AXONOMETRIC
PROJECTION
OBJECTIVES
After studying the material in this chapter, you should be able to:
1. Describe the differences between multiview projection,
axonometric projection, oblique projection, and perspective.
2. Sketch examples of an isometric cube, a dimetric cube, and a
trimetric cube.
3. List the advantages of multiview projection, axonometric
A Portion of a Sales Brochure Showing General Dimensions in Pictorial Drawings. Courtesy of Oynojet Research, Inc.
OVERVIEW
Multiview drawing makes it possible to accurately drawing view, approximately as they appear to an
represent the complex forms of a design by showing a observer. These projections are often called pictorial
series of views and sections, but reading and interpret drawings because they look more like a picture than
ing this type of representation requires a thorough un multiview drawings do. Since a pictorial drawing shows
derstanding of the principles of multiview projection. only the appearance of an object, it is not usually
Although multiview drawings are commonly used to suitable for completely describing and dimensioning
communicate information to a technical audience, complex or detailed forms.
they do not show length, width, and height in a Pictorial drawings are also useful in developing
single view and are hard for a layperson to visualize. design concepts. They can help you picture the rela
It is often necessary to communicate designs to tionships hetween design elements and quickly
people who do not have the technical training to inter generate several solutions to a design problem.
pret multiview projections. Axonometric projections
show all three principal dimensions using a single
514 CHAPTER 14 AXONOMETRIC PRO JECTION
Axonometric
14.1 Sketches for a Wooden Shelf using Axonometric, Orthographic, and Perspective Drawing Techniques The
Axonometric Projections in this Sketch are Drawn in Isometric. Courtesy of Douglos Wintin.
UNDERSTANDING AXONOMETRIC
DRAWINGS
Various types of pictorial drawings are used extensively in cat isometric, the axes are equally spaced (120 0 apart). Though
alogs , sale s literature, and technical work. They are often used not as realistic as perspective drawings. isometric drawings
in patent drawings: piping diagrams: machine, structural, are much easier to draw. CAD software often displays the
architectural design, and furniture design: and for ideation results of 3D models on the screen as isometric projections.
sketching. The sketches for a wooden shelf in Figure 14.1 are Some CAD software allows you to choose between isometric,
examples ofaxonometric, orthographic, and perspective dimetric, trimetric. or perspective representation of your 3D
sketches. models on the 2D computer screen. In sketching, dimetric and
The most common axonometric projection is isometric, trimetric sometimes produce a better view than isometric but
which means "equal measure." When a cuhe is drawn in take longer to draw and are therefore used less frequently,
FOUNDATIONS FOR AXONOMETRIC PROJECTION 515
i i
Plane of other and perpendicular Plane of to each other and
/ pro jection __ !> '0pi,", ~ projection / projection perpendicu lar to
plane of projection
A Object
Object
c c
(a) Multiview projection (b) Axon ometric projecti on (isomet ric shown )
Vanishing poi nt
(plane of prOjectio n~
Picture plane
/ Horizon line
Plane of
/
rolection
p I /
.
Visual rays parallel to
VP
~~~~~ :;~s
/ at
each other and oblique /
observer's
to plane of projectio n
E F eye (station
E E
Line of
sight
F
H
c
G
c
Plane of
projection
Axonometric Object
';~~
~~",""m,n"
foreshortened
ar
proportionately
x z
Axonometric Projections and 3D Models creating the 2D view of the object on your co mputer screen.
Most 3D CAD software provides a variety of preset isometric
When you crea te a 3D CAD model, the object is stored so that
viewin g directions to make it easy for you to manipulat e the
vertices, surfaces , and solids are all defined relati ve to a 3D
view. Some CAD software also allows for easy perspective
coordinate system. You can rotate your view of the objec t to
viewin g on screen.
produce a view from any direction. However, yonr co mputer
After rotating the obje ct you may wan t to return to a
screen is a nat surface, like a sheet of paper. The CAD software
preset typical axonometric view like one of the examples
uses similar projection to produc e the view transformati ons,
shown in Figure 14.5. Figure 14.6 shows a 3D CAD model.
s:
(a) (b) (c)
.J...
14.5 (a) Isometric View of a 1 inch Cube Shown in SolidWorks, (b) Dimetric View, (c) Trimetric View. Courtesy of
Solidworks Corporation.
