How To Improve Your Skill In Using Drafting Supplies | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

800.591.8907 M-F 8-5PM EST

21 Years Serving Customers Like You. Buy With Confidence.

How to improve engineering drawing skills

Blog how to improve engineering drawing skills

Technical drawing is a largely underappreciated skill in many different engineering fields. That’s why you should change your mindset about technical drawing and think about how it can be incorporated. Many engineering jobs are moving toward design work, so you need to think about how you can get the results you need. You might be wondering how you’re going to get those results if your drawing skills aren’t up to par, but you need to be patient. Drawing is a skill. And while natural talent is something that can work to your advantage, many people aren’t going to care if you have it if your drawings are precise. In many cases, hard work and talent supplement each other. Even geniuses need to practice. And the more work you put into your drawing skills, the better off you’ll be.

You also need to take time to practice. Spend a little bit of time each day to draw something. This can be a great way to get started. In fact, some people can spend a few hours a day to work on their drafting skills. Make a schedule for it, so you have a plan each day. Take the time to consider your options and how you’re going to get the practice you need, but you need to push your comfort zone when you practice. Otherwise, you won’t get any better.

Ways You Can Get Better at Technical Drawing

Blog how to improve engineering drawing skills If you don’t have the necessary skills for technical drawing, it will show in your work. Your perspectives won’t look as proportional, and your designs won’t be as consistent. So, here are some ways that you can get better at using drafting supplies for technical drawing:

  • Understand that technical drawing is just as important as freehand drawing— Engineers have a natural tendency to ignore technical drawing, but you should see it for what it is and set aside several hours each week to get better at it.
  • Clean your triangles and drawing board to keep the smudging to a minimum— Smudging the sheet and making your drawings look messy isn’t something you want to do, but you can avoid this problem by cleaning your triangles and drawing board.
  • Cover your triangles with paper scotch tape— Putting paper scotch tape on your triangle and other drafting supplies will keep grime from getting on your drawing sheet, which will reduce smudging. Just remember to change it regularly.
  • Use an HB pencil to make your technical drawings— HB pencils will give you the clarity you need and will keep smudges down to a minimum, so you should use it to your advantage.
  • See the beauty in descriptive geometry— This is hardest technical drawing skill to learn. But with enough practice, you can understand and even master it.
  • Get the right A2-AI-A0 drafting board— You need to become that stereotypical architect that uses a drafting board, and you need to get the right drafting tools to make large drawings.
  • Do a 30-day technical drawing challenge (with no excuses)— Work on your technical drawing skills every single day for 30 days, and you’d be surprised by how far you’ll progress. You might get frustrated after a couple of weeks, but it’s worth the commitment.
  • Use dotted lines to show the back edges of your drawings— This will keep your work tidy and clean. You'll also make your drawings look smart and elegant, because different line types can add more information to your designs.
  • Understand the principle behind sections— Understanding sections is mostly about developing your 3-dimensional vision, but it will make sense the more you practice it.
  • Know what a dodecahedron is and how to draw it in different applications— There are several “simple” volumes you need to know how to draw, and the dodecahedron is the most approachable. Start with triple projection, then move on to axonometric.
  • Master triple projections— A triple projection shows volume from the front, top, and side perspectives. If you have used computer software to create your designs, you’re already familiar with these concepts from the front, top, and side views. But if you know how to use drafting supplies to draw the volume line by line, it’s even better.
  • Become passionate about solving any descriptive geometry problem you come across— Most architects run away from descriptive geometry. But if you become passionate about solving these problems, you’ll be doing what everyone else isn’t.
  • Know how to draw all of the standard geometric shapes— This includes the square, circle, pentagon, and hexagon. Start using drafting tools to learn planar geometry because you’ll use this later for facade and planar studies, and knowing many types of geometry will help you get the proportions right for all of your designs.
  • Ink up all of your best drawings— Whether they’re sections, technical drawings, or elaborate axonometrics, inking them (which is tracing them with a liner instead of leaving them in pencil form) is the best way to preserve them.
  • Make sure you have the right drafting supplies— Make sure you have good drafting tools (such quality stationary and drawing boards that are in the A2 or A0 sizes) that will challenge you and allow you make larger and more detailed work, and making sure you have a good architect ruler as well as adequate measuring equipment saves time and will make your drawings more accurate.
  • Include the supplier and part number on your drawings— This is a great practice when you’re creating drawings where hardware installations are required. If a machine shop can’t identify the part it needs it won’t be able to purchase it.
  • Communicate hole tapping needs with thread size and depth— It’s hard to get an exact measurement of thread depth, which is why the depth call-out is always done at a minimum. But if you add more detail in this area, you’ll get better at using drafting supplies for technical drawing.
  • Consolidate call-outs when multiples of the same feature are in the same view— Dimension only one of the features and label it as “#X DIM,” which means that the feature exists in that view that number of times.
  • Communicate your intent with regard to the assembly of critical features— If an entire assembly is being machined, include an assembly drawing or instruction. And if off-the-shelf hardware needs to be installed, make sure you include the part number so the machinist can look it up.
  • Don’t include optional secondary call-outs in your drawings— If secondary operations (such as polishing and anodizing) aren’t critical to the design, it’s better to get a quote and a lead time for them separately. That way, you’ll know the additional time and cost. Most people don’t think that the secondary operations are worth the extra time and money until late-stage prototyping. And if you’re not sure what kind of materials you need to use, you can leave them off your drawings so it doesn’t cause confusion with regard to production.
  • Don’t over-dimension or over-tolerance your designs— Only a few features on a part are important to its function, so you want the machinist to pay more attention to these features. If you over-dimension, the critical requirements of a machine are lost in the noise. That’s why you should focus on more critical features. Over-dimensioning will also add more to the cost of the prototype.

