Where did you guys learn drafting? I do pretty well with SW and MDT, but my drafting skills are pretty weak. I need some training and the local community college is so bad that I'd really like to avoid it. Thanks for your suggestions.
Look for a vocational college in your area. A complete drafting course should take you about 9 months to a year.
Look at the ASME Y14.5-2009 and Geo-metrics III books for help, they are great tools (at least for geometric tolerancing and seeing how tings should be laid out on a print). For the most part I learned on the job. I had a manager who knew I could do the engineering work and was willing to point things out that I needed to correct on prints as I went.
I can't speak to community college but my big time university degree did virtually nothing to prepare me for the true life of a modern Mechanical Design Engineer. I learned about all the fascinating ways fluids move along a surface or how quickly my ice cube will melt in my soda or how the cell structure of steel will change when it is welded but I didn't have a single day of how to properly detail a drawing. My guess is that when I was in college in the early to mid 90's the old school professors and curriculum thought that every engineer had a detailer sitting right next to them to do the dirty work but that just isn't true any more.
I learned in high school and the community college.
But I would look in Google for online trainings like this one.
Here is a great free website with lots of information on drafting rules.
Walter - I am happy to see that there are people who actually care to find out about proper drafting techniques! I came from a hand-drafting background and cringe at some of the accepted practices that occur. Just to clarify - I never had to use a stone tablet / chisel or even ink on linen
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, but all of the vocational schools in my area seem to be offering software courses (CAD) and architectural drafting, neither of which is what I need. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Yes, my experience has been the same. It seems that the emphasis these days is on the software, but none on drafting. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out.
I too had a drafting class in high school, but that was a LONG time ago. It's starting to look like I might have to deal with a community college because everyone else is offering architectural drafting, but I can't find mechanical drafting. Thanks for the suggestion.
Yes, Tec Ease has a lot of GD&T Info., but I'm looking for plain drafting. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
I learned on a drafting board in high school, too. I always got docked points because the masking tape would pull the corners off my paper. Unfortunately, I've forgotten almost everything I learned. Of course, it has been 35 years.
This is the book I used when in school, I still use it from time to time.
"Technical Drawing" by Giesecke - Mitchell - Spencer - Hill - Dygdon - Novak, ISBN 0-13-022569-X
Thanks, Troy. I'll look it up. Sometimes those old textbooks come in handy, don't they?
I found it on EBay for $5. Thanks again for the help.
I learned to draw in vocational high school in 1983-84. We were on the board for 4 hours a day every day. Then I got a job and started drawing. I had a one hour drafting lab in collage. It wasn't even a class.
Twenty seven years of red line markups and still learning. It takes time and experiance and your attention to detail. I don't have my drawings checked as much anymore as I do much of the checking. But it is a learned art. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your print. What information do they need? What will the drawing be used for...design, building, repair, assembly...
Our engineers started to put exploded views on our assemblies. Then standard views and section views started to disapear and the information became a bit more gray. It's amazing how you will learn to look at drawing and you instantly see the parts and how things fit together. Exploded ISO views are great some of the time. But just because inexperianced people can understand them eaisier dosn't mean they are great or everything.
There's no quick answer but I would look for older books by Thomas E. French and Charles J. Vierck.
There are a few on e-bay or maybe at the library.
I wish I had your experience, Tom. I've never had a drawing checked in my professional life. I've learned over the years how to make a drawing that communicates all necessary information. Unfortunately, they're often ugly and sometimes the reader has to work to find what they need. I'm trying to do work that looks professional and is easier to read, but it's hard to get there without any coaching. Thanks for your insights.
You can also just look through the Solidworks tutorials to learn about the software
and self teach yourself. It sounds like all you may need is some modernizing of the
skills you already have and just learn how to adapt Solidworks in.
Best of luck to you my friend!!!
Thanks for the suggestion, Scott. What I'm missing is mostly the details of drafting, like where to place the dimensions and how to space them, where to locate detail views, how to place notes. Stuff like that.
I understand Walter, I am going to throw this link to you as well from the
Solidworks world presentations sight. There is a lot of downloadable
presentations that might help you as well.
Some of what you are looking for is left to individual company standards. There are some basics about items you just mentioned - some follow common sense.
The dimensions should be placed in views where they show the info as clear as possible - a hole usually shows more info when viewed head-on to it. You should minimize crossing of dimension extender lines and note leaders as much as possible. Dimensions should not be placed wihin the part outlines in a view. Spacing between dimensions is based on maintaining readability. Note placement can vary but try to maintain a standard location throughout the company's drawings.
I still remember the drafting checker on my first drafting job 40 yrs ago telling me that the actual section view should always be located behind the location of the section-line. This is not always possible but it's a good goal.
I keep thinking of how strict my drafting instructors were about spacing of dimensions and other stuff. Perhaps I'm worrying too much.
My instructor seemed to be about 50 yrs old at the time (40 years ago) so I don't fear him personally bothering me.
For some reason a lot of the local gigs around here are always drafting, drafting drafting drafting. Not exactly the most romantic thing to be doing all day, but it does have a certain charm I guess.
I also believe you learn drafting best on the job and if you're getting at least some critique along the way, because you'll never figure out in your own bubble all of the things a machinist will point out when your drawing has some ambiguities.
I know I am a little late to the party but here is my view on this.
Work as closely as you can with the people who will be using your drawings. Most places I have worked I have not had a checker looking over my work. It would go straight to a vendor or the shop floor. Making yourself available to talk through your drawings with them and listening to your feedback is the best experience you can get. They will be the first ones to tell you that you missed a dimension somewhere or that the drawing is not communicating everything that they need. Each time you give them a new print, the conversation gets a little shorter and you know they will make your parts the way you want. If it's a new process or a strange part, tell them that up front and in most of my experiences, they will appreciate the honesty and walk through the print / part with you.
Yeah, I'm not that enthusiastic about doing drawings either, but I am very enthusiastic about the paycheck that comes from it!
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