14.6 Complicated 3D CAD Models such as this Dredge from SRS Crisafulli lnc., are Often Viewed on Screen Using
Isometric DisplayNotice the Coordinate System Display in the Lower Left. Courtesy of SRS Crisafulli, Inc.
518 CHAPTER 14 AX ONOMETRIC PROJECTION
Creating Isometric Projections revolving the cube nntil the three edges the cube make angles of about 35 16" with
OX, or, and 02 make equal angl es with the front plane of projection. The lengths
Figure 14.8a sho ws a multiview drawing
the front plane of projection and sho w o f their projected edges are equal to
of a cube. Figure 14.8b sho ws the cube
fore shortened equally. Again, a diagonal tbe actual edge length multiplied byv'1
revolved 45 about an im aginary vertical
through the cnbe, in this ca se OT, appears or about 0.816. Thu s the projected lengths
axi s. Now an auxiliary view in the direc
as a point in the isometric view and the are ahout 80 percent of the true lengths
tion of the arrow shows the diagonal of
view produced is a true isometric projec or about threefourths of the true lengths.
the cube as a point. This creates a true iso
tion . In this projection the 12 edge s of
metric projection. Yon can continue
T
~
'z
Isometric projection
'I of cube
i :j ,
x~z
X " ~(v
xO:,z 0 /
Diagonal
projects as
0
: Iso~et~ic
projection
of cube
xO:'Y
:Oz I!JI!J
a point Z
w y y y
(a) (b) (c)
14.4 ISOMETRIC
SCALES
An isometric scale can be used to draw
correct isometric projections. All dis
tances in this scale are If x true size, or
approximately 80 percent of true size.
Figure 14.11a shows an isometric scale.
More commonly, an isometric sketch or
dr awing is created using a standard scal e,
as in Figure 14.11b. di sregarding the
foreshortening that the tipped surfaces (a) Isometric projection (b) Isometric drawing
would produce in a true projection.
14.11 Isometric and Ordinary Scales
. TI P                                 ,
Making an Isometric Scale
You can make an isometric scale from a strip of paper or cardboard as
14.5 ISOMETRIC
DRAWINGS
When you make a drawing using fore
shortened mea surements, or when the
object is actually projected on a plane of
projection , it is called an isometric pro
jection (Figure 14.11a). When you make
a drawing using the full length mea sure
ments of the actual object, it is an (a) (b) (c) (d )
isometric sketch or isometric drawing
(Figure l4.llb) to indicate that it lacks 14.12 Positions of Isometric Axes
foreshortening.
The isometric drawing is about four different orientations that you might best describes the shape of the object or
25 percent larger than the isometric pro start with to create an isometric drawing bette r yet , both.
jection, but the pictorial value is obvi of the block shown. Each is an isometric If the object is a long part, it will
ously the same in both. Since isometric drawing of the sa me block, but with a look best with the long axis oriented
sketches are quicker, as you can use the different corner facing your view. horizontally.
actual measurements, they are much more The se arc only a few of many possible
commonly drawn. orientations. .    TIP        ,
You may orient the axes in any de Some CAD software will notify you
Positions of the Isometric Axes sired position, but the angl e between about the lack of foreshortening in
The first step in making an isometric them must remain 1200 In selecting an isometric drawings when you print
drawing is to decide along which axis di orientation for the axes, choose the posi or save them or allow you to select
rection to show the height, width , and tion from which the obje ct is usually for it.
depth, respectively. Figure 14.12 shows viewed , or determine the position that
520 CH APTER 14 AXO NOM E T R IC PR OJE C TI ON
I
If
e
1. Lightly draw the overall 2. Draw th e irregular features 3. Darken the final lines
di mensions of the box relative to th e sides of the box
Fig ure 14.14 shows how to co nstruc t an isometric drawing of mea surem en t along a nonisornetric line can he measur ed
an object co mposed of all norm al surfaces. No tice that all directl y with the sca le as these lines are not foreshorten ed
measurem ent s are mad e parallel to the main edge s of the eq ually to the normal lines. Start at anyone of the co rners of
enclosi ng boxthat is, parallel to the isometric axes . No the bounding box and draw along tbe isometric axis directions.
