Illustrator technical drawing

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating technical illustrations in Illustrator is a matter of getting the correct workflow. We show you how in our Adobe Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-technical-illustration
To create a professional-looking 3D mock-up of an engineering part like this spark-plug, first create a new document, A4 size, for example. Change the orientation to landscape.
Next we need to import our reference, whether this is a photograph or a sketched drawing. To do this go to the File menu and choose Place, then navigate to where your reference image is is saved. make sure you tick the Template check box before htting OK.
Ticking Template brings the image in as a greyed-out, locked layer, with a blank drawing layer on top. If you need to rescale or move this image first unlock the layer, and use the Selection tool to conduct the operation. Pressing the Shift key will keep the image proportionate. Relock the layer and select the blank drawing layer above. You are now ready to trace the image.
If you wish to add any non-printing guides go to Window and choose Rulers, if these are not already visible. Then drag a guide across from the white space of the vertical ruler on the left – drag this to divide the photo into two halves.
Next select a pale Stroke colour with no Fill, and use the Pen tool to draw the right-hand side of the top and middle sections of the spark-plug.  Click on a point if you need to change direction as you’re drawing. We will end up with four separate pieces for this object.
The ground electrode is an L-shape at the bottom of the threads. To create the thread use the Ellipse tool to create one thread. Then press the Alt key (Mac: Option) and drag the first ellipse to copy it twice. Next use the Pathfinder panel to Add these together, then Expand the resultant shape. To half the threads vertically create a rectangle and line it up with the centre line, then use the Pathfinder, Subtract function.
In the next Illustrator blog post we will create the hexagonal nut. Lastly we use various methods to create the three dimensional effect.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes