Drafting is also known as technical drawing, it is the method of creating drawing for architectures and engineering. A person who is skilled in this field is more popularly known as a draftsman.
The fundamentals of drafting are easy. To be able to draft something, a draftsman places a piece of paper (or other drawing material) on any surface that has straight sides and right angle corners (drafting table).
Another tool needed for drafting is a t-square. A t-square is a ruler-like tool that slides on a straight edge, making it easier for a draftsman to move his/her tool on the drafting table.
The t-square enables its users to draw parallel lines by moving this tool and running your pencils edge along its straight edge line.
T-squares can also be used to hold other drafting devices like a set of squares or triangles. This way, the right angle of the t-square plus the angle of the triangle can create a perfect straight and angled line onto your paper.
Modern day drafting tables now come equipped with parallel ruler supported by both sides of the table. This ruler can also slide through your drafting table, assuring you that parallel lines that you draw are going to turn out parallel.
Other drafting tools are used to create circles and curves. A primary tool used in drafting is the compass. This instrument is used to create simple circles in your drawing.
A French curve on the other hand, is a plastic curved ruler that helps create simple and complex curves for your project. For more intricate curves, a spline is a drafting tool that is made of an articulated metal covered in rubber to enable users to bend this tool in different curves.
The simplest drafting system needs to pay full attention to the placement of tools and the accuracy of the table. The most common mistake in drafting is to let the triangle push the top of the t-square slightly down. When this happens, it will throw off all the proper angles in your drawing.
Another common problem in the area of drafting is the difficulty in drawing two angled lines and making them meet at a point. Because this was such a tedious task, the introduction of the "drafting machine" came into the light of possibility.
This machine makes it possible for the draftsman to have a precise angle wherever part of the paper he wishes to draw at. He does this with the help of the pantograph.
A pantograph is a special mechanical tool connected to the drafting table that when used to draw, it moves in a fixed relation to every other element of itself. Also, one major advantage of the drafting machine enables the ability to modify angles, thus eliminating the use of triangles.
Drafting must seem easy to most people, but to be able to draft something, it requires a certain knowledge in engineering.
For a time, drafting was a sought after profession in the United States, considering that the draftsman was a very skilled at his craft. But because of the creation of the drafting machine, drafting has become fully automated and largely accelerated using computer aided design or CAD.
An innovation of CAD is the less recognized CADD or computer aided design and drafting. Although this may be the case, skilled draftsmen may still be of use to some who need routine changes to their drawings.
Drafting is an art common to architects, engineers, or machinist. Some of the uses of drafting are for birds eye view, elevations, plan view, isometric projections, cross sections and the like.
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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
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