All measurements
must be parallel to
main edges of box
3. Lightly bloc k in any remainin g 4. Lightly block in features to be 5. Darken final lines
major portions to be removed removed from the remaining shape
through the w hole block along isometr ic axes
c
~B
C
(a) (b)
Transfer distance
... T1 P                   .
To convince yourself that non isometric lines will not be true length in the isometric drawing, use a scrap of paper and
mark the distance BA (II) and then compare it with BA on the given top view in Figure 14 .16a. Do the same for line
CA. You will see that BA is shorter and CA is longer in the isometric than the corresponding lines in the given views.
522 C H A f' T E R 1 4 A X 0 NOM ET RIC f' R0 J E C T ION
kiT
(a ) (b) (c)
~ ~D
Th e mu ltiview drawing at left shows three ,. TI P          ,
60 angles. None of the three angles will Checking Isometric Angles
I 6 0
be 60 in the isom etri c drawing.
g 60 A To convince yo urself that non e of th e
1~
ang les will be 60, measure each ang le
in the isometric in Figure 14.17 with a
c protractor or scrap of paper and note
th e angle compared to the tru e 60.
C 11.00 A None of the angles shown are the
x I
To find dim en sion X,
sho wn.
Not 60
isom etri c to complete the
Not 60
enclos ing box. Find dim ensio n
I~.
a
j
B
~bl
1r
l
Llli_
(a) (b ) (c)
Sections cut
~
bYPlanes~/
t::: ' .
<,
~
1.Construct sections in isometric. 2. Complete th e obj ect by drawing lines
thr ough the corners of the section s.
,.. TI P                       ,
It is not always necessary to draw the complete construction box as shown in
Figure 14.18b. If only the bottom of the box is drawn, the triangular base can be
constructed as before. The orthographic projection ot the vertex 0' on the base
can be drawn using offsets 0' A and 0'8, as shown, and then the vertical line
0'0 can be drawn, using measurement C.
14 . 1 3 CUR V E SIN ISO MET RIC 525
Ct Equal in ~/<3
~~
G
lengt h /
3. Sketch a smooth light freehand 4. Draw a line vertically from po int A to 5. Darken the final lines
curve through the points locate point A', and so on, making all
equal to the height of block (c) then
draw a light curve through the points
space d at ra ndo m
square, and dra w diagonals.
across the circle. Draw anothe r square throu gh the
point s of intersection of the d iagonal s
and the circle as sho wn.
L
1 +niI
;1; Draw this sa me construction
in the iso me tric, tran sferri ng
Tran sfer these
distances a and h. (If more points
lines to the
are de sired , add rando m parallel
Nonisometric Lines
If a curv e lies in a non isom etri c plane , not all offset measurement s can be applied dire ctly.
The elliptica l face sho wn in the auxiliary view lies in an inclined noni som etri c plane.
.r.etc.) to the fro nt view and down to the base, then measur e
along the low er edge of the constru ction box, as sho wn.
14 .15 0 R lEN TIN GEL LIP S E SIN ISO MET RIC D RAW I N G S 527
Draw or imagine a
square enclosing the cir
Diamete~ ~D iameter .... TIP         . ,
cle in the multi view drawing. of circle of circle Here is a useful rule. The major axis of
Draw the isometric view of
the square (an equilateral par
~ / the ellipse is always at right angles to
the centerline of the cylinder, and the
I ,
allelogram with sides equal to 30 30 minor axis is at right angles to the
the diameter of the circle). I \ major axis and coincides with the
centerline.
~90~
Create perpendicular bi
sectors to each side.
They will intersect at four
points, which will be centers '"
/, \:
~Minor
for the four circular arcs.
/ ' 0" axis coincides
with centerlines
(a)
Horizontal
From the two intersec Draw the two large
tion point s on one ce n D
~'t\L.....,~C Perpendicular arcs R tang ent to the
terlin e, draw perpendi cul ars isometri c rec tangle. Draw
to the other ce nterline. Then two sma ll arcs r, usin g
draw perp endi culars from foci point s C and D as
the two intersection points ce nters, to comple te the
on the other centerline to the approximate ellipse .
first ce nter line.
