The Importance of Drawing in the Mechanical Design Process

Computers & Graphics 14(2):263-274, December 1990  

This paper is a study on the importance of drawing (both formal drafting and informal sketching) during the process of mechanical design. Five hypotheses, focused on the types of drawings, their necessity in mechanical problem solving, and their relation to the external representation medium, are presented and supported. Support is through referenced studies in other domains and the results of protocol studies performed on five mechanical designers. Videotapes of all the marks-on-paper made by designers in representative sections of the design process were studied in detail for their type and purpose. The resulting data is supportive of the hypotheses. These results also give requirements for future computer aided design tools and graphics education, and goals for further studies.

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Updated 11/19