8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2015 8:34 AM by John Stoltzfus

    Best drawing practices

    Tony Tieuli

      I use Solidworks with MasterCam for Solidworks to machine parts for our customers. More and More of our customers give us .pdf drawings with minimal dimensions along with a solid model. The notes will usually indicate that any missing dimensions should be taken from the model.

      Our machinists still need fully dimensioned drawings to machine and inspect their parts so I make a lot of drawings from solid models. My drawings are usable but I would like to be sure that I'm conforming to best drawing practices. Does anyone know of an online course on best drawing practices I can take?

        • Re: Best drawing practices
          Andy Sanders

          The Machinery Handbook has a decent guidelines section. 


          Have you ever had a Drafting class?  Solidworks automates this to a certain extent.


          Examine your companies previous history of drawings to see what they look for.  GD/T, tolerances, standard notes, etc.

          • Re: Best drawing practices
            Kevin Chandler



            I recommend you review ASME's standards.

            They're not legally binding, but they're well adopted and refined and will provide you a good foundation for what you need.

            Every company's needs and wants vary, so you can pick and choose and modify those practices best suited for you.

            I do recommend that where you do deviate, you do so for just reasons and that you don't stray too far.


            Resist the urge to roll your own cigs on this.


            Keep things simple, so if (& when) you do need to alter your direction, the changes are minor and can be done with as little effort on the tiller as possible.


            ASME Y14.100 is engineering drawing practices.

            Y14.41 is for MBD

            Y14.5 is for GD&T plus some other drawing tidbits.

            Y14.35 covers revisions

            There are others as well. Some cover sheet sizes and text/arrow sizes, but you'll see that SW pretty much takes care of the little things.


            Lastly, you needn't be (or become) an ASME member to purchase these standards.


            Go here: Shop for Engineering Standards





              • Re: Best drawing practices
                Mike Pogue

                Kevin Chandler has the answer Get the standard and review it (legally, of course ). Every time you place a dimension, open the standard and read the guidance for that feature. Repeat this process for ten years and you will be an expert drafter. The ASME standard is very well-written. It beats almost any other document that purports to explain it.


                Also, make sure something like this below is on your drawing. This grounds your drawing and makes the standards actually legally binding. Essentially you are building your drawing up on this foundation. Treat it like a legal document.

              • Re: Best drawing practices
                Chris Saller

                Although models are supplied, dimensioned drawings need to be supplied with them for their's and yours inspection.

                  • Re: Best drawing practices
                    Tony Tieuli

                    Hi Chris,


                    In a perfect world, they would supply the dimensioned drawing. Unfortunately, a lot of our customers want to leave the work of fully dimensioning a drawing to us. That leaves us a choice. Accept that and quote accordingly or ask them to go elsewhere. Easy choice.



                  • Re: Best drawing practices
                    John Stoltzfus

                    Do you have a local Vocational School in your area, here in the past they had a drafting course, something like that would be a big help.


                    Agreed with the advice you were given.  One thing to keep in mind is don't overlap dimensions and dimension lines more that you absolutely have to, just add more views or more sheets.


                    My definition of a good drafter is;  The parts get made per the drawing correctly, without any questions from manufacturing.  (just my 2 cents)