As an architectural designer, I rely on the drawings that I produce to communicate my vision to others. Computer system-Aided Drafting (CAD) has been a boon for architects and engineers due to the fact its adoption, but it brings with it certain hazards. I am fortunate in that I was instructed in all forms of drafting before CAD was universal, which meant that I was in a position to find out some of the wisdom that created in the days of pencil-on-vellum drafting. In those days, the lines placed on the page offered immediate visual feedback that a pc screen, even these days, cannot match.
The largest lesson today's draftsmen will need to discover is all about the use of LINE WEIGHT. Line weight refers to the thickness or visual heaviness of a line, deriving from the reality that pencil strokes in the excellent old days could differ based on how significantly pressure was applied. Line weight carries with it all sorts of connotations, registering clues in our vision about what is very important in a drawing, what the 2D object is like in 3D, and additional. If a single squints, a form of line-weight filtering takes place, such that the lesser lines vanish or blur out, leaving only the heavier lines in play.
In a managed CAD atmosphere, it is possibly feasible to set up graphic standards for line weight which apply with out input from the draftsman, but such an strategy infers that the draftsman require not know the effect of line weight on the printed drawing. Usually, CAD operators concentrate on the computer file as their completed item, rather than realizing that the published, printed page is definitely what their operate product will be. The sheet that comes off the printer is what wants to be evaluated, not the CAD file. Believe of it this way: the CAD file is like a recipe, whilst the printed page is like a casserole coming out of the oven. One particular does not assess the taste of a dish by its recipe.
Across-the-board graphic standards also rule out improvisation, which might possibly from time to time be essential. Consider a symbol which describes some complicated component inherent to the symbol might be line weight assignments that assist it to read clearly when printed on its personal, or when inserted into a drawing in its standard function. But, picture a scenario wherein some other component or style feature is to be shown relative to this component, yet the attention is not to be on the symbol. In that case, a single may well choose to have the symbol brought in and assigned to a light line weight, overriding the "typical" assigned weight. This selection has to be produced by the draftsman, on a case-by-case basis.
A widespread error I see in CAD drafting is based on the reality that one can zoom in and out at whim in the CAD atmosphere, though the printed page is fixed at a single scale. This can outcome in a huge number of lines which are close together, so close that on the print they merge into a single indistinguishable mass. When this takes place, the lines shed their meaning and fail to communicate. It is sometimes superior to omit specific lines, so that those lines that remain keep their significance. In addition, line weight could adapt in these circumstances exactly where ordinarily a heavy weight would be put to use, due to the close proximity, two parallel lines could be assigned a substantially lighter line weight rather. That way, when printed there is still a gap between them and they read as distinct lines. The spacing in between parallel lines can be exaggerated, too, to aid stop them from merging, but of course this implies introducing inaccuracy to the CAD file, so the decision to do so ought to be based on the draftsman's encounter.
If applying notes with leader lines to explain the elements in a drawing, try to arrange those notes and leaders in ways that don't obscure things. A lot of parallel and closely spaced leader arrows can be extremely hard to comply with, and arrowheads that are oversized can hide important detail. My rule-of-thumb for the size of an arrowhead is that it must be equivalent to a capital letter V, in whatever font is applied for the note it connects to. I also strongly prefer leaders that point to drawn lines, rather than to the space amongst lines, to avoid misinterpretations based on figure/ground ambiguity.
Color can be a significant assist if final drawings are delivered as complete color prints. Most firms, however, generate monochrome drawings, applying color inside the CAD file for other purposes. My firm utilizes color printing extensively, so that the reader can readily distinguish among a dimension line that is blue and a graphic function like a wall which is black, to give one particular example. I have written a separate article on the use of color which shows how it can aid a drawing to communicate nicely.
So what are my guidelines-of-thumb for line weight? I reserve the heaviest lines for the massing of an element. In practice, this signifies outlining the key shapes in an elevation drawing, or where walls are sliced in sections, and so on. If a line in fact represents the edge of a plane, such as a wall receding perpendicular to the page, then that line must be heavier than other lines. If a line just represents a surface feature, like the parallel lines of wood siding on the elevation of a home, then that must be the lightest line weight. I also assume in terms of components if I had been to draw a television, for instance, I would outline it with a medium line weight, and then all of the lines that describe its characteristics would be lighter. This is for the reason that I do not honestly have style manage more than all those features, they are only presented to supply context what my style operate is concerned with is how the television, a single component, interacts with the other components I am designing or arranging (such as an entertainment center cabinet into which it must fit). Lastly, if some amount of contrast is desired, then line weights might will need to get heavier or lighter to attain the distinction. I use each color and weight to distinguish in between current and new elements on developing plans, so that at a glance a single can understand the scope of new work.
I will reiterate that it is essential to assess drawings based on their printed output. On a laptop screen, two lines of various weight may appear specifically the same, due to the fact they may possibly each be 1 pixel wide. In addition, there are subtle differences of perception in between screen pictures of projected light versus printed pages which only reflect light. Practice squinting at drawings to see irrespective of whether the ideal hierarchy of information is encoded in the line weights. Above all else, recognize that the purpose of the drawing, ultimately, is to communicate if it is mathematically accurate but doesn't communicate nicely then it has failed.