As Computer-Aided Design software has become more advanced, the use of hand-drawn engineering drawings has greatly diminished. This reduction has led to free-hand sketching becoming less emphasized in engineering education. While many engineering curriculums formerly included courses dedicated entirely to sketching and hand drafting, these topics are no longer addressed by most current curriculums. However, it has been observed that sketching has many benefits including improved communication in the design process, idea generation exercises, and visualizing design ideas in three-dimensional space. While isometric sketching has long been the preferred method in engineering curriculums, there are benefits of teaching perspective sketching including the creation of more realistic sketches for communication and idea generation.
This paper presents the development of a perspective-based sketching curriculum and the study of how this method compares to more traditional methods of teaching sketching to students in a freshman level engineering graphics course.
The results show that the perspective-based sketching method leads to equivalent gains in spatial visualization skills and final design self-efficacy as the traditional method of teaching hand sketching. While maintaining these skills, the new method also taught students additional skills. Through surveys and interviews, the students expressed that these skills would be useful to them in their future coursework and careers.