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An engineering drawing, a type of technical drawing, is used to fully and clearly define requirements for engineered items. More than merely the drawing of pictures, it is also a language—a graphical language that communicates ideas and information from one mind to another. Engineering drawing and artistic types of drawing, and either may be called simply “drawing” when the context is implicit. Engineering drawing shares some traits with artistic drawing in that both create pictures.
Engineering drawing uses an extensive set of conventions to convey information very precisely, with very little ambiguity. Although these terms are still in use, the not -gender-specific terms draftsperson and drafter are now more common. The various fields share many common conventions of drawing, while also having some field-specific conventions.
For example, even within metalworking, there are some process-specific conventions to be learned—casting, machining, fabricating, and assembly all have some special drawing conventions, and within fabrication there is further division, including welding, riveting, pipefitting, and erecting. Each of these trades has some details that only specialists will have memorized.
Thus, if the resulting product is wrong, the worker or manufacturer are protected from liability as long as they have faithfully executed the instructions conveyed by the drawing. If those instructions were wrong, it is the fault of the engineer. This is the biggest reason why the conventions of engineering drawing have evolved over the decades toward a very precise, unambiguous state. Engineering drawings specify requirements of a component or assembly which can be complicated.
Standards provide rules for their specification and interpretation. Standardization also aids internationalization, because people from different countries who speak different languages can read the same engineering drawing, and interpret it the same way. One major set of engineering drawing standards is ASME Y14. ISO GPS system is invoked.
It also goes on to state that marking a drawing “Tolerancing ISO 8015” is optional. The implication of this is that any drawing using ISO symbols can only be interpreted to ISO GPS rules.