Future of 2D Drafting

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2D Drafting is the creation of accurate representations of objects for manufacturing and engineering needs. It is used to fully and clearly define requirements for concepts or products so as to convey all the required information that will allow a manufacturer to produce that component.

Computer-aided drafting can be done in two (2D) or three dimensions (3D). While more and more companies are using 3D drafting, 2D Drafting continues to remain popular. Recently, Autodesk announced the release of Autosketch 10, a 2D drafting software with basic CAD tools that can allow anyone to create precise drawings quickly.

There are many producers of lower-end 2D drafting systems. There are also a number of free and open-source programs that are available. Siemens PLM Software, for instance, released a new version of its free 2D drafting software recently. 2D software is a stepping stone for companies to move into 3D. It reduces the learning curve and allows designs to be used across the transition.

2D drafting systems are a big improvement over traditional hand drafting, doing away with all the complications of scale and placement on the drawing sheet. One extension of 2D drafting is 3D wire frame. Each line has to be manually inserted into the drawing. The final product has no mass properties associated with it and cannot have features directly added to it, such as holes.

While 2D drafting is considered relatively inexpensive while compared to 3D, it has considerable disadvantages over the latter. For one, a 2D drawing does not work easily with downstream systems like purchasing and manufacturing. Besides, numerous problems can arise during the manufacturing stage while using 2D drawings. In a 3D model, errors can be identified early and corrected.

2D drafting will continue to find its uses in the future. However, the need for stand-alone 2D drawings will go down as the need for simulation and advanced visualization increases. 2D drawings will continue to be used as a point of reference and for inspections because they are more widely recognized and understood.