Mechanical engineering drawings are technical drawings that help define and illustrate specific mechanical requirements and processes for manufacturing. These technical drawings help communicate technical information that mechanical engineers would like to convey to machine shop specialist, where they count on these engineering drawings to interpret the design intent by the design engineer and reflect them into the product itself. These details are manifested in the engineering drawings as Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerances (GD&T), which helps guide the machinist how to fabricate the parts. In other words, it’s not enough having the 3D CAD model to manufacture as they don’t capture the design intent and does not reflect the design for manufacturing approach. For that, engineering shop drawings are key to achieving precise manufactured parts. furthermore, engineering drawings could be used for both conventional subtractive manufacturing and additive manufacturing in post-manufacturing processes. Additionally, engineering drawings are used as a reference for manufacturing inspection of fabricated parts before accepting them by the customer.
Noteworthy, unlike artistic drawings; engineering drawings must be very explicit and provide little ambiguity. The drawings should not be interpreted differently by different people, instead they should be focused on conveying information in a simple manner. This eliminates the risk of misrepresenting what the drawing tried to illustrate and ensure everyone working on the project has a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations. Engineering drawings may vary in complexity from project to project, so it is useful to try and get as much exposure to as many drawings as possible to ensure one is confident using any that may arise in their projects. Moreover, engineering drawings can be created by traditional methods such as pen and paper, but they are more commonly created using CAD software. Computer-based drawings can be much more efficient and allow for parametric edits and changes to occur much easier and cross-linked with other related files so the designer would need to make a single change/update and that change would be reflected wherever that part’s configuration is used to avoid double data entry.