Facts to know before creating illustrations for patents

Illustrations or patent drawings are one of the most important elements of a patent draft. If made prudently and wisely, it can help you a lot in expediting the overall patent granting process. Unlike other kinds of normal drawings, making drawings for patents demands understandings of patent drawing rules, acquaintance with the patent regulatory framework and an artistic approach towards drawing.

With this article, our aim is to highlight some important aspects of patent drawing, like what it is, what are the rules for creating patent drawing, what are the various views we need to put into and many other things that can be of importance to creating scientific illustrations. This article is aimed at underlining some important facts which every draft person should know before creating illustrations for patents.

Preparing Patent Illustrations

What are illustrations for patents?

Patent illustrations are also called as patent drawings and are used to represent an invention visually. With this, we use graphs, diagrams, pictures and drawings to present our invention visually.

Are illustrations for patents mandatory?

No, illustrations for patents are not mandatory as per statutory rules; still, an applicant should include drawing for patents as it adds a lot in the understanding of the invention. It offers a quick look about the final product which will be available after it is manufactured.

What are various views required in a patent drawing?

There are mainly six views which are used in patent illustrations. Though there are no minimum views required, still, we need to add maximum views as possible as it can help examiners understand the invention without stressing much on their eyebrows. Some of the important views those we can use in illustrations for patents are:

  • Sectional views
  • Duplicate views
  • Exploded views
  • Plain and un-ornamented view
  • Flat objects Views

Important facts about Line types:

Patent illustrations are structured document wherein every used element has a meaning and same goes true for lines that we use in patent drawing. Even while adding a line you need to follow the guidelines meant for line styles in a patent drawing. Some of the important line type those we can use in drawings for patents are Solid Line, Phantom Line, Projected Line, Hidden Line, Projected Line, and Boundary Line.

Rules for using line types in a patent illustration:

  • A thick continuous line is used for visible edges and outlines.
  • A thin line is used for hatching, leader lines, short center lines, dimensions, and projections.
  • Dashed lines are used to show hidden edges and important hidden detail, for example, wall thickness and holes.
  • Thin chain lines indicate center lines. Center lines are used to identify the center of a circle, cylindrical features, or a line of symmetry.

What is dimensioning in patent illustration?

Dimensioning adds information that specifies

  • Exact size of the object
  • Location of features (e.g. holes)
  • Characteristics of features (e.g. depth and diameter of hole)
  • What materials are to be used, how the part is to be finished
  • Dimensions also communicate the tolerance (or accuracy)

Some important software those can be used for creating illustrations for patents is:

  • AutoCAD
  • Pro/ENGINEER
  • Google SketchUp
  • TurboCAD
  • QCad
  • XFig

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