Accessories for technical drawing. These are the standard accessories that one thinks of when imagining the work surface of the technical designer, from the designer to the architect. However, the lines to be drawn are not always perfectly straight, and at other times they are not even perfectly circular. The precision required by technical drawing certainly does not allow freehand drawing: what to do when neither simple lines nor compasses can help the illustrator? Simple: we turn to some quirky accessories such as curvilinear, masks, and stencils.
In all cases, these are tools designed to accompany the hand of the technical designer in a safe and fast way, minimizing the probability of error and maximizing the homogeneity of the illustration. So let’s find out one after the other what they are for and how to use these particular drawing tools!
The curvilinear for technical drawing
They are called curvilinear, or even curvilinear, those particular accessories used by surveyors, architects, technical designers, and model makers to trace in a simple, fast, and correct way non-circular curved lines characterized by variable radii. Thanks to the curvilinear curve, it is possible to safely draw parabolic, hyperbolic, elliptical, spiral, or free curves.
Before moving on to a brief description of how curvilinear is used, let’s talk a little about its history. The first models of curvilinear lines similar to today’s ones were born in the 17th century, made thanks to the carving of pieces of hardwood or ivory. However, only in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the increasing demand for technical drawing accessories, large-scale industrial curves began to be produced. The first brand to take this step was Stanley, in 1860 they were launched on the market first of the curvilinear in wood and later in aluminum.
During the twentieth century, there was the final and fundamental evolution. The first curvilinear plastic material was produced, which had the great advantage of being transparent, thus allowing extremely more accessible use and a glimpse of the underlying design. To meet the needs of technical designers, the companies then began to produce flexible curvilinear usually made with a metal wire coated with plastic material. Thanks to this accessory, it is possible to set any line in advance.
How to use the curvilinear
If you are wondering how to use curves, don’t worry, the use is effortless, and you don’t need a detailed guide. The models of curvilinear that you can currently find on the market are made based on the prototypes set by the German mathematician Ludwig Burmester. Generally, in the packages, there are 3 different types of curvilinear. Their use allows you to have a variety of curves to choose from. Once you have made your choice, place the curvilinear on the sheet and draw the curve. Although the curvilinear, for example, is used to draw the ellipse, once the points for which the figure must pass have been established, its use will prove to be fundamental to be able to join them.
Before proceeding with the final stroke, the advice I want to give you is to trace by hand, in a very subtle way, the curve you would like to obtain and then orient the curvilinear to find the stroke that most resembles it. Never use markers. Their use could lead you to dirty the curvilinear and consequently ruin the drawing.
The use of masks in technical drawing
The curvilinear is undoubtedly a rather original tool, which can surprise the layman. The masks, if possible, are even more particular accessories: in fact, they are tools carved in detail to allow the designer to draw uniformly ‘standardized’ drawings, and therefore the same from project to project, from studio to studio. The surveyor can benefit from the use of different types of masks, such as those designed for furniture, which contain the shapes of tables, wardrobes, armchairs, beds, pianos, etc.
Then there are masks dedicated to sanitary only, and therefore to sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets. In this way, using hard and pointed drawing pencils or liners, it is possible to populate projects and floor plans with universally recognized illustrations to make the surveyor’s work intuitive.
It is not only the surveyors, moreover, who can benefit from technical drawing masks. It is also possible to find covers specially designed for other professional needs on the market, such as masks with the shapes of bolts and nuts or even more complex masks with electronic symbols. In all cases, given the intended use, these accessories are made with highly precise milling to guarantee a perfect result of the technical drawing.
How to use the stencil
Even more than the others presented on this page, here is a tool that seems to emerge from another era. Before the spread of CAD programs and drawing by hand in a uniform and correct way, there was the further problem of writing in an equally homogeneous way to give more professionalism to the projects. However, very few people can boast perfectly uniform handwriting, character after character. For this reason, for many years, the stencil has been an essential element on the table of all technical designers, but not only.
Therefore, the stencil is a particular mask that allows you to reproduce any letter of the alphabet, number, or recurring symbol correctly and consistently the same way. A professional stencil then reports all the letters of the alphabet in uppercase and lowercase versions and all the most used numbers and symbols (and therefore mainly the punctuation marks and mathematical signs). Today, as you can imagine. But, unfortunately, few professionals use a stencil to report the necessary captions on their drawings.
This accessory is now primarily used in teaching to teach students the importance of uniform and accurate writing. Like the curvilinear and the masks, even the stencil can use both a pencil and liners with a metal tip. Have you already visited the section of our e-commerce entirely dedicated to the online sale of accessories for technical drawing? In addition to the curvilinear, stencil, and masks, you can find squares, markers, pencils, and sheets to satisfy any type of need, professional or not!
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