Some mechanical engineers learn how to draft prints from work experience, and others from schooling. Many times, the two engineers design parts very differently based upon their experiences. Therefore, some engineers include everything in their prints, while others may leave out information. Below is a general idea of how a drawing should look. It should be fully dimensioned with material type, material thickness, finish, critical dimensions or specs, revision, hardware call out, etc.
This is a very simple example of a dimensional print of a simple sheet metal part. However, when involved with an assembly where there are multiple individual parts and assembly prints, it can be slightly more complex. We recommend taking a look at How To Read Lines on a Drawing, Parts of a Manufacturing Drawing, and Manufacturing Prints – View Types. Take a look below at more components, just like the one above, that belong to the same assembly:
All the above dimensional drawings are components that are put together in an assembly. Below is the assembly print of how all the prints go together and how it gets assembled. In this case, there is a Bill of Materials (BOM) that illustrates the size of each component that go together for a particular assembly. This dimensional print also illustrates how the parts are welded together.
- Draw sheet metal parts without broken geometry
- Parts made from stainless steel must show grain direction
- Dimension all formed bends, inside or outside – depending on fit with
mating pieces, and add REF to the last bend dimension.
- If artwork or ink stamp illustrates the revision of the part, make sure the current revision matches the artwork or stamp
- Include bend lines where necessary
- Notes do not conflict each other
- Hardware compatible with material type
- Properly dimension countersinks (if any)
- Finish needs to include the manufacturer and part number (if powder coat or paint)
- Plating finish needs to include the specification
These are just a few examples of things to look out for when drawing a dimensional print for metal fabrication. In other words, make sure your dimensional prints have as much information as possible to ensure your parts are manufactured correctly. Here at Vista Industrial Products, we always help engineers with their prints and making sure their prints illustrate exactly what they want. For manufacturers like us, the dimensional print is the source of communicating what you want fabricated. During the request for quote process, we will make sure your prints have all the necessary information. If there is missing information or inconsistencies, we will be sure to ask you questions to ensure you are getting the part you desire.
VIP specializes in the fabrication of precision sheet metal parts, machined parts, and welded assemblies. To learn more about our capabilities, please visit our website. Stay tuned for next week’s blog that will feature our newest VIP video!
For more information about manufacturing prints, check out these articles: