Mechanical drawing is one of the skills necessary for mechanical engineering.
As a mechanical engineering student, you will learn and practice the art of drawing.
However, you may still have some lingering questions about how much you will draw in your career.
Follow along to find out!
Most mechanical engineers should know how to draw technical drawings, also known as mechanical drawings.
However, it may be crucial for mechanical engineers working in design and development.
These drawings define, organize, and illustrate a machine or device’s layout, parts, features, and processes.
Today, mechanical engineers create mechanical drawings via software programs.
However, it is still a great idea to know how to draw manually.
Most mechanical engineers need to visualize a project before being able to design it on a computer.
Hand drafting allows them to sketch ideas, which they can later design via software.
Likewise, drawing by hand allows them to conceptualize parts or processes without adding them to their design.
Learn more: Do Mechanical Engineers Make Phones?
Many people think of engineering as a purely logical or mathematical domain.
While it is heavy on these elements, it also involves creativity and innovation.
Similar to how architects need to visualize a floor plan before designing a house, mechanical engineers need to think about how a product will look and run.
Ultimately, this can help them understand where to place parts and how to achieve the desired processes as well as product dimensions, materials, and other fine details.
Additionally, these technical drawings serve as ways to communicate cross-team.
On a product development team, there are other roles aside from engineers.
And some team members may not understand engineering language.
When a mechanical engineer draws a picture, others can easily visualize and obtain accurate information about the intended product.
Likewise, engineers or team members who speak other languages will be able to understand the project.
Most companies and organizations rely on state-of-the-art software for designs, which may make you wonder why manual drawing is still relevant.
Manual drawing is essential for a few reasons:
- Showcasing Expertise: Manual drawing showcases expertise, experience, and skill. Perfecting the art of manual drawing is an asset, especially if you are presenting design work to company management, clients, or investors.
- Drafting: You may prefer to draft by hand because it is easier and less time-consuming than preparing on a computer. It may also be ideal when you brainstorm with peers and management. You can quickly draw up sketches, and people can weigh in immediately.
- Failing Software: Technical difficulties should never hinder your work. Grabbing a pencil and paper can allow you to get ahead despite any problems with software or digital equipment.
When people think about drawing, they might think it is easy.
However, technical drawing requires understanding engineering concepts, how machines work, and intense thought about how a machine could look and run.
Additionally, engineering degrees and measurements need to be precise.
Therefore, engineering drawing is complicated.
Furthermore, today’s engineers must also be proficient in two types of drawing or design: manual and digital.
You may not be a natural, talented artist, but this should not deter you from following a mechanical engineering path.
There are many ways you can improve your drawing throughout your studies or even during your career:
- Practice Different Views: Isometric and orthographic views are the most popular drawings in engineering. Isometric focuses on 3-D, while orthographic provides a 2-D depiction of a 3-D object. Two options for focusing on finer details are the cut-out view, allowing you to slice your product, and the detail view, offering up-close views of smaller parts.
- Include Dimensions of Critical Features: Some novice engineers go overboard with including dimensions. It is only crucial to write dimensions of critical, measurable features.
- Only Offer One of a Duplicate: If there are layers in the project that are precisely the same, only provide a view of one of these layers. Providing duplicates only makes the complete project harder to understand.
- Obtain the Right Drawing Instruments: A ruler and a protractor can help you learn how to draw precise lines. Many engineers learn to draw visually straight lines from scratch, but you may only obtain this skill after sufficient practice.
- Practice Drawing Everyday Devices and Machines: Get in the habit of drawing everyday devices and machines you can find around your house, classroom, and work environment. You could also take it one step further and think about how the design engineer drew the original mechanical drawing.
- Get Feedback: Feedback from professors, professionals, and peers can be incredibly helpful in improving your drawing skills. You may experience feedback during your engineering career, leading to revisions and optimizations.
Mechanical engineering can master designs in a few ways:
- Practice: You can never get enough practice. Training can only help you improve your skills. You may not see a difference right away, but your skills will grow sharper over time.
- Incorporate Feedback: Feedback is an essential tool in improving any skill. If you incorporate suggestions into your work, you can see serious results quickly.
- Take a Course: Enrolling in a course focused on developing mechanical drawing or design skills can make a difference. You may find a class at your own college or discover a few online.
- Watch Online Tutorials: Online video tutorials are a great way to learn from experts.
There are plenty of free online courses, tutorials, and guides available to assist you.
A few of the most popular are:
We’ve also compiled a list of the best YouTube channels for engineering drawing.
It is an excellent idea to practice or take courses to develop valuable mechanical engineering skills.
Apart from mechanical drawing, the most sought-after skills are:
- CAD software skills
- FEA software skills
- Project management
- 3-D modeling
- Communication skills
It is a great idea to develop your mechanical drawing skills as a mechanical engineer.
Depending on your job position, you may use your design skills every day, or you may only draw on them from time to time.
Becoming a master of this art will undoubtedly pay off long term.