Mechanical Drawings And Their Uses In Machine And Tool Construction

When any new or improved form of tool, machine, or gadget is being thought out, its general arrangement and the ideas governing how the contraption works may be quite clear in the imagination of the one developing it, and they may proceed with the actual construction of this concept, guided only by a mental picture of the device. Many simple tools or appliances could be, and some are, produced this way, but it’s pretty clear that such a method is very limited. It’s often easier for the originator of a new type of mechanism to build it with his own hands than to attempt, simply by giving a verbal description, be able to give some one else a clear enough mental picture of the device to enable them to construct it. This kind of direct method of construction is totally impractical when applied to regular manufacturing process.

In the first place, it would be totally impossible to create the more complicated mechanisms by merely forming a mental picture of them. The basic idea of the device and possibly its general arrangement might be wholly clear, but in order to determine it’s exact relationship of the various parts when they are all properly proportioned and assembled, it’s necessary to make a very accurate drawing. Such a drawing not only shows the arrangement of the whole mechanism, but assists the designer in a big way in the development of the idea. Quite often the mental picture is distorted and when an accurate drawing is made, it’s apparent that changes are needed either in the form and size of one or more parts or possibly in the entire arrangement of the entire mechanism.

The method usually followed by inventors and designers in originating a new or improved mechanical appliance is to make a drawing of whatever plan or idea is to be developed. When this is done, a clear concept of the form and often of the practicality of the device shown by the drawing may be shown not only by the originator of the idea but by others who understand drawings and are able to understand them. So drawings serve several important purposes.

  1. They assist in the development of a plan by allowing the designer to see clearly the relation of different parts to one another and whether or not the desired motion or effect may be obtained.
  2. Drawings make it possible for the originator of a plan to get across the idea to others easily.
  3. They show those who are actually to build the device the proportions of its different parts and their relation when properly put together into an assembly.
  4. Drawings are useful as records of what has been done and make it possible to reproduce whatever tool or mechanism is represented on the drawing.

My name is Tim Davis and I draw architectural plans for a living. I also teach others how to draw house plans and other types of drafting in a virtual classroom on the internet at

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