Note that these steps are exactly the same as for the
regular fo ur center ellipse. except fo r the use of the
With the intersections
isometric centerlines instead of the enclos ing paral
of the perp end icul ars as
lelogram. (When sketching. it worksfine tojust draw
ce nters, dra w tw o small arcs
the enclosi ng rectangle and sketch the arcs tangent
and two large arcs .
to its side s.)
14 .16 D RAW I N GIS 0 MET R IC C Y LI N D E R S 529
r TI P                                 ,
Isometric Templates
Special templates like th is iso metric template
with angled lines and ellipses oriented in
various isometric planes make it easy to draw
isometric sketches.
[iJ~ 0B
by dropping down a distance
C fro m the center
( > '  ~
Q
IAI t
~/ ~J
'
rc ,~/<:://
I
..J+++J..., __ ~/'
0", diameter
14.18 ARCS IN ISOMETRICS
R '" radius The four center ellipse construction can be used to sketch or
draw circular arcs in isometric. Figure 14.25a shows the
complete construction. It is not necessary to draw the complete
constructions for arcs, as shown in Figure l4.25b and c.
Measure the radius R from the construction corner; then at each
point, draw perpendiculars to the lines. Their intersection is
()
the center of the arc. Note that the R distances are equal
in Figure l4 .25b and c. but that the actual radii used are quite
different.
14.19 INTERSECTIONS
To draw the elliptical intersection of a cylindrical hole ill an
oblique plane in isometric (Figure 14.26a). draw the ellipse in the
isometric plane on top of the construction box (Figure 14.26b);
.:._t= _= then project points down to the oblique plane as shown. Each

    
 point forms a trapezoid, which is produced by a slicing plane
parallel to a lateral surface of the block .
To draw the curve of intersection between two cylinders
(Figure 14.27 ), use a series of imaginary cutting planes through
the cylinders parallel to their axe s. Each plane will cut elements
on both cylinders that intersect at points 011 the curve of inter
section (Figure 14.26b). As many points should be plotted as
necessary to assure a smooth curve. For accuracy, draw the
(a) (b) ends of the cylinders using the Orth four center con stru ction,
with ellipse guides, or by one of the true ellipse constructions.
14.26 Oblique Plane and Cylinder
(a) (b)
m
A
al
r:;;;or.::+,; B
1. Draw the the isometric of a great circle 2. The diameter of the 3. The diameter of the circle
parallel to one face of the cube; then circle in the isometric in the isometric projection
determine the radius of the sphere by Jf
draw ing is x the is equal to the tru e
locating points on the diagonal using diameter of the sphere diameter of the sphere
Given views measurement a to establish the ends of the
major axis
,
all lines that can be drawn on that surface. For sph ere s, select draw the ellipse, since only the point s on the d iagonal locat ed
the great circles (circles cut hy an y plan e through the ce nter) as by measurement s a are needed to establish the end s of the
the line s on the surface. Since all great circles, except those that maj or axis and thus to dete rmin e the radiu s of the sphere.
are perp endicular or parallel to (he plane of projecti on , arc In the res ulting isom etri c drawing the diameter of the
shown as ellipses havin g equal major axes, their env elope is a circ le is/f. time s the actual diameter of the sphere. The isomet
circle whose diameter is the major axi s of the ellipse . ric projection is simply a c ircle whose diameter is equal to the
Figure 14.28 sho ws two view s of a sphere enclose d in a true diameter o f the sphe re.
construc tion cube. Next. an isometric of a great circle is drawn
(a)
Jt.r
(b) (a)
14.22 ISOMETRIC
DIMENSIONING
Isometric dimensions are similar to or isometric plane of one face of the object pictorials for production purposes. Still,
dinary dimensions used on multi view (Figure 14.31a). The " hor izo ntal" guide the barbs of the arrowheads should line
drawings but should match the pictorial line s for the lettering are drawn parallel up parallel to the extension lines, as in
style. Two methods of dimensioning are to the dimension line, and the "vertical" Figure 14.31a.
