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How to Read CAD Drawings?

  1. Sep 25, 2011 #1

    Okay so I am struggling again with CAD, I need help on how to understand and visualize 2-D drawings to make 3-D drawings using Solid Edge

    Are there any websites or places where I can understand these drawings for e.g. I am making a model of a screw jack now and I have the top ,front and side view and a few dimension but I don't understand how to visualize 2-D to make it 3-D ?

    I hope I have been descriptive enough :)

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2011 #2
    This is something that some people seem to be able to do automatically while others never stop finding it difficult.

    You kind of have to first know what 3D things look like in 2D. Eg a cylinder may be a rectangle in two of the views and a circle in the other view. Then when you see circles you can check the other views to find if they are cylinders and how long they are.

    You might get used to it by looking at 2D drawings of things you already know in 3D. One way is 3dcontentcentral.com You can download 2D and 3D versions of all sorts of parts.
  4. Sep 25, 2011 #3
    Another way to work on such things is to grab a handy-dandy point and shoot camera and pick a few objects to take some pictures of. Take pictures like you have for your ball screw and see if you can see how you would construct whatever item you took a picture of.
  5. Sep 25, 2011 #4
    Practice, practice, practice.

    Your best bet is to actually actually draft up simple objects you can see in 2D CAD. Not only will you get a better idea of the 2D to 3D visualization, but your drafting skill will improve.

    It'll be vital for when someone inflicts autoCAD on you.
  6. Sep 25, 2011 #5
    Good word "inflicts". And I think it holds true for every CAD software out there, from autoCAD to CATIA and beyond.
  7. Sep 25, 2011 #6


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    In the days "before CAD", when the only way to draw anything was on paper, learning this skill was a fundamental part of learning "engineering drawing", and you got to practice it the whole time you were drawing anything.

    If you want to learn this "properly", try to find an introductory textbook on engineering drawing from the 1960s or 70s that doesn't mention computers, and work through it.

    Of course computer software for 3-D drawing and visualisation has great value, but one of its drawbacks is that people can get started and (apparently) progress for quite a long way without ever having to face up to learning the basics.

    If you have some 3-D drawing software, if might be useful to construct 3 faces of a rectangular box, "draw" your 2-D drawings on those faces, and the "extrude" the drawings through the space "inside" the box, to see how they fit together to make the solid object.
  8. Sep 25, 2011 #7
  9. Sep 28, 2011 #8
    Exactly what I feel, I think going directly to CAD is making me feel like its really hard. We need to know the basics , however there is absolutely no time to go through any books now because I have 6 subjects and 3 labs right now so the only way is to keep practicing and my exams are in two months.

    Yeah I use Solid Edge, and yeah I have been trying some drawings and its going pretty good.

    I guess that's the only way to get it done.

    Thanks for your help and the others will keep you posted!
  10. Sep 28, 2011 #9

    I wish I was the type of person who could visualize it directly, but none the less I guess if I continue to practice I can do it.

    Thanks for the website sounds great. Will have to keep checking them out.
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