Do Engineers Need To Be Good At Drawing?

Engineers don’t necessarily have to be good at drawing but they do need to understand technical diagrams if they want to do their job well. In the fields of civil and mechanical engineering, for example, building roads, buildings, dams, mechanical devices and thermal devices all begin with a design. The concept must first be put on paper and modeled before actual construction takes place. These aspects of the work require thorough comprehension of blueprints and schematic diagrams.

Some engineers don’t even do design in their work and as such, they don’t even have to draw. Some aerospace engineers, for example, perform regular testing and maintenance of simulators or other equipment to keep them functioning as they should. However, they still need to be able to completely understand the blueprints and diagrams of the equipment they are working on since they might need to rely on these if needed. They may also have to make a diagram about a particular part or system in the event of a malfunction so that the original designers of the equipment will be able to diagnose and solve the problem.

The use of computer aided design (CAD) software has become standard in the world of engineering, architecture and construction these days. It is usually included in engineering programs around the world and has greatly simplified the drawing aspect of these fields. With CAD, engineers and draftspersons are able to make two-dimensional drawings as well as three-dimensional models of the project that needs to be made, whether it’s a residential building, a bridge or an electric generator. These programs are so powerful that users simply have to know how to manipulate them and it can pretty much accomplish everything they have in conceptualized in their heads.

In the workplace, engineers usually work together with CAD draftspersons that take care of doing the actual drawings using the computer software. However, even if the engineers don’t do the diagrams themselves, they must communicate their ideas to the draftspersons to ensure that they understand the individual components and dimensions of the structure or machine they have in mind.

Now you might need to do a lot of drawing when you are still in engineering school. Some schools may still want their students to use paper and pencil to come up with designs. Diagrams and drawings may be necessary to answer test questions. If you’re not good at drawing then this might prove to be quite challenging. However, this does not mean that you should quit engineering because of your inability to draw well. Drawing is a skill that can be learned with constant practice. The good thing about being an engineer is that you are not required to make beautiful, artistic drawings that are worthy to be displayed in art galleries and museums. Rather, your job is to make sure that the design is going to be durable and doable within the given budget and time schedule.

That being said, engineers who do know how to draw possess a distinct advantage especially if they have plans of designing their unique machines, equipment or infrastructure. No one else is better able to convey those thoughts in your head on paper or on a computer program than you. If you want to do your own engineering designs then it would be a good idea to hone your drawing skills while you’re still in school.

Career Spotlight: Civil Engineer

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