approved by ANSInamely, the guidelines are drawn parallel to the As shown in Figure 14.31c, the
pictorial plane (aligned) system and the extension lines. The barb s of the arrow vertical guidelines for the letters should
un idirectional system (Figure 14.31) . heads should line up parallel to the not be perpendicular to the dimension
Note that vertical lettering is used extension lines . line s. The example in Figure 14.3lc is in
for either system of dim ensioning. In In the unidirectional system the correct because the 64 mm and 32 mrn
clined lett ering is not recommended for extension lines and dimension lines for dimensions are not lettered in the plane
pictorial dimensioning. Figure 14.31a the 64 mrn dimension are drawn in the of corresponding dimension and exten
and b show how to draw numerals and isometric plane of one face of the object sion lines, nor are they in a vertical posi
arrowheads for the two systems. (Figure 14.31b). The lettering for the di tion to read from the hottom of the
In the aligned system, the extension mensions is vertical and reads from the drawing. Note how the 20 mm dimen
lines , dimension lines, and lettering for bottom of the drawing. This simpler sion is awkward to read becau se of its
the 64 rnm dimension are all drawn in the system of dimensioning is often used on position.
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ASSEMBLIES
(Figure 14.33).
14.24 PIPING
DIAGRAMS
i:
1338'
t
1338'
t
~ t
(a) (b) (c)
Dimettic drawings
/;~
1.0 1.0
~
I >
t
(d) (e) (f)
Approximate dimetric drawings
(b) (c)
7.5 0
128r141
5lJl
~281
To make a dimetric draw
28
INDICATOR
BRACKq
FOR
THREADING MACHINE
C II REaD
j    j
... TI P                ,
You can make scales from
PRESENTATION DRAWING
The MARGE (Mars Autonomous Rover
for Geoscience Exploration) aeroshell,
shown at right, is part of a NASA
Scout mission proposal developed by
Malin Space Science Systems and the MARGE SUBASSY
Raytheon Company in 2005 and
2006. The blunt, conical MARGE WHEEL WELL
aeroshell is an integrated system THRUSTER FUEL BAY
providing safe delivery of its payload,
two small, autonomous rovers, to the
surface of Mars. The aeroshell is about
2.4 meters in diameter.
Shown here is the part of the
system which provides aerobraking
for the spacecraft's initial descent
from orbit, the terminal rocket
descent phase just before landing,
and the final soft touchdown with the
surface. With the protective backshell
(where the parachute is located) and UNFINISHED
rovers removed, you can clearlysee PYRO SEPS
the components of the propulsion HELIUM BAY
and control systems integrated into UNFINISHED ROVER
the rover egress deck, and color MOUNTS AVIONICS BAY
coded for clarity. In addition to
aerobraking and rocketpowered Shaded isometric views of 3D mod els are often used as presentation
descent, the MARGE aeroshell design drawings . This isometric view of a proposed design for the MARGE
incorporates crushable foam layers of Aeroshell was used as a presentation drawing to communicate the
increasing density to cushion the final features of a concept developed by Malin Aerospace. Courtesy of Malin
touchdown with the planet surface. Space Science Systems, Inc.
After the descent and landing phase
is complete, clamps are disengaged
and the rovers drive off the lip of the
aeroshell under their own power,
538 C HAP T E R 1 4 A X 0 NOM ET RIC PRO) E C T ION
z x
z x
z
x
y
y
4~X
z
C
Sketch
Use of an Enclosing Box to Create an Isometric Draw the front view baseline at a convenient location par
allel to A' X. Usc the parallel line you drew (P3 ) as the base and
Sketch using Intersections
draw the front view of the object. Draw the side view baseline
To draw an axonornetric projection nsing intersections, it helps at a convenient location parallel to 0 " C. Use it as the base (P2)
to make a sketch of the desired general appearance of the pro for the side view of the object, as shown. From the corners of
jection as shown in Figure 14.40. Even for complex objects the the front view, draw projecting lines parallel to Oz. From the
sketch need not be complete, just an enclosing box . Draw the corners of the side view, draw projecting lines parallel to Ox.
projections of the coordinate axes OX , or, and OZ parallel to The intersections of these two sets of projecting lines deter
the principal edges of the object, as shown in the sketch, and mine the axonornetric projection. It will be an isometric, a
the three coordinate planes with the plane of projection. dimetric, or a trimetric projection, depending on the form of the
Revolve the triangle ABO about its base AB as the axis into sketch used as the basis for the projections.
