Creating design drawings your Manufacturer will thank you for

In a modern manufacturing organisation, products are designed and developed in specialised computer-aided design (CAD) software like Solidworks. Regardless of the complexity, this design must be communicated to an internal and/or external manufacturing / fabrication department. There are countless cases in industry of parts being incorrectly manufactured with errors on drawings, unclear dimensions and conflicting notes amongst the most common reasons. Poor, inconsistent drawings cause delays in the development cycle and this affects the bottom line.

Injection Moulders, CNC programmers, Fabricators and Quality Inspectors need clear, consistent and legible drawings if we are to avoid delays down stream and wasting precious time and money stuck in a ‘bounce-back’ loop.

Below are some tips for Design Engineers when creating drawings for manufacturers.

  1. Make sure you’re using the correct projection when creating base and derived drawing views.


    I have seen drawings with 3rd angle projection marked, yet the actual drawing has first angle projected views! Make sure you know the difference.

  2. Always create 3 standard base views – front, top and side.

    Having these basic views as a default allows the reader to be equipped with the minimum 2D views that could be perceived in building the 3D part, regardless of whether you personally deem it necessary or not.

  3. Ensure a complete title block is present with a clear, representative part description.

    Title blocks are there to be completed in full and a good title will allow the reader to determine the correct part drawing.

  4. Triple check your dimensions before sending.
    It is often useful to set aside some time to go through each of your drawings and then allow a trusted colleague to do the same. Anyone can become a victim of ‘drawing blindness’.
  5. Capture any nuances and important notes to clarify any design features / requirements.
    A special ‘notes’ section is helpful and a useful extension to the information already captured on the drawing.
  6. Aim for clarity and use the drawing space completely, avoiding any overlapping dimensions or crossing into the geometry.
    Not only does your drawing look cleaner but we avoid giving any wrong idea that for example numbering or text is engraved / embossed on the part.
  7. A clear 3D isometric view helps show what the final part should look like.

    The manufacturer will have a result to visually compare the part produced.

#manufacturing #CADdrawings #EngineeringExcellence

Post written by:
Founder / Senior Mechanical Design Consultant @ CADMATE LTD
Spent over a 12 years working with professional manufacturing and design businesses in and around London, UK. Fascinated by intricate mechanisms, CAD software, manufacturing technology and C++ programming. Use SolidWorks CAD daily and still like to take pencil to paper once in a while. Always great to hear of your design and manufacturing experiences. Contact me if I can be of any help!

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