Everything you need to know about CAD drafting techniques

CAD drafting

What are basic cad drafting techniques?

cad drafting techniques The process of preparing a 2-D drawing varies, depending on the CADD software and preferred design techniques. Software centred on 2-D drafting typically requires you to construct geometry such as lines, circles, and arcs and add dimensions and text. In contrast, to prepare a 2-D drawing when using software or a design process that focuses on building a 3D model, you typically extract 2-D views from the 3-D model. Two-dimensional drawing concepts and theories are the same regardless of the technique used to produce the drawing.

Designing and drafting effectively with a computer requires a skilled CADD operator. To be a proficient CADD user, you must have detailed knowledge of software tools and processes and know when each tool and process is best suited for a specific task. Learn the format, appearance, and proper use of your software’s graphical user interface and customize the GUI according to common tasks and specific applications to increase proficiency. You must also understand and be able to apply design and drafting systems and conventions, plus develop effective methods for managing your work.

Drawing and Editing

CADD software includes commands for creating and modifying all elements of a drawing for any design requirement. Study the CADD drawing in as you explore drawing and editing with a computer. This drawing of a medical instrument part includes straight lines, circles, arcs, text, dimensions, and numerous symbols created accurately and efficiently using a variety of drawing and editing commands. The CADD applications throughout this textbook provide specific information about drawing and editing with CADD.

Line Standards and Layers

DRAWING AND EDITING CADD programs often include a layer or similar system to organize and assign certain properties to objects. In CADD terminology, layers are elements of the drawing that allow you to separate objects into logical groups for formatting and display purposes. For example, a multi-view mechanical drawing can have layers for each unique line type, Including object lines, hidden lines, dimensions, and section lines (see Figure). You can display all layers to show the complete drawing or hide specific layers to focus on certain items. Lines and Lettering provide detailed information on types of lines. Some CADD systems automatically or semi-automatically set drawing elements on separate layers, and others require that you create your own layering system.

Layers allow you to conform to drawing standards and conventions and help create unique displays, views, and sheets. The following is a list of ways you can use layers to increase productivity and add value to a drawing:

  • Assign each layer a unique color, line type, and line weight to correspond to line conventions and to help improve clarity.
  • Make changes to layer properties that immediately update all objects drawn on the layer.
  • Turn off or freeze selected layers to decrease the amount of information displayed on-screen or to speed screen regeneration.
  • Plot each layer in a different color, line type, or line weight, or set a layer not to plot.
  • Use separate layers to group-specific information. For example, draw a floor plan using floor plan layers, an electrical plan using electrical layers, and a plumbing plan using plumbing layers.
  • Create several sheets from the same drawing file by controlling layer visibility to separate or combine drawing information. For example, use layers to display a floor plan and electrical plan together to send to an electrical contractor or display a floor plan and plumbing plan together to send to a plumbing contractor.

CADD programs often include a layer or similar system to organize and assign certain properties to objects. In CADD terminology, layers are elements of the drawing that allow you to separate objects into logical groups for formatting and display purposes.

For example, a multi-view mechanical drawing can have layers for each unique line type,

Layers Used in Industry

The drawing typically determines the function of each layer. You can create layers for any type of drawing. Draw each object on a layer specific to the object. In mechanical drafting, you usually assign a specific layer to each different type of line or object. The following is an example list of common layers and basic properties assigned to each layer for mechanical drafting applications.


Layer Name                                                      Line TypeLine WeightColor
Object Solid (continuous).02 in. (0.6 mm)Black
HiddenHidden (dashed).01 in. (0.3 mm)Black
CenterCenter.01 in. (0.3 mm)Green
DimensionSolid (continuous).01 in. (0.3 mm)Red
ConstructionSolid (continuous.01 in. (0.3 mm)Yellow
BorderSolid (continuous).02 in. (0.6 mm)Black
PhantomPhantom.01 in. (0.3 mm)Magenta
SectionSolid (continuous).01 in. (0.3 mm)Brown

Architectural and civil drawings, for example, can require hundreds of layers, each used to draw a specific item. For example, create full-height floor plan walls on a black A-WALL FULL layer that uses a .02 in. (0.5 mm) solid (continuous) line type. Add plumbing fixtures to a floor plan on a blue P-FLORFIXT layer that uses a .014 in. (0.35 mm) solid (continuous) line type. Draw roadway centerlines on a site plan or map using a green C-ROAD-CNTR layer that uses a .014 in. (0.35 mm) centerline type.

