Unit 2: Grade 10 Technological Design - Robotics - Technical Sketching

This unit will introduce you to communicating your ideas using technical sketching standards. Learning technique, format, methods will be practiced and then applied to a design challenge.

Course Units and Descriptions

Use this table for an overview and navigate to each of the course unit pages.

Unit Description
Review course outline for more details
1 Careers & Safety- Intro, computers, organization, and careers
2 Technical Sketching- freehand sketching, ortho, dimensions, ISO views, custom ortho design
3 Basic 2D & 3D CAD Intro- 2D coordinates, lines, ortho views, 3D drawing, and custom design digitized
4 3D Parametric Design- 2D sketch, 3D parts, feature tools, drawings, exporting for 3D printing
5 Sheet metal Design- thin material design, folds, assemblies, 2D print, project design, testing, and build
6 Robot Assembly- part reproduction, part assemblies, custom function design and build
7 Web Portfolio- Showcase course work, projects, and understanding with web portfolio and presentation

Unit Content Activity Quick Links, Click to Jump to Specific Activity!
  1. Unit 2, Act. 1: Technical Sketching
    1. Selecting Front View, Ortho Steps, Sketching Standards, Common Mistakes,
      (Create) Sketching Exercises, Ortho Note, Ortho Block Challenge, Evaluation
  2. Unit 2, Act. 2: Custom Orthographic Design - Key Ring Accessory (KRA)
    1. KRA Ideas, Samples, Steps

sketching sample

- TOP - Unit 2, Act. 1: Technical Sketching next


A class of students interested in the field of Engineering have taken a course to find out what Technology Design is all about. Coming up with solutions is what Engineers do on a daily bases. How they communicate those ideas is critical and one of those ways is with technical sketching.



Practice your sketching techniques with sketching practice assignments while learning about engineering drawing standards. As sketching is the fastest way to communicate, learn, and practice these standards, we will use several related assignments to fast forward our knowledge and skills to better prepare for application in CAD programs in the near future. These sketching projects will include:

  • Basic sketching techniques
  • Sketching basic shapes including wire-frame and isometric formats
  • Selecting front view of an object
  • Orthographic projection
  • Sketching layout and line types
  • Dimensioning object views

Related assignments will be found below in the Create & Construct section.



Communicating your ideas is key for Engineers and is a critical skill to learn. Technical sketching is used in all kinds of situations. Thumbnails are where ideas initially start... some of the greatest ideas started on a napkin in a restaurant for example. Full size sketches take a little more work and formality to the steps of creating a clean technical sketch. Best way to get started is to practice sketching simple line exercises, then basic shapes, then more complex shapes. After you feel comfortable with these sketching techniques, learning about orthographic drawings will help you effectively communicate your idea in detail through isolated views. This section will give you some more information on orthographic drawing process to use with your orthographic sketch exercises:

- TOP - Selecting Front Viewortho

When deciding which view is to be used for the front view, three rules are used to determine this in the engineering field as a standard. The reason for these three rules is to prioritize and show the best views, create a standard set of views for any object, keep the view the least complicated, and make use the paper space standards, usually landscape. Objects in the real world, say for example a car has a front view, but the orthographic engineering front view most likely will be the drivers side in third angle project standard used here in North America. You must look at the object you are going to draw or sketch and decide which view shows the:

  1. The most detail
  2. Least amount of hidden lines
  3. Length across the page (as layout is usually in landscape format)

In some cases, you may have a conflict with the rules and you will have to make a decision based on two or all three rules. Generally the most amount of detail will take precedence in most cases but not always. Be prepared to explain your selection of your front view if it is not a clear decision.

