Drawing Layout

If you use plan, elevation, and section drawings to illustrate your products, I recommend you organize them using "third angle projection".
Each surface on the shaded 3D object is projected onto the surface of an imaginary box.
Visualize the box unfolding to display each of the 2D projections.
Each of the projections is laid out on a sheet of drawings in a particular arrangement.

The top shows a a plan.

The central image is the front or main elevation.

Immediately to the side of the front elevation are the left and right elevations.

The far right shows the rear elevation and the bottom is a view of the object from below.

Sectional views are laid out in the same relative positions as elevations.

I recently worked with a manufacturer which has product literature with inconsistent drawing layouts. This added confusion to an already complex product presentation. A previous client had difficulty because its inconsistent detailing practices caused costly screw-ups on the production floor. My friend, Vladimir Paperny, has told me about a highrise project in Russia where the structural steel was fabricated backwards because the engineer and architect used different projection systems.

Most architects are not familiar with the term "third angle projection". But most have internalized the method (at least those who began their careers drafting with T-square and triangle).

This advice is particularly important to manufacturers based outside of the US since "first angle projection" prevails some parts of the world. As you make plans to enter the US, revising your drawings is an appropriate part of your technology transfer.

Drawing: CC BY-SA 3.0

Humor Educates... and Sells

A ceramic tile promotional group has, for years, been using a cartoon series to educate contractors and specifiers. It is model other building product manufacturers and promotional groups can emulate. The group's website explains:
"TileWise cartoons were developed under Donato Pompo's leadership for Club '84 (Ceramic Tile Action Group). Club '84 was a non-profit organization of accomplished individuals from all segments of the ceramic tile industry. The group's mission was to develop and distribute educational aids to educate, train and bring quality awareness to the distributors, specifiers, installers, and consumers of Ceramic Tile.
"The TileWise cartoons were created to communicate issuses and concerns in the business of using ceramic tile for all segments of the industry. The objective was to educate to promote the quality use of ceramic tile. In each cartoon the screen exagerates what you shouldn't do or emphasizes an issue or concern, then George the Bucket (named after CTI founder George Lavenberg) says what is correct. The cartoons ran for twelve years in each issue of the Tile Industry News, a major industry publication, published by the Ceramic Tile Institute until 1999 when it ceased
"Use these cartoons to educate your customers and employees to help avoid potential problems, and to promote a positive image of your company through newsletters, posters or mailings.
"We hope you can put these cartoons to good use to help your industry and your business, and we know you will certainly benefit from them if you do. Good Luck!"

Mining Data from Illustrations

Forgive the pun title for this post -- but it this illustrations brings two topics to mind.

1. Mining is a huge market for construction materials! It is frequently overlooked by building product manufacturers more tuned into above ground construction. Mining -- particularly underground mining -- requires concrete and other structural materials, lighting and communications, plumbing and ventilation, tools and equipment, and more.

Most products used underground have to meet severe service conditions including dust, moisture, physical abuse, and fire/explosion resistance. Yet many of our clients have found that, with appropriate product modifications and a disciplined sales and marketing effort, new opportunities can open beneath their feet.

2. A good illustration is an invaluable sales tool. When I had had to learn about the mining business in a hurry, I realized I was in over my head. It began opening to me when I found this illustration, in Shotcrete magazine. Within minutes, I was able to grasp important mine construction concepts and familiarize myself with terminology.

Of course words are also important in marketing. Sometimes a single phrase can change a person's entire attitude. It happened to me when I saw this phrase:

 I can dig it!