Lines play an important role in the engineering industry. Explaining a complex drawing in words is impossible and hence, engineering drawing has become the worldwide language of engineers, designers, technicians, and craftsmen. The shape, scale, and interrelation of a complex thing can easily be transmitted using engineering drawings. Every engineering drawing has various types of lines in it and so, lines are a major part of the graphic language.
Lines used in any engineering drawing may be straight or curved. Lines are defined as elements with no breadth but unlimited length (magnitude). Lines locate two points that are not in the same location but fall along the line. A straight line denotes the shortest distance between two points.
Lines can be drawn in any direction. Straight and curved lines are parallel when the shortest distance between them remains constant.
Again, lines are differentiated as thick lines (0.6 mm thickness), thin lines (0.3 mm thick), Continuous lines, dashed lines, freehand lines, zigzag lines, chain lines, etc. In this article, we will learn the various types of lines that are widely used in engineering drawings.
Types of Lines
There are 12 types of lines usually used in engineering drawing. they are:
- Visible lines
- Hidden lines
- Section lines
- Center lines
- Dimension lines
- Extension lines
- Leader lines
- Cutting plane lines
- Break lines
- Phantom lines
- Border lines
They are dark and thick lines of any engineering design drawing. Also known as object lines, visible lines define the features that will be clearly visible in a particular view. They define the outline or contour of the object. All thick lines are usually drawn 0.6 mm thick.
Hidden lines are light, dashed, narrow, and short. They provide the features that can not be seen in a particular view but are provided to clarify some specific features. To start and end hidden lines, a dash is always used except when a hidden line starts or ends at a parallel visible or hidden line. Dashes should meet in the corners. All thin lines are of 0.3 mm thickness. Sometimes hidden lines can be omitted.
Section lines are thin lines drawn at a 45-degree angle. They are also called hatch lines. In any sectional view, section lines indicate the material that has been cut through.
Center lines in an engineering drawing show the center of a round or cylindrical shape. The line is drawn using a thin line with alternating long and short dashes. Long dashes are used to begin and terminate center lines.
At the center point, the center lines must intersect by crossing either the long or short dashes. They should continue a short distance beyond the object or feature. To represent that two or more features are in the same plane, center lines can be joined within a single view. The center lines are not meant to cross the space between views.
As the name suggests, dimension lines represent the dimensions or sizes of components in an engineering drawing. They are represented by thin lines with arrowheads at the ends that are broken along their length to make room for the dimension number. The dimension (length) is mentioned clearly.
Extension lines which are added using thin lines determine the extent of a dimension. Sometimes, extension lines are used to demonstrate the extension of a surface to a theoretical intersection.
Leader lines are used to mention a specific note to a feature on a drawing, as well as to direct dimensions, symbols, item numbers, and part numbers. they are added using thin lines.
The main features of leader lines are:
- Usually drawn at 30, 45, and 60 degrees.
- It has a short shoulder at one end that begins at the center of the vertical height of the text and a standard dimension arrowhead at the other end that touches the feature.
- Leader lines should not cross one another and should not be overly long.
- Leader lines are not drawn in vertical or horizontal orientation.
- Dimension lines, section lines, and extension lines should not be parallel to leader lines.
Cutting Plane Lines
Cutting plane lines are thick broken intermittent lines with small 90-degree arrowheads. These type of lines indicates when a section is mentally cut in half to better perceive the internal detail.
Break Lines in engineering drawings are very important and are used to separate sections for clarity or to shorten a section. There are three types of break lines, each with a distinct line weight:
- Short Break Lines: Short break lines are denoted by a thick wavy line and are used to break the edge or surface of a part to reveal a concealed surface.
- Long Break Lines: Long, thin lines are used as long break lines to indicate that the center section of an object has been removed so that it can be drawn on a smaller piece of paper.
- Cylindrical Break Lines: To depict spherical parts that have been broken in half to better clarify the print or to shorten the object’s length, thin lines are used as cylindrical break lines.
Phantom Lines are thin lines composed of long dashes alternated with pairs of small dashes. This type of line in engineering drawings serves the following purposes:
- They depict the alternate location of moving parts.
- They demonstrate the relationship between elements that fit together.
- They demonstrate repetitive detail.
Thick and continuous lines that show the drawing’s boundaries or divide different objects drawn on the same sheet are known as border lines. They are also used to distinguish the title block from the body of the illustration.
Arrowheads are used to end dimension lines, leader lines, cutting-plane lines, and viewing plane lines. They are drawn three times the length of the width. Arrowheads can be filled or not-filled.
When two or more lines appear in the same position, the lines that are the least relevant are removed. Lines in engineering drawings are drawn as per the following order of precedence/importance:
- Cutting plane line
- Visible line
- Hidden line
All the above lines are usually predefined in most CAD Software packages as layers. Depending on the layer chosen, the line will be inserted in the drawing and will be visible in a certain way. However, most drafting companies make their own custom layers with different colors to distinguish them from one another.