solve problems. As you may have known, visualization is the ability to produce mental pictures (in the mind) of things that either exist, or don’t exist.
Great designers like Leonardo da Vinci, and Jules Verne had excellent visualization skills that produced countless pictures of objects in their minds, and representations of how they would appear if they were/are moved around mentally—as if hands were used to move the objects around.
Everything in life—computers, cars, great pyramids, rockets, etc.—initially existed, not because of their shape or geometry, but because they were first thought about, pictured, or conceived in the minds of the people who finally constructed or produced them.
Most designers initially get ideas in the mind and sketch them on paper. Sometimes sketches are rough when initially drawn; at later stages sketches are refined with a more professional tone, and into more professional drawing.
Technical & engineering drawings make communication easy during design processes
Technical & engineering drawing is important because it aids communication and easy passage of ideas from one person to another, especially when it’s done without ambiguity and to such an extent that other people can be able to visualize and understand or interpret any design that embraces the basic components and code of practice of technical & engineering drawing.
Imagine how beautiful and clear final designs appear after technical drawing and 3D CAD modelling is used to clarify and refine sketches which were initially drawn as rough ideas from the mind.
Technical & engineering drawings help in documentation
Besides being useful in visualizing ideas and communicating effectively, technical & engineering drawing is important for documentation; and also for both legal and archival purposes. Documentation of drawings is always important for present and future needs so that anyone who comes across such drawing documents may benefit from it in one way or another.