The design process for a new part begins with product conception and mechanical design, followed by CAD layout and the generation of the CAD model for manufacturing. It is a complex process capped by creating a 2D drawing to support the fabrication of the part. Yet without the proper care, the drawing can cause many problems if made incorrectly or poorly maintained. To avoid these difficulties, let’s look closer at the process of drafting technical drawings for machining so that machine shops can manufacture new parts without errors.
At one time, technical drawings were the only method to communicate fabrication instructions to the machinists who milled and turned parts. With the addition of CNC technology to the machine shop, 3D CAD models became standard for their precision and ability to generate G-code programming language for the mills and lathes. The 3D CAD model simplifies machining parts and ensures greater accuracy, but a need still exists for the standard 2D drawing in the manufacturing process. Some of the reasons why a drawing is still essential include:
Both prototype and production need this information for manufacturing, but a detailed 2D drawing still aids the prototype process. Using the drawing’s details, the machine shop can move quickly when setting up for the prototype, saving both time and expense. A successful 2D drawing includes several key elements.
The majority of the part information a machine shop will need to manufacturer a new part should include these five elements:
Arranging and displaying the elements exceeds the scope of this article, but with these elements included, the drawing will have the information it needs for manufacturing. However, a few basic errors can quickly cause problems.
Designers create drawings in many ways but should avoid a few common errors. Particular drawing problems cause a lot of difficulties for the machine shop and will typically result in a delay until they can resolve them:
Some of the finer details of drafting a technical drawing for a part that will aid the machine shop during manufacturing:
As evidenced here, great documentation leads to great parts. If questions arise on how to create 2D drawings, check with the machine shop. They provide the most reliable resources for documentation best practices.
At Plethora, we specialize in manufacturing precision parts using the industry's most advanced CNC machining equipment and software. To ensure that your part is built precisely to specifications, we use both your CAD model and 2D drawing in our workflow. We are an ISO 9001 certified machine shop, and our primary goal is to manufacture parts to the highest level of quality. Our online DFM and quoting systems are ready to receive your data so we can begin working together on your next project. To get started, upload your design files to Quote My Part or call us at 415-726-2256.
The Plethora Team
The Plethora team is your go-to CNC manufacturer for hardware done right the first time. We have the tools and experience needed to create high quality custom parts quickly and with precision, whether you need a prototype or production run.