Layer names are usually set according to specific industry or company standards. However, simple or generic drawings may use a more basic naming system. For example, the name Continuous-White indicates a layer assigned a continuous line type and white color. The name is Object-Red, and it identifies a layer for drawing object lines that are assigned the colour red. More complex layer names are appropriate for some applications, including drawing numbers, colour codes, and layer content. For example, the name Dwg101-3Dim refers to drawing DWG101, color 3, for use when adding dimensions. The CAD Layer Guidelines from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), associated with the NCS, specifies a layer naming system for architectural and related drawings. The system uses a highly detailed layer naming process.

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What are the techniques of CAD?

CAD (Computer-Aided Design) encompasses various techniques and approaches for creating and manipulating digital models of objects and systems. Some of the key techniques of CAD include:
Parametric Modeling: Parametric modeling involves defining geometric shapes and relationships using mathematical parameters and constraints. This allows for the creation of flexible, easily modifiable designs where changes to one part of the model automatically propagate to related parts.
Direct Modeling: Direct modeling allows users to manipulate geometry directly, without relying on predefined parameters or constraints. This approach is more intuitive and flexible for making quick design changes or modifications to existing models.
Surface Modeling: Surface modeling is used to create complex shapes and surfaces by defining mathematical representations of curves and surfaces. Surface modeling techniques are commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and industrial design for creating aesthetically pleasing and aerodynamically optimized designs.
Solid Modeling: Solid modeling represents objects as three-dimensional volumes bounded by surfaces. Solid modeling techniques are used to create realistic and manufacturable designs of solid objects, components, and assemblies.
Assembly Modeling: Assembly modeling involves creating and managing complex assemblies of components, where individual parts are assembled together to form larger systems or products. Assembly modeling techniques include defining relationships, constraints, and interactions between components.
Drafting and Annotation: Drafting and annotation techniques are used to add dimensions, annotations, symbols, and other details to 2D and 3D CAD models. This helps communicate design intent, specifications, and manufacturing requirements to stakeholders and collaborators.
Generative Design: Generative design techniques use algorithms and optimization algorithms to explore a wide range of design possibilities and generate innovative solutions. Generative design tools help engineers and designers explore design alternatives and find optimal solutions based on predefined objectives and constraints.

What is CAD in technical drafting?

In technical drafting, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) refers to the use of computer software to create precise and detailed drawings of mechanical, electrical, architectural, or other technical designs. CAD software allows drafters and designers to create, modify, and annotate drawings digitally, using tools and features specifically tailored for technical drafting purposes.
CAD in technical drafting offers several advantages over traditional manual drafting methods:

Precision and Accuracy: CAD software enables drafters to create drawings with precise dimensions, measurements, and alignments, ensuring accuracy and consistency throughout the design process.

Efficiency and Productivity: CAD tools streamline the drafting process by automating repetitive tasks, such as dimensioning, annotation, and symbol insertion, allowing drafters to work more efficiently and produce drawings faster.

Flexibility and Editability: CAD drawings are digital files that can be easily modified, edited, and updated as needed. This flexibility allows designers to make changes to designs quickly and iteratively without having to redraw entire drawings.

Visualization and Simulation: CAD software provides visualization and simulation tools that allow designers to view designs in 3D, rotate and zoom into specific areas, and simulate how components will fit together and function in real-world environments.

Collaboration and Sharing: CAD files can be easily shared and collaborated on among team members, stakeholders, and clients, facilitating communication and collaboration throughout the design process.

Integration with Manufacturing: CAD software integrates with manufacturing processes, allowing designers to create drawings that are compatible with CNC machines, 3D printers, and other manufacturing equipment. This integration ensures that designs can be easily translated into physical prototypes and products.