- TOP - Orthographic Sketching Major Steps

By following these steps in order, will give you best results in a quick and efficient manner (remember class demo):

  1. Start by visualizing the approximate shape and size of your front view, and how much space needed for dimensioning
  2. Block in your views using construction lines starting with your front view, then your spacing, top view and right side view leaving room for your isometric view
  3. Block in your major view features using construction lines so that they will all align with each other
  4. Darken your object lines for all views including outline, features, and hidden lines
  5. Start dimensioning using construction lines to add ladder distances out from view envelopes 10 mm and 8 mm thereafter
  6. Ensure you are following dimensioning rules/standards in placement, locations, alignment, and spacing
  7. Create extension and dimension lines along with small thin arrows 2 mm thick by 3 mm long with dimensions 3 mm high
  8. Last, create your isometric by blocking in a wired cube/rectangle using additive/subtractive construction build sketch process with construction lines, then darken your object lines

Tip Some points to keep in mind when dimensioning:

  • Minimize the amount of dimensions to keep less cluttered
  • Show overall and detailed dimensions to show feature locations and size
  • Overall dimensions should be furthest out with detail dimension in between object view and overall
  • Avoid placing dimensions on the actual view
  • Avoid placing dimensions where dimension lines cross extension lines
  • Extension lines may cross each other freely
  • Extension lines may cross the lines of the drawing to dimension features properly
  • Stay inside the envelope as much as possible
  • Space the dimensions about 3/8" or 10 mm from the object and 1/4" or 6 mm apart thereafter
  • Dimension on view that shows the feature best
  • Draw all arrowheads about 1/8" or 3 mm long and very narrow
- TOP - Sketching Standards

Below are some tips that you can use when sketching objects with orthographic views and dimensioning

Line types

Line Types

Line types


Line types


Line types

Dimensions 1

Line types

Dimensions 2

Resource Links

Below are several resources you may check out that relate to technical sketching:

- TOP - Common Mistakes When Sketching Orthographic Views of Objects

Some common mistakes students make when sketching objects for orthographic views are:

  • Not selecting the correct front view, review and apply all three rules for selecting front view
  • Sketching relative sizes to dimensions of object or object features
  • Not aligning object views and/or also feature details in each view -use construction lines to line up
  • Ensure arrow sizes are thinner, ratio of 2:3 - width to length, and ensure they are touching extension lines
  • Line weights are not correct, remember construction lines are light and thin to show build of sketch, object lines are thick dark showing object views, dimension lines are thin with a medium weight and include an open gap in centre for the actual dimension which is always written the same direction as page view orientation


steps to take

- TOP - Sketching Exercises

The following sketching basics and sketching shape assignments are to be practiced in class and handed in for check, before moving on to the next sketch assignment. You will need blank paper and a pencil to complete the following assignments.:

Sketching Basics


Sketching Shapes


Sketching Tips
  • lettering sizing is generally 6 mm for titles, 3 mm for normal
  • Using two parallel lines will ensure consistency and straightness
  • speed will smooth out your lines (remember bicycle analogy)
  • ensure circles are large (full size, using up most of the space)
  • create circles using cross-hairs first, then marking space from centre, then smooth circle hitting all space marks
  • try to keep page straight to practice different directions
  • include all text and sketching for full marks,some forget to fill in the two key points below the title and reference
  • don't erase, just keep practicing and use back or another sheet if necessary
  • start a new sheet and staple all of your practice sheets together, with final (best one to be marked) at the front
  • don't worry so much about stopping exactly at each corner of objects
  • practice on back and Astrix the ones you would rather the instructor mark
  • making shapes a light construction line for the base line will help with shape creation
  • for complex shapes, use additive or subtractive sketching methods

challenge Want a challenge, check out this multi-shape sketch with shading. Working with multi shapes, lining up, hidden, space and size relationships can really test your technical sketching skills and techniques.

- TOP - Orthographic Communication with Sketching

Below, PDF 1 - 7 is a orthographic note, shows in order of creation, from layout, blocking in views, dimensioning, to a finished sketch. The following images below show a third angle projected orthographic sketch, dimensions, and isometric using a simple "step block" shape with a circular hole going through the center of the bottom step. In-class instruction will take you through the following steps in detail, so you can apply your new learning to other shapes.

