Mechanical drawing and blueprint reading are related in that both types of drawings instruct workers on how to construct objects. Draftsmen also use similar technical language, conventions and even software to build each kind of drawing.
Reading blueprints and mechanical drawings requires learning the language and technical markings that professionals use as a lingua franca. For instance, to begin reading a blueprint, start with the title block, which displays information such as the blueprint’s name and number, location, site and vendor. Title blocks also contain approvals and a list of references to all drawings related to the main blueprint. Similarly, a mechanical drawing displays information blocks to list the owner of the drawing, part numbers and description, as well as information regarding material and finish.
Both blueprints and mechanical drawings comprise very compact sets of symbolic instructions (more professional shorthand) for completing a project. A blueprint’s legend explains the meanings of symbols for doors and windows, for example, and also tells builders where doors and windows will be in the finished floor plan as well as where toilets will be located in bathrooms. Blueprints also specify materials for these and other parts of the build. Likewise, mechanical drawings list a bill of materials, all parts and materials required to complete a project.