Isometric drawing is a way to quickly represent three dimensional objects and spaces on a two dimensional surface. In contrast to drawings completed in two point perspective, isometric drawings do not mimic the ways in which objects seem to recede when viewed at a distance. For this reason, isometric drawing is a particularly useful skill in fields necessitating the communication of precise measurements, such as architecture and engineering. You can make isometric drawings by hand using special paper and drafting tools or you can use a computer application designed for this purpose.
Drafting by Hand
If you want to create isometric drawings by hand, you need isometric paper and various drafting implements. Isometric paper is a type of graph paper distinguished by three sets of parallel lines which form a pattern of equilateral triangles. The lines correspond to the three dimensions in space---height, length and width. You can make isometric paper yourself using a 30/60/90 triangle tool to draw correctly angled lines. To create accurate drawings, you also need pencils and pens designed for drafting and a ruler. Unlike ordinary writing implements, drafting implements are designed for precision work. You may also need other tools like compasses, templates or French curves for more drawings involving curved or detailed surfaces.
Many examples of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software allow you to easily create isometric drawings to complement three dimensional representations. Using these programs, you can make accurate and detailed drafts. For example, AutoCAD's ellipse feature allows you to make curved structures very quickly, making this a time efficient option when the object you are representing has many curved surfaces. You can also change your drawing more easily when you use computer software, eliminating the frustration of frequent erasing.
If you don't want to invest in expensive drafting software or devote hours to detailed hand drawings, you can use simple Internet applications to create isometric drawings. If you want to quickly create uncomplicated isometric drawings, this method will provide you with the basic tools necessary to complete the job. Built-in cube tools allow you to create simple structures very quickly. In contrast to the other options, however, you are typically limited to rectangular forms, making it impossible to represent curved objects of any kind. You can use a drawing made by an online isometric tool to quickly sketch out an idea to develop further by hand or using more complex software.
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