Ortho Graphic Note Steps
  1. Using a full blank page in landscape format, (more details in the ideas/investigation section above for more support) start sketching the layout comprised of the header space (create light guidelines for all of your text to put in for later), ortho starting point and views (remember to maximize paper space and take in consideration the shape, size, scale, and spacing) using light construction lines as learned in the previous sketching assignments (Note: your front view and layout have already been identified for you when completing this graphic note, but in the future you will need to figure this out on your own)
  2. Next is to add some more light construction lines through both views that locate and align those features and then lightly sketch those in - such as the step and hole features
  3. Once the views and the features are lightly sketched in, plan and locate your dimensions keeping in mind dimension rules and standards by using 3 mm guidelines located 1 cm away in the centre of feature you are dimensioning. Once you have located all your dimensions block in your third quadrant (the empty space top right) to sketch in your best view isometric, all still with light construction lines
  4. Finish lines by using 2nd stage sketching by going over the different lines with the appropriate line thickness and hardness, object lines are a heavy weight - thick and dark, while dimension lines are medium weight - thiner and darker than construction lines
  5. This is your ortho shape finished
  6. Because this is a graphic note with space around the outside of our sketched ortho page, you are to fill in the labels, technical terms, and explanations, then fill in your text in your header using your guidelines previously made in step 1
  7. This step shows all of the labels in colour, a little easier to read, but not necessary. Last step is on the back copy the section below titled "Selecting Front View" with the three rules for selecting a front view, then have a partner review it for any missing components or mistakes prior to handing in for a mark
Sketching Ortho Components labeled

7, Labels done
(only for info)


10 Block Challenges

- TOP - Ortho Block Sketch Challenge

Now to apply and test your new knowledge and skills in the ortho block challenge. An PDF orthographic summary sheet, sample, rubric, and checklist handout is to be used to assist with your practice and process.. With the 10 ortho block challenges, select one at your current grade level/difficulty (recommend a level 5 for a student with 0-60%, level 6 for 60-70%, level 7 for 70-80%, etc) and create a full page sketch ISO with all dimensions needed to complete a ortho sketch challenge. Follow the same steps as above, steps 1 to 5 (our in-class lesson/demo graphic note) to correctly apply your new leaning to a new object. Students are to use the Ortho Sketch Self-Peer Checklist with a peer to insure you're on the right track in completing the ortho block challenge. Start with the layout using construction lines to locate the header, ortho start point, selecting the correct front view, view locations taking into consideration scaling object size and spacing appropriately.

Tip Use your sketching techniques you learned above while you sketch your ortho block challenge out and remember to review the tips in the Investigation /Ideas section for detailed support. Also, collaborate with partners with your selection of your front view of your object, just in case you missed something, as drawing the wrong front view will compound your mark lower.

- TOP - Evaluation:

Ensure that you have completed the Sketch Ortho Self-Peer Checklist and staple to the back of your completed custom ortho block sketch project. Be aware that your self and peer evaluation marks may be used also for an individual mark based on how close you are to the teachers evaluation. For this reason, ensure that your peer marker has not marked someone else, so that everyone gets an opportunity to peer mark. Peer markers that peer mark twice will lose marks on their lower peer mark entry.

Here are some student samples with teacher feedback and marks in PDF PDF's; Sketching Basics, Sketching Shapes, and Sketching Ortho Projection Demo, Sketching Ortho Custom Blocks, Sketching Ortho Custom Blocks 2 with Eval's.

Evaluation Breakdown Component Descriptions Marks
Always double check that you have completed all components for full marks.
Sketching Basics - clean, straight lines, and smooth round circle curves 10
Sketching Shapes - clear shapes sketched with correct angles, lines, and shapes 15
Orthographic Sketch Note - 3 ortho views, 1 ISO, dimensions, and labels 20
Orthographic Sketch Challenge - 3 ortho views, 1 ISO, and dimensions 20

SPICEj Design Process

- TOP - Unit 2, Act. 2: Custom Orthographic Design - Key Ring Accessory


A class of students interested in the field of Engineering have taken a course to find out what Technology Design is all about. One of the major principals of this course/field is the "Design Process". Coming up with solutions is what Engineers do on a daily bases.



