Introduction: Hand Drawn Technical Drawings

Technical drawings are an important aspect of engineering communication. They are one of the best ways to accurately and unambiguously capture all the geometric features of a product or a component. While you can create these images with CAD software or another computer program, creating technical drawings by hand is easy!

Step 1: Select a Front View and Draw It.

First, take your object and select a front view. A front view can be any part of your object, usually selected because it best describes the part you are drawing. For my widget, I have selected the above image to be my 'front view.'

After selecting your front view, observe your object and decide how many views are necessary. Technical drawings are intended to communicate all features of a part, often so that the part can be replicated accurately. Include as many views as necessary to achieve this goal and accurately communicate all of the part's features. For some parts, you may need to draw all sides of the object. For a simple object like mine, I will need three views: the front, the side, and the top.

Draw your front view on your paper in a location that gives you enough room for your other views. Since I will need three, I place my front view in the lower left corner, giving me enough room to draw a side view to the right and a top view above.

Step 2: Draw the Other Views.

Turn your part to another view and draw it in the corresponding location on your paper. Here, I rotated my part 90 degrees clockwise to view the right side view. and then drew it.

Repeat this step for all the views necessary to fully describe your part. Include any holes that may need to be drilled for nails, screws, or other features.

Step 3: Draw an Isometric View.

The final view to be included is an isometric view. An isometric view will help people understand what the object looks like in whole by representing all three dimensions of your object. Dimensions are never put on an isometric view.

Step 4: Add Dimensions

Finally, start adding dimensions. Dimensions communicate the size and shape of your part. Measure your part, and then add dimensions to your drawing. Dimensions in the United States are typically done in inches. Make sure you add enough dimensions to fully describe your part. You may put dimensions on any of the views, but dimensions should not be repeated in multiple views.

Also note any sizes of any holes by drawing an arrow to the hole.

Add the part's name and your name to the drawing. Include any notes about the drawing in the upper left hand corner. Be sure to indicate units here.

You may need to make additional drawings for each part of your design.

For a full list of dimension standards, see the next step.

Step 5: Dimension Standards

In general, follow the drawing standards and dimensioning guidelines given in the image above. By following these guidelines, you can create professional-looking, clean, and easily understandable drawings.

This Drawing Standard image is sourced from Olin College of Engineering's MEC1000 course and the full slide deck about drawing can be found on their website: