5 tips to make 2D drawings easier to work with

Download the 2D drawing checklist

Have you ever tried to build a vessel component, but the exact location of where it goes is not clear from the 2D drawings? Or maybe you’re the designer trying to figure out which 2D cuts the manufacturer needs to correctly assemble the part, but it feels like a guessing game.

These are two sides of just one challenge of building off a 2D drawing.

We’ve included five tips below to help you reduce time, headache, and manufacturing errors due to the limitations of 2D drawings. Many of these can be implemented with little to no use of additional technology.

For your convenience, we’ve included a downloadable checklist at the bottom of this post for easier implementation.

Tip #1:

Problem: Poor communication of drawing updates to stakeholders.

Solution: Create a central document management system where people only have access to the latest version of the PDF so there’s no problem with documentation version control and management. Some systems allow you to send a notification to stakeholders to notify a release is available.

Tip #2:

Problem: Drawings are not up to date and do not reflect the actual model.

Solution: Put a manual QA process in place to always check the drawings prior to fabrication. You can look for technologies that automate that process. This will allow automation between the data sets and 2D drawings.

Tip #3:

Problem: Delays due to requests for clarification or additional detail because drawings do not provide clear enough instructions.

Solution: Having a 3D model would be ideal as it allows you to rotate, pivot, and hide things so you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. But even without the 3D model at large, we’re seeing people starting to use the 3D model on a free viewer (e.g., Navisworks Freedom) to provide additional clarification. Another option would be to include more 3D graphics on the 2D drawings for better visual understanding.

Tip #4:

Problem: Going through a 50-page drawing package with instructions and manually highlighting the drawings that are relevant to the scope of work you are doing.

Solution: Although the process of highlighting does help expedite the work, it’s a manual process. There’s technology out there that allows you to automate that process and extract the pages that are relevant to your specific shop order. They could produce the MI per shop order.

Tip #5:

Problem: Using a ruler to take measurements off of drawings.

Solution: Many shipyards and manufacturing companies request for lots of dimensions on the drawings. It’s a challenge. The strategy we’ve been recommending our clients is to increase the marking on the plate. You don’t want to rely on someone holding a tape measure. If you know the ID of the part and the reference line, you just look on the plate. Some clients go further and put the marking on where the weld needs to be – by increasing markings it reduces the requirements of needing to add details to the drawing.

We all have the same issues, but it’s hard to know where to focus to gain some quick but impactful wins. That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-use checklist. Feel free to share this blog post with your colleagues.

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