Laying out a Drawing

One of the first steps in planning out and creating and drawing in Orthographic Projection is to decide on which views would best reflect the details and nature of the object, and to decide on a suitable Front View or Front Elevation.


The Front Elevation should be the view that shows the most significant details of the object. For clarity, the object should be shown sitting in it's natural position. (i.e. not upside down)


Once you have established which views of the object you will draw, you need to visualize how each view will be placed on the sheet.

To create the individual views it sometimes helps to imagine the object being placed into a 'Projection Box'. This an imaginary box that will allow you to visualize how each surface will be 'projected' onto a flat sheet of paper, or in this case, a flat computer screen.


Visualize yourself standing perpendicular to each surface of the object that you will be drawing, and project each surface, edge, or detail out from the object onto the corresponding surface of the projection box.

Project each detail directly out, as you would see it if looking directly toward the surface of the object.


Visualize unfolding the box to flatten it out.


Here is the Orthographic Projection of the Top View, Front View, and Right Side View of the object. Now it is just a matter of establishing how and where you will line up and locate these views on your workspace.

The Spaces shown below are a rough approximation - NOT a scientific formula! Use your judgment to produce a balanced and un-cluttered drawing.



It may sometimes seem like a waste of paper, but you may need to leave room between the individual views for things like dimensions and notations. You also want your drawing to look balanced and un-cluttered.


This is an exaggeration of a poorly layed out drawing. The three orthographic views are crowded too close together, leaving no room for dimensioning.


Draw construction lines to represent the overall width and height of the Front View of the object.


Extend the construction lines above, into the Top View space, and to the right into the Right View space.


Block in the dimensions for the Top View and Right Side View. The Miter Line is a means of accurately transferring dimension from the Top View to the Right Side View, or vice versa.


Add in any missing details and project lines as necessary.


You should easily begin to visualize the three complete views of the Orthographic Projection of the object.


Use the Trim and Erase commands to delete the unnecessary parts of the construction lines.

Continue to Dimensioning