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Technical drawing

Draft precise and detailed drawings quickly with CAD software from Autodesk.

Image courtesy of Engineering Centre LTD, Russia

woman using autocad on desktop

What is a technical drawing?

A technical drawing, also known as an engineering drawing, is a detailed, precise diagram or plan that conveys information about how an object functions or is constructed. Engineers, electricians and contractors all use these drawings as guides when constructing or repairing objects and buildings.

Full control panel for ice cream sandwich filler machine.

Why are technical drawings important?

Technical drawings bridge the communication between designers, the people who come up with ideas, and producers, the people who put those ideas into practice. They’re designed as a universal language to be understood by engineers, contractors and architects.

Image courtesy of MartinCSI

Types of technical drawings

Developer working with Autodesk Inventor Professional and AutoCAD Mechanical software

Mechanical engineering drawing

Mechanical engineering drawings are used to define the requirements for engineering products/components. They serve as technical manuals and as trouble-shooting tools for identifying the weak spots in a mechanical design. Mechanical drawings rely on precise mathematical equations to accurately depict the mechanism and its component parts.

Rendering of an electrical control circuit

Electrical drawing

Electrical drawings are technical documents that depict and notate designs for electrical systems. They convey relevant information about lighting, wiring and power sources, as well as information about voltage and capacity. Technicians rely on electrical drawings during a building’s construction or when repairing a building’s electrical system.

architect in front of computer with architectural model drawings

Architectural drawing

Architectural drawings are detailed, precise depictions of every aspect of the construction being proposed. Architects use the drawings to visualise ideas and concepts, turn a design idea into a coherent plan for a building and decide the type of supplies and labour that is needed for the project.

Technical drawing software

Expedite your technical drawing process

AutoCAD includes specialised toolsets, such as architecture, mechanical, electrical and more. Access over 750,000 intelligent objects and parts with industry libraries. Automate common actions in technical drawings such as inserting doors, generating bills of materials and creating PLC I/O drawings.

Getting started with technical drawing software

technical drawing in AutoCAD


Get started in AutoCAD with these free guides and develop your skills with videos and tutorials.

technical drawing in Inventor


Learn the fundamental concepts and workflows in Inventor with these tutorials.

technical drawing in Revit


Get insider tips, tricks and industry trends to help get started with Revit.

Technical drawings in action

See how customers are using Autodesk software to create technical drawings.

lightning motorcycle

Image courtesy of Lightning Motorcycles

Delivering the world's fastest electric motorcycle

Electric motorcycle builders outraced the petrol-powered competition with a superbike developed with generative design and 3D-printed prototypes. Autodesk’s iterative process to auto-design translated into significant gains in speed and range for the motorcycle, helping them to achieve world records.

ropeless lift design by Federal Equipment company

Creating a "ropeless" lift for the US navy

Federal Equipment Company designs highly innovative lifts for the US Navy with help from Autodesk software, including AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor. Collectively, these programmes helped perform initial finite element analysis (FEA), track materials and optimise designs for manufacturability, ultimately reducing cost overruns associated with production stoppages and rework.

Technical drawing resources

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  • Can I use technical drawing software to design room interiors?

    Yes – AutoCAD can be used for designing room interiors, and includes a specialist architecture toolset for automating floor plans.

  • Does Autodesk offer discounts for students?

    Students can use AutoCAD free of charge.

  • What is BIM?

    BIM or Building Information Modelling refers to the creation of digital representations of buildings and other spaces in order to better plan the construction, maintenance and use of those spaces.