Learning Scale Drawing as a Tool for Industrial Design

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Industrial designers use various types of drawings, computer illustrations and physical models to represent the things they are designing. These representations are used not only to communicate a design to others but also for the designer to evaluate and stimulate their own thinking. A design process is usually facilitated by movement between different types of representations to explore different aspects of the design. Sometimes, however, student industrial designers appear to become stuck in their design process, favouring one type of design representation and not using another that may have been more informative at the time. In particular, we have noticed students making inadequate use of scale drawings to check the size and arrangement of the elements of a design. This paper presents two examples of teaching and learning scale drawing that are intended to emphasise its role particularly within the early, exploratory stages of a design process. In the first example students were required to measure the external shape of an existing product and then make a 3D model that represents the shape through a sequence of crosssections. A scale drawing of the surface contours of the original object was a necessary step in this process. In the second example students used 2D CAD to make a technical drawing of an object with some moving parts. The drawings were then developed into a sequence to make a “flip book” animation of the movement. In both cases the intention was to create a design project in which measurement and scale drawing were a necessary step towards achieving a successful outcome. The principles underlying the development of these learning experiences are discussed in this paper.
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Ward, Stephen
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