There is a three parts to this activity, with the first part understanding the design process and identifying the steps on different tasks/challenges such as coming up with ideas for a Key ring accessory using this process. Your task is to use the design process model, SPICE to design a practical/decorative key ring accessory to be later drawn in CAD and printed in 3D using our 3D printer. A hidden aspect of this activity is also to practice and show your sketching ability for creating thumbnail ideas, and also creating an orthographic with dimensions and isometric of your idea. The key chain accessory itself has specific requirements which is to include:

  1. A design that is unique to you, custom, practical/decorative, and related to technology
  2. Equivalently sized to approximately the size of a chap stick container or standard Staedtler white eraser
  3. A minimum 5 mm diameter hole for the key ring with at least 5 mm sufficient support material around the hole
  4. A minimum 5 mm general thickness

You will need to explain the SPICE design process steps first in how it is applied to the key ring accessory, before actually starting to design it. The following are the major steps for this project:

  1. Start by explaining filling in the steps of SPICE explained in terms of this project, the key chain accessory design
  2. Create five different isometric thumbnail ideas based on above parameters with each idea labeled, filling the page
  3. A final full-page scaled orthographic sketch showing minimum dimensions and an isometric view as previously practiced

- TOP - Investigation/Ideas:

A design process is what engineers, entrepreneurial, inventors, etc. use or go through to come up with great solutions to resolve or find solutions to problems. Some starting points to coming up with ideas are:

  • Use your own experiences, knowledge, and interests
  • Talk to your peers, friends, and/or professionals
  • Research using Internet, related magazines/books, and/or similar sources
  • Actual ideas already completed that you could use to make it your own

There are many design process models out there, some very long and detailed wile others simple and short. Most successful corporations will already have a process that employees must follow while working which involves reporting on those steps taken. We will look at some of these models and focus in on one specifically called SPICE to show how the technical design process works and also below are some more support links on thumbnail sketching:

- TOP - Samples of Work

The following samples show what thumbnails would look like and how your orthographic sketches would look like when applied to other designs such as key ring accessory project.

Sample Thumbnails


Sample Ortho 1

Ortho 1

Sample Ortho 2

Ortho 2-3D CAD

Ortho Sketch sample 2

Ortho 3 - 3D Print



- TOP - Steps To Complete the Key Ring Accessory (KRA)
  1. Using the handout SPICE Applied to the Key Ring Accessory, fill in each of the steps, using your understanding and the information on this site (once peer take-up is done, instructor will review student samples with you)
  2. Research your ideas on some ideas you can create to later 3D print
  3. Use a full page with large isometric thumbnails to show your designs based on requirements showing hole location and labeled with notation if necessary
  4. Once you have completed your investigation and have many ideas, you will select your best idea and...
  5. Draw a scaled orthographic (i.e. to fill the page with space for dimensions) showing the correct front, top, and right side view using your recent experience from the previous ortho practice challenge
  6. When you are done, use the Sketch Ortho Self-Peer Checklist to ensure you have completed your sketch correctly and staple tok the front of your finished sketch for teacher evaluation


You will be evaluated on your SPICE key ring accessory explanation, thumbnails, and final orthographic design. Here are some student samples with teacher feedback and marks PDF KRA final ortho sample 1, sample 2. A breakdown of those marks are below:

Evaluation Breakdown Component Descriptions Marks
Always double check that you have completed all components for full marks.
SPICE - SPICE design process steps based on the key ring accessory 14
Thumbnails - Layout for five ISO thumbnails, full page with holes, notations, and labels 15
Orthographic - Sketch showing final design with 3 views, dimensions, and ISO 30