ISOMETRIC DRAWING: A DESIGNER'S GUIDE

01.12.2021

Isometric drawing is a form of 3D drawing, which is set out using 30-degree angles. It is a type of axonometric drawing so the same scale is used for every axis, resulting in a non-distorted image. Since isometric grids are pretty easy to set up, once you understand the basics of isometric drawing, creating a freehand isometric sketch is relatively simple.

This post explains all you need to know about isometric drawing. You'll learn exactly what defines an isometric drawing, how it differs from one-point perspective, what to do to get started creating your own isometric projection, and even more.

 

WHAT IS ISOMETRIC DRAWING?

 

An isometric drawing is a 3D representation of an object, room, building or design on a 2D surface. One of the defining characteristics of an isometric drawing, compared to other types of 3D representation, is that the final image is not distorted. This is due to the fact that the foreshortening of the axes is equal. The word isometric comes from Greek to mean 'equal measure'.

 

Isometric drawings differ from other types of axonometric drawing, including dimetric and trimetric projections, in which different scales are used for different axes to give a distorted final image.

In an isometric drawing, the object appears as if it is being viewed from above from one corner, with the axes being set out from this corner point. Isometric drawings begin with one vertical line along which two points are defined. Any lines set out from these points should be constructed at an angle of 30 degrees.

 

 

 

 

ISOMETRIC DRAWING vs ONE-POINT-PERSPECTIVE

 

Both isometric drawings and one-point perspective drawings use geometry and mathematics to present 3D representations on 2D surfaces. One-point perspective drawings mimic what the human eye perceives, so objects appear smaller the further away they are from the viewer. In contrast, isometric drawings use parallel projection, which means objects remain at the same size, no matter how far away they are.

 

Basically, isometric drawing doesn’t use perspective in its rendering (i.e. lines don’t converge as they move away from the viewer). Isometric drawings are more useful for functional drawings that are used to explain how something works, while one-point perspective drawings are typically used to give a more sensory idea of an object or space.

 

 

 

HOW TO DRAW AN ISOMETRIC CUBE

 

Drawing a cube using isometric projection is very easy. You will need a piece of paper, ruler, pencil and protractor

Using the ruler, draw a vertical line on the page, and mark three equally spaced points along it. Draw a horizontal line through the lowest point, and using the protractor, mark out a 30 degree angle up from the line on either side. Draw a line back through the lowest point from the 30 degree angle on each side.

 

Repeat this step through the middle point and the same through the top point, but with the top point, mark out the angle downwards. The lines from the second and third point will cross at a certain point, and from this intersection, draw a vertical line down towards the angled lines coming from the bottom point. You should be able to see the form of the cube where all of the lines intersect.

 

THE BENEFITS OF ISOMETRIC DRAWING

 

Isometric drawings are very useful for designers – particularly architects, industrial and interior designers and engineers, as they are ideal for visualising rooms, products, and infrastructure. They're a great way to quickly test out different design ideas.

 

There are a number of other situations in which isometric projection is useful. In wayfinding systems, for example in museums or galleries, an isometric wall maps can show visitors where they are in the building, what is going on elsewhere, and how to get to get around.

Some of the best infographics use isometric projection to enable them to show more information than would be possible in a 2D drawing. Some logo designs also use this approach to create impact.

 

Exploded isometric drawings are useful for revealing parts of a product that might be hidden or internal. They're used by architects, engineers and product designers the world over to better explain the intricacies of a design. To create an exploded isometric, you need to know the detailed inner workings of whatever you are drawing, so they're are usually used at the final design stage for presentations to clients.

 

ISOMETRIC DRAWING EXAMPLES

 

 

 

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