Design Engineering

designer banner 3Mechanical designers work with engineers using computer design software to create from sketches and even field work, technical drawings for equipment, foundations, and facilities.






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Nomenclature & Symbols

Design Engineering GlossaRy


  • Angle  -  Two rays sharing a common point.


  • Base Point  -  The point on a parametric sketch that remains fixed to the coordinate system.
  • Block Diagram  -  A schematic drawing that shows the relationahip in a systen using simple shapes.


  • Center Line  -  A linetype used to indicate the axis of symmetry of a hole or part.
  • Circumscribed (Outside)  -  A circle that touches every vertex.
  • Coordinate  -  Any point on a plane.
  • Coordinate Plane  -  A plane having a horizontal and vertical axis number line intersecting at the origin.


  • Datum Plane  -  A geometric reference point for parametric dimensions.
  • Dimension Line  -  A type of line used when applying dimension to a drawing.
  • Design Constraint  - A line on the range of options that is acceptable.
  • Drawing Revision  -  Drawings are typically released and revised as the design process progresses.  Depending on the companies engineering and construction requirements depends on how the drawings are releases.
  • Dynamic Assembly  -  An assembly model in which parts are linked to their individual part files so the software can update the assembly when individual part files are modified.


  • Electrical Schedule  -  Tabulation of conduit, conductors and/ or cable quantities that are routed through various raceways for the purpose of connecting components of an electrical system.
  • Equipment Location Plan  -  A drawing created to show the location of equipment relative to other pieces of equipment.
  • Exploded  -  An assembly in which parts are moved out of position along a axis so that each individual part is visible.
  • Export  -  To save data from one application in a file format that can be read by another software application.


  • Face  - A planar surface on an object bounded by edges when it intersects other surfaces.
  • Flange  -  A flattened collor or rim around a cylindrical part to allow for attachment.


  • Global Parameters  -  Parameters that are common to more than one part in an assembly.


  • Hard Copy  -  Printed or plotted materials.
  • Hatch Line  -  A series of parallel lines drawn on a diagonal to indicate a surface created by a cut.
  • Hidden Line  -  A type of line that represents an edge that is not directly visible because it is behind or beneath another surface.


  • Inscribed (Inside)  -  A sphere that touches the center of every faces.
  • Interface  -  The portion of a system or device used to interact with or control it.
  • Intersection  -  The point at which two points or surfaces meet, or the area shared bt overlapping surfaces.




  • Limit Tolerance  -  A tolerance that states the maximum and minimum allowable dimension, not the basic dimension value.
  • Line Designation  -  Flow lines should be labeled to show pipe size, line service identification, line number, line material, piping class and the line pressure rating.


  • Match Line  -  A match line is used to denote a cut line between two or more drawings where the area is to large for one drawing.
  • Machining Scale  -  A steel ruler with its smallest divisions 0.01 inch apart.



  • Offset  -  The distance from an existing object at which a new object will be created.
  • On Plot  -  Large and/or complex facilities require demarcation between hazardous and nonhazardous areas.
  • Over Dimensioning  -  Showing the same dimension more than one way in the drawing.


  • Part Drawings  -  Individual drawings prepared for each part that will be manufactured or modified for the project.
  • Parting Line  -  A line on a molded part where the two mold halves come togeather.
  • Pipe Design Management System  -  Was developed by AVEVA formerly CAD Center in UK.  PDMS as it is known in the 3D CAD industry, is a customizable, multi-user and multi-discipline, engineer controlled design software package for engineering, design and construction projects in, but not limited to, offshore and onshore oil & gas industry, chemical & process plants, mining, pharmaceutical & food industry, power generation and paper industries.
  • Piping and Instrumentation Diagram  -  In the design process, a piping and instrumentation diagram, abbreviated as P&ID, is created following the Block Flow Diagram and Process Flow Diagram.
  • Piping and Instrumentation Diagram/How To  -  It is important that the Piping and Instrumentation Diagram contains all the information for the process because this is the basis for the Piping Design and HazOP.
  • Process Flow Diagram  -  Shows the relationships between the major components of a system or process plant. The PFD is more detailed than a Block Flow Diagram but does not contain as much detail as Piping and Instrumentation Diagram P&IDs.




  • Schematic Diagram  -  A schematic diagram or elementary diagram shows every wire and device involved in the control of an electrical load.
  • Service Classification  -  Service class is a one to three letter designation that shows what service the line is in.  It is typically shown on a Piping and Instrumentation Diagram as part of the line numbering system.
  • Solid Modeling  -  A type of 3D modeling that represents the volume of an object, not just its lines and surfaces.
  • Static Assembly  -  An assembly that does not update when individual part files change.
  • Storyboard  -  Pictures that dipict the sequence and composition of key events in an animation.
  • Subassembly  -  A group of parts that fit togeather to create one functional unit.
  • Surface Modeling  -  A three-dimensional modeling that defines only surfaces and edges.
  • System Variables  -  Settings that control the default operation of a CAD package.


  • Template  -  A drawing with certain settins that can be used repeatedly as the basis for starting a new drawing.


  • Update  -  To regenerate the model or drawing using any new dimension values or changed perameters.
  • User Coordinate System  -  A coordinate system defined by the user to assist in creating CAD geometry.


  • Vanishing Point  -  A location where the projections converge in a perspective drawing.
  • Vertex  -  A point where two or more curves, edges, or lines meet.


  • Wiring Diagram  -  The purpose of wiring diagrams are to provide the installer with the information required for terminating the individual conductors at various points.
  • Working Drawing  -  Drawings that convey all the information needed to manufacture and assemble a design.





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Display #
Architectural Decimal Text Size and Scale
Architectural Inch Text Size and Scale
Block Flow Diagram
Design Aids
Dimension Line

Tags: Drawings Glossaries