Last Updated: 7/29/2020
If you’ve been around any sort of manufacturing in your life, chances are you’ve seen or heard something about engineering drawings. Often times the drawings are referred to by many names such as a technical drawing, manufacturing drawing, manufacturing print, dimensional drawing and many others.
Rest assured, when you hear any of these names, just know that we are all talking about the same thing.
As someone looking to grow in the manufacturing industry you may have wondered what these drawings do and why they are so critical?
Well, these drawings are used as the main line of communication between everybody involved in the production process.
An engineering drawing is a visual tool that communicates important specifications such as geometry, tolerances, dimensions, material and finish of the object to be produced along with multiple 3D views of the part. The specifications are expressed through both alpha and numeric characters through multiple areas of the drawing.
The specifications on these drawings let purchasers know what dimensions are required for each part so they can select the most effective vendor based on their capability of creating and maintaining each feature.
Often times there are multiple ways to achieve the same specification on a part but due to factors such as work order quantity, run time vs setup time, tolerances and plenty of other requirements, one process may be cheaper or quicker than another.
The information on these drawings are also used by the manufacturers themselves to evaluate and quote jobs.
Even though many manufacturers may have equipment capable of completing certain tasks, certain manufacturers are limited by machining capacity and field of expertise.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to be able to read your drawing so everyone in the manufacturing supply chain can stay on the same page.
The place you should start looking for information on a drawing is the information block, normally found at the bottom right-hand side of the drawing, conveys data such as the part number, part name, and name of the author for example.