If you’re looking for an architect ruler or any other tool you can use for drafting, you can find what you need at Engineer Supply. We have a broad selection of drafting tools that are built for the working professional, and all of them come from some of the best manufacturers in the industry. That’s why we’re one of the best places to buy drafting supplies online. Feel free to look at what we have in our store, so you can find a product that will meet your specific needs.

Shop Drafting Supplies

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of tools are used for drafting?

Blog how to improve engineering drawing skills

Inventors, architects, and engineers do technical drawing to create plans or blueprints that are used as guides for completing specific projects, so they use a variety of drafting tools to help them with their design. Some of them include but may not be limited to:
  • Drafting Tables— A tilting table used by drafters to create technical drawings. Parallel rulers located on each side of the surface align the drawing paper and act as guides for drawing on both the horizontal and vertical.
  • Rulers and Squares— Aside from an architect ruler, a T-square and triangle are commonly used to draw straight lines. They will use triangular-shaped rulers with different scales on each surface to measure dimensions.
  • Curve Templates and Compasses— Drafters will need to create curves by using templates made of a type of rigid plastic. They can also use a compass to draw circles and arcs.
  • Lettering Guides— Lettering templates can help drafters to create lettering that looks uniform throughout the drawing. In fact, it’s a common practice for most drafters to hand letter in their own personal style so their work can be easily identified.
  • Drawing Pencils— Most drafters use sharp 2H and 4H pencils for drawing. They can be either wooden or mechanical, which will come with replaceable leads. They’ll also come with erasers that can be used to make corrections.
  • Inking Pens— Technical drawings that are done in pencil are typically over-traced with ink to create a final drawing that’s more durable. Early inking pens had a mechanical device with an adjustable nib, but modern ones are disposable and have built-in reservoirs.
  • Drafting Machines— Early drafting machines can be traced back to Italy in 1913, but modern varieties combine horizontal and vertical rulers or scales with a protractor head that can be adjusted so a line can be drawn at a specific angle.
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)— Using computer software for creating designs can reduce the need for drafting by hand, especially in the professional sectors. Lower costs and improved accuracy have led to the increase of CAD as the main tool for creating technical drawings.
Feel free to look at the broad selection of drafting supplies we have at Engineer Supply.

How can I keep my drafting tools clean?

To clean your drafting supplies, you should follow these steps:
  • Lay them out and separate them into piles of like items.
  • Spray a cloth with cleaner and wipe down any tools with residue on them.
  • Remove any black marks off your erasers by rubbing them against a clean piece of paper.
  • Run your hands through your drafting brush to remove any loose debris. Then, wipe it down with the cleaning cloth to remove any residue from the handle.
If you’re looking for quality drafting supplies, be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineer Supply.

What are mechanical drafting tools?

Early drafting machines were used in 1913, but modern mechanical drafting tools combine horizontal and vertical rulers with scales and a protractor head to allow for the drawing of lines at specific angles. This device will be permanently attached to a drawing board and will use a pair of connected arms to allow the user to move it freely around the drawing surface.

Why do architects use drafting tools?

Drafting tools are used by architects and engineers for measurements and layouts in technical drawings. It can also be used to improve the speed and consistency of creating standard drawing elements. If you’re looking for a place where you can purchase quality drafting supplies from top-rated brands, be sure to look at what we have in stock.

Where can I buy drafting supplies?

If you’re looking for one of the best places to buy drafting tools online, Engineer Supply has everything you need. We have a broad selection from some of the best brands on the market, and we can offer them to you at a price you can afford. Feel free to look at what we have in stock, so you can find an architect ruler or any other tool that’s right for you!
Please Wait... processing