Technical drawing is a basic aspect of engineering design. Keep reading to learn more about technical drawing, from its definition and history to its evolution.
What Is Technical Drawing?
Technical drawing, also known as drafting, is a detailed graphic rendition of how something functions or how it is built. Technical drawings are made at a precise scale and include elements that make them unambiguous, meaning that their elements can be interpreted only in one way.
This aspect is important because it constitutes the factor that differentiates technical drawing from artistic drawing. In technical drawing, the main goal is precision, while artistic drawings aim to provide aesthetical pleasure.
There are many different types of technical drawings. Some of them include:
Exploded three-dimensional drawings
Complete working drawings
Detailed two-dimensional drawings
The History and Evolution of Technical Drawing
Technical drawing boasts a distinguished history. Its origins date back to the 15th century when Italian inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci created mechanical drawings that still marvel art historians and engineers alike.
Technical drawing evolved hand in hand with scientific advancements. Some highlights include the Cartesian coordinate system invented in the 16th century by French philosopher Rene Descartes and the invention of descriptive geometry in the 18th century by mathematician Gaspard Monge, who also hailed from France.
The Industrial Revolution created the need for precise designs that allowed companies to manufacture components serially. This development paved the way for technical drawing as we know it today, with the Second World War and the space race as inflection points that further accelerated its development.
As impressive as these advancements are, in the early 1980’s technical drawing made a quantum leap forward with the commercial availability of Computer-Aided Design and Drafting software, or CADD, also known as CAD. To this day, CADD software is an indispensable tool for design engineers and for a host of other professionals.