Orthographic projection

In orthographic projection, the front face is always parallel to the picture frame and the projectors are perpendicular to the picture frame (see Figure 2.9). This means that one only ever sees the true front face that is a 2D view of the object. The receding faces are therefore not seen. This is the same as on an oblique projection but with the projectors perpendicular rather than at an angle. The other faces can also be viewed if the object is rotated through 90°. There will be six such orthographic views. These are stand-alone views but if the object is to be 'reassembled' from these six views there must be a law that defines how they are related. In engineering drawing there are two laws, these are first or third angle projection. In both cases, the views are the same; the only thing that differs is the position of the views with respect to each other. The most common type of projection is third angle projection.

2.5.1 Third angle projection

Figure 2.10 shows a small cornflake packet (courtesy of Kellogg's) that has been cut and folded back to produce a development of a set of six connected faces. Each one of these faces represents a true view of the original box. Each face (view) is folded out from an adjacent

Picture Plane Art

Front face parallel to picture plane

Figure 2.9 Orthographic projection

I Orthographic Projection parallel and picture plane


Front face parallel to picture plane

Figure 2.9 Orthographic projection

Orthographic Drawing
Figure 2.10 A folded out cardboard cornflake packet (courtesy of Kellogg's)

face (view). Folding the faces back and gluing could reassemble the packet. The development in Figure 2.10 is but one of a number of possible developments. For example, the top and bottom small faces could have been connected to (projected from) the back face (the 'bowl game' face) rather than as shown. Alternatively, the top and bottom faces could have been connected.

Figure 2.11 (courtesy of Kellogg's) shows the same layout but with the views separated from each other such that it is no longer a development but a series of individual views of the faces. The various views have been labelled. The major face of the packet is the one with the title 'Corn Flakes'. This face is the important one because it is the one that would be placed facing outwards on a supermarket shelf. This view is termed the 'front view' and all the other views are projected from it. Note the obvious names of the other views.

All the other five views are projected from the front face view as per the layout in Figure 2.10. This arrangement of views is called third angle orthographic projection. The reason why this is so is explained below. The third angle orthographic projection 'law' is

Rear view

Left side view

Rear view

Right side view

Fronl view

Left side view

Figure 2.11 Cornflake packet in third angle projection (courtesy of Kellogg's)

Fronl view

Right side view that the view one sees from your viewing position is placed on the same side as you view it from. For example, the plan view is seen from above so it is placed above the front face because it is viewed from that direction. The right-side view is placed on the right-hand side of the front view. Similarly, the left-side view is placed to the left of the front view. In this case, the rear view is placed on the left of the left-side view but it could have also been placed to the right of the right-side view. Note that opposite views (of the packet) can only be projected from the same face because orthographic relationships must be maintained. For example, in Figure 2.11, the plan view and inverted plan view are both projected from the front view. They could just as easily have both been projected from the right-side view (say) but not one from the front face and one from the right-side view. It is doesn't matter which arrangement of views is used as long as the principle is followed that you place what you see at the position from which you are looking.

Figure 2.12 shows a third angle projection drawing of a small bracket. In this case, the plan view and the inverted plan view are projected from the front face. Note that the arrangements of the views are still in third angle projection but they are arranged differently from the views in Figure 2.11. Another example of third angle projection is seen in the truncated cone within the title box in Figure 2.12. Here, the cone is on its side and only two views are shown yet they are still in third angle projection. The reason the cone is shown within the box is that it is the standard symbol for third angle

Iso 128 1982

Third Angle Projection

Figure 2.12 Third angle projection of a bracket projection recommended in ISO 128:1982. The standard recommends that this symbol be used within the title block of an engineering drawing rather than the words 'third angle projection' because ISO uses symbology to get away from a dependency on any particular language.

Third angle projection has been used to describe engineering artefacts from the earliest of times. In the National Railway Museum in York, there is a drawing of George Stephenson's 'Rocket' steam locomotive, dated 1840. The original is in colour. This is a cross between an engineering drawing (as described above) and an artistic sketch. Shadows can be seen in both orthographic views. Presumably this was done to make the drawings as realistic as possible. This is an elegant drawing and nicely illustrates the need for 'engineered' drawings for the manufacture of the Rocket locomotive.

Bailey and Glithero (2000) state, 'The Rocket is also important in representing one of the earliest achievements of mechanical engineering design'. In this context, the use of third angle projection is significant, bearing in mind that the Rocket was designed and manufactured during the transition period between the millwright-based manufacturing practice of the craft era and the factory-based manufacturing practice of the industrial revolution. However, third angle projection was used much earlier than this. It was used by no less than James Watt in 1782 for drawing John Wilkinson's Old Forge engine in Bradley (Boulton and Watt Collection at Birmingham Reference Library). In 1781 Watt did all his own drawing but from 1790 onwards, he established a drawing office and he had one assistant, Mr John Southern.

These drawings from the beginning of the industrial revolution are significant. They illustrate that two of the fathers of the industrial revolution chose to use third angle projection. It would seem that at the beginning of the 18th century third angle was preferred, yet a century later first angle projection (explained below) had become the preferred method in the UK. Indeed, the 1927 BSI drawing standard states that third angle projection is the preferred UK method and third angle projection is the preferred USA method. It is not clear why the UK changed from one to the other. However, what is clear is that it has changed back again because the favoured projection method in the UK is now third angle.

36 Engineering drawing for manufacture 2.5.2 First angle projection

The other standard orthographic projection method is first angle projection. The only difference between first angle and third angle projection is the position of the views. First angle projection is the opposite to third angle projection. The view, which is seen from the side of an object, is placed on the opposite side of that object as if one is looking through it. Figure 2.13 shows the first angle projection layout of the bracket shown in Figure 2.12. The labelling of the views (e.g. front view, plan, etc.) is identical in Figures 2.12 and 2.13. Note that in first angle projection, the right-side view is not placed on the right-hand side of the front view as in third angle projection but rather on the left-hand side of the front view as shown in Figure 2.13. Similarly, the left-side view appears on the right-hand side of the front view. The other views are similarly placed. A comparison between Figures 2.12 and 2.13 shows that the views are identical but the positions and hence relationships are different.

Another first angle projection drawing is seen in the title box in Figure 2.13. This is the truncated cone. It is the standard ISO symbol for first angle projection (ISO 128:1982). It is this symbol which is placed on drawings in preference to the phrase 'first angle projection'.

How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

Realize Your Dream of Becoming a Professional Pencil Drawing Artist. Learn The Art of Pencil Drawing From The Experts. A Complete Guide On The Qualities of A Pencil Drawing Artist.

Get My Free Ebook


  • nereo
    Is parallel projection and orthographic projection the same?
    1 month ago

Post a comment