How To Read Lines on a Drawing

Before learning how to read a manufacturing drawing, be sure you know the different parts of a print. Once there is an understanding of the different components of a print and where everything is located, the next step is to be able to read the lines on a print. Reading a print means to understand what the graphic of a part is showing. Therefore, you must understand how lines work on a print. For engineers and manufacturers, lines are their communicators or even their alphabet which convey information. Below is a chart of the various lines that are used on a print and their descriptions.

Name Graphic Description
Object Line  _________________________ Solid lines used to form the shape of a part.
Hidden Line __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Dashed lines used to form the shape of features that are not visible.
Center Line _______ __ _______ __ _____ Solid line with a dash then a solid line used to identify the center of a feature.
Dimension Line dimensional line Solid line with arrowhead tips followed by a dimension used to identify where the dimension represents.
Leader Line  leader line Solid line with arrowhead tip that is associated with a note or specification pointing to a  location on the part, but not with a dimension.
Break (long)  long break line Thin solid line with zigzag used to reduce the size of part to show entire object and reduce detail.
Break (short)  short break line  Thick solid wavy line used to indicate a short break.
Section Line \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Multiple diagonal lines used to indicate the surface in the section view to have been cut along the cutting-plane line.
Cutting-plane Line  cutting-plane line U-shaped line with arrowhead tips used to designate an imaginary cut.
Phantom Line  _____ __ __ _____ __ __ _____ Series of one long dash, two short dashes, and a long dash used to show an alternate positions of a part.

By understanding these lines and how they are used, it will be much easier to look at a print and be able to visualize how the part would actually look. Thanks for reading along and be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post!

For more information about manufacturing prints, check out these articles:

·         5 Steps: How to Manufacture a Product

·         Parts of a Manufacturing Drawing

·         Sheet Metal Drawing DON’Ts

·         Manufacturing Prints – View Types

·        Sheet Metal Dimensional Drawing Example

·         Minimum Requirements to Submit an RFQ

10 thoughts on “How To Read Lines on a Drawing

  1. Pingback: Manufacturing Prints – View Types | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

  2. Pingback: Sheet Metal Dimensional Drawing Example | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

  3. Pingback: Parts of a Manufacturing Drawing | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

  4. Pingback: 5 Steps: How to Manufacture a Product | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

  5. Pingback: U.S. vs. European Manufacturing Drawings | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

  6. Pingback: Sheet Metal Drawing DON’Ts | Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

    • Hi Neal,

      We would suggest looking through our website, specifically our blog, which has a lot of information on this topic. Also, try and get your hands on any prints you can find and review them the best you can by interpreting the lines, dimensions, tolerances, while looking for the basics like the material and finish. Without knowing exactly what you need to know about blueprints, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you need to focus on, but hope this helps. Here’s a link to some helpful blog posts:

      http://www.vista-industrial.com/blog/category/manufacturing-drawings/

      Britney
      Vista Industrial Products, Inc.

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