the plane of projection. Line OA will revolve to O'A . and this If the angl es formed by the three coordinate axes arc equal,
line , or one parallel to it, must be used as the baseline of the projection is isometric; if two of them arc equal. the projec
the front view of the obje ct. Draw the projecting I ines from the tion is dimetric; and if none of the three angles are equal. the
front view to the axonometric parallel to the projection of the result is a trimetric projection.
unrevolved Zaxis, as indicated in the figure . To place the desired projection on a specific location on
Similarly, revolve the triangle COB about its base CB as the drawing (Figure 14.40), select the desired projection P of
the axis into the plane of projection. Line CO will revolve to point I, for example, and draw two projecting lines PR ands PS
CO". Use this Iinc, or one parallel to it, as the baseline of the to intersect the two baselines and thereby to determine the
side view. Make the direction of the projecting lines parallel to locations of the two views on their baselines.
the projection of the unrevolved X axis , as shown.
540 CHAPTER 14 AXONOMETRIC PROJECTION
Another example of this method ofaxonometric projec positions. You can draw the views on the baselines or even cut
tion is shown in Figure 14.41. In this case, it was onl y nece s them apart from another drawing and fasten them in place with
sary to draw a sketch of the plan or base of the object in the drafting tape.
desired position. To draw the elliptical projection of the circle, use any points,
To understand how the axonometric projection in Figure such as A, on the circle in both front and side views. Note that
14.41 was created, examine the figure while reading through point A is the same altitude, P, above the baseline in both views.
these steps. Draw the axonometric projection of point A by projecting lines
Draw the axes with OX and 02 parallel to the sides of the from the two views. You can project the major and minor axes
sketch plan , and the remaining axi s OY in a vertical position. this way, or by the methods shown in Figure 14.38.
Revolve triangles COB and AOB, and draw the two base True ellipses may be drawn by any of the methods shown
lines parallel to O "C and O'A . in the Appendix or with an ellipse template. An approximate
Choose point P, the lower front corner of the axonometric ellipse is fine for most drawings.
drawing, at a convenient place, and draw projecting lines to
ward the baselines parallel to axes OX and 02 to locate their
14 .31 COM P UT ERG R A P Hi e 5 541
the example shown in Figure B. Piping diagrams are often Sn'Q X ,pacing G,idX:poc@:
done this way, although they can also be created using 3D Snap Y ,paing:
tools.
Even though the drawing in Figure B looks 3D, it is
Pol& , pacing G,idboh&vioI
really drawn in a flat 2D plane. You can observe this if you
Pol g. 1"""" o e,d6plive g1id
change the viewpoint so you arc no longer looking stra ight o AVow subdivision below g,id
onto the view. Sr.ap Iype , pacing
/ o . ~
/ c:J 88
" r +
o o o
p 10 @
r r' lli
o
o
;o OCJ
1:.1 o
r' u
o
'?
o
,.
~
u
r
r
ORfHO POLAR tw> OTAAO. OUCS OYU tW1 J l Center cursor Rightcursor Left cursor
(B) A pictorial sketch created from a flat drawing using (C) Variously oriented isometric circles and the
isometric snap. corresponding snap cursors used to create them .
KEY W 0 R D S 543
KEY WORDS adjacent view s, usually the top , front , and right side view,
ca n all be seen at the same time .
Isometric
Inclined sur faces and oblique surfaces must be determ ined
Pictorial
by plotting the endpoints of eac h edge of the surfac e.
Multiview Proj ection
Angles, irre gular curves, and ellipses require spec ial co n
struc tio n techniques for accurate representation.
Axonornetric Projecti on
Dimerric Projection
REVIEW QUESTIONS
Isometri c Axes
4 . At what ang les arc the isom etric axes drawn '?
Box Con struction
5 . Wh at are the thre e view s that are typically sho wn in an
Offset M easurem ent s
isom etric drawing '?
6 . Wh ich type of proj ecti on places the observer at a finit e dis
Isometri c Se ctioning
r
1   10 6    ,
II
2.2 0
lL.....J..l+~
r,OOi
T ~ ..1/1 are n orm a l sorsoces I
,I l I
t
.76 L..: ,...." Top in
1i .:1.76
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548 C HAP T E R 1 4 A X 0 NO M ET RI C PRO J EC T ION
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ing CAD. CAD .