**As of April 1, 2022 – Engineering Drawing Basics has been renamed to Print Reading and Tolerances. The course content did not change, we simply updated the name to better reflect the product.**

Engineer Essentials, owner of GD&T Basics, launched the Engineering Drawing Basics course in 2019. This course, now known as Print Reading and Tolerances, was created for all those eager to upskill themselves or brush up on their basics. See what one of our learners has to say about this course….

“If you cannot interpret an engineering drawing, there is no place for you in a professional engineering department.” remarked our internship supervisor as he showed us a huge blueprint during the industry-orientation tour. Standing at the tail end of the group, I was unable to catch a glimpse and being a naïve junior year student at that time, I thought, “That’s pretty easy, I aced the engineering drawing lab at university”.  

I was proven wrong just a year later by my first professional gig. It was a freelance CAD project which I took on with full confidence in my skills. When I saw the drawing, however, I was completely baffled by the various details and unfamiliar features it had. Despite an hour of studying it and surfing the internet, I could not get a clear idea of what the drawing represented. Consequently, I had to turn down the project.  

My supervisor’s words rang in my head at this point and I decided to upskill myself in this field. My choice of e-learning course: Engineer Essential’s Engineering Drawing Basics. 

I finished this course in a month and learned a lot from it. Expanded on below is my experience with it.  

It Teaches How to ‘Read’ Drawings

It may seem like a silly statement to make but I would still like to highlight that the biggest take-away from this course is that one becomes an expert at reading an engineering print.  

I say this because most college graduates possess great drafting skills but lack the essential ability to interpret a professional draft. I remember that my engineering drawing lab in university was centered on developing our ability to draw. We used to go in with our sheets and drawing gear and learned how to master the art of drafting.

Granted that practice makes perfect, this approach took the focus away from the interpretation part – the one which the industry requires. This was the reason that despite my good performance in this lab, I still could not compete against entry-level professionals who could read blueprints, which understandably is a worrisome position to be in.  

Hence, before I moved on to the specifics, I thought it pertinent to mention that this course makes you industry-ready by building upon what you have learned in college. 

I Learned the Ways of the Professionals 

There were a lot of things about engineering drawing that I never knew of or was wrong about before taking this course.  

First of all, I learned about the complete structure of a drawing. Most engineering drawings you will come across in the future will probably have sections that you are unaware of. For example, a Bill of Material (BOM) on an assembly drawing would certainly have stopped my gears if I had not taken this course.  

To top this off, this course dives deep into the various conventions associated with each and every section of a drawing. My favorite part of each lecture was the last section which lists down good vs. bad practices associated with the topic at hand. While both good and bad practices are ‘legal’ per se, knowing and employing the former ones makes you a more competent professional.  

Let me cite an example. Did you know that the starting point of a leader line can change its application? Following the convention is good because it makes the interpretation easier and fits in with the expectations of a good draftsman. On the other hand, if you start it from the wrong point, the reader is still pretty likely to figure it out but it surely will leave a bad impression, which is not what you want as a professional.

Another notable feature of this course is the all-inclusive curriculum. The instructor leaves no stone unturned while exploring a topic.  

This realization came to me when I was going through the lecture on ‘Engineering Drawing Notes’. Before that, I thought that notes were only used for extra information like the color or the roughness of a part. These lectures taught me their complete application by listing down everything that can go in a note; I came to know that the information they contain is not ‘extra’ but an integral part of the document.

First/Third Angle Projections Are Not Scary Anymore! 

This is my biggest flex after taking this course. My college instructor used several methods to show the difference between these two orthographic projection techniques but I could never wrap my head around them. Even while drawing, I was used to mixing them up.  

I would like to give a shout-out to Engineer Essentials as their course settled this problem for me. The approach used by the instructor to illustrate this concept is very clear and helpful. I can now confidently point out which projection is being used in a matter of seconds.  

There are Pleasant Surprises All Over

One thing I liked about this course is how it incorporates add-on topics that build up more interest in the subject matter as a whole. Towards the end, I was delighted to see some introductory topics for Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing that motivated me to take the GD&T Basics course as well.  

As a college graduate or a professional looking for a refresher, you can expect to find such bonus lectures scattered throughout the course. These lectures not only transfer knowledge but also provide a break from the monotonous classroom routine; they make the learning experience fun and wholesome.  

How Is It Benefitting Me Professionally?

Ever since I completed this course, it has helped me out on numerous occasions. Revisiting the aforementioned bad experience, I have completed a number of CAD projects since then without any hassle.  

I am currently working as a faculty member in a university and was recently assigned the engineering drawings lab thanks to this qualification in my portfolio. As a teacher, I now hope to design a curriculum that maintains a balance between drawing practice and blueprint-reading. 

Finally, being placed in the advanced manufacturing lab at my workplace, I come across engineering drafts on a daily basis. Everything that I have learned in this course comes in handy while figuring out these drafts.  

Final Thoughts

I would like to end this post by appreciating the pedagogy adopted by the makers of this course. The videos are intriguing and there is a flow to the entire course. I was repeatedly tested by quizzes and blueprint-reading challenges, which have proven to be really helpful in retaining information.  

The instructor lays each topic out in a very simple manner, such that even the most difficult ones come to you naturally.  

The community forum also deserves commendation, where every question is answered in detail and there is a lot to learn just by going through it.  

To those reading this, I can confidently say that taking Engineering Drawing Basics was the right decision for me. I hope it is for you too!  


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