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What Is an Isometric Drawing ? —

What Is an Isometric Drawing ? —

Instructor: Mia Primas

Mia has taught math and science and has a Master’s Degree in Secondary Teaching.

This lesson will explain how isometric drawings address the challenges of depicting 3D objects. You’ll see some examples and may become inspired to create your own! After the lesson, you can take a brief quiz to see what you’ve learned.

What Is an Isometric Drawing?

Have you ever tried to draw a 3-dimensional shape, such as a cube? It can be a bit of a challenge. Every artist faces the challenge of creating 3-dimensional images on 2-dimensional paper. A painter or sketch artist may use techniques such as shadowing to make the image appear as lifelike as possible. For a technical or engineering drawing, however, different strategies have to be used. This is where an isometric drawing becomes useful.

An isometric drawing allows the designer to draw an object in three dimensions. Isometric drawings are also called isometric projections. This type of drawing is often used by engineers and illustrators that specialize in technical drawings. For example, when an engineer has an idea for a new product, he or she will probably create a sketch to show a client or investor. And chances are, the sketch will be an isometric drawing.

A Third Dimension

It is simple to draw a 2-dimensional object on paper because paper has two dimensions, height and width. But objects in real life have a third dimension, depth, which needs to be represented in the drawing. In isometric drawings, all three dimensions are represented on paper.

The three dimensions are represented as three axes: one vertical axis and two horizontal axes.

isometric cube

It’s All About the Angles

So what makes an isometric drawing different from other 3-dimensional drawings? The axes are drawn so that the two horizontal axes are drawn at 30 degree angles. It’s as if the vertical axis is in its true position, but the horizontal axes are bent 30 degrees from their true position.

isometric structure


Here are some examples of isometric drawings. Notice that each image shows three axes to represent each dimension of the object: the vertical axis is blue and two horizontal axes are drawn in orange and green.

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