JITE v33n2 - Under Review - Engineering Graphics Communication

Volume 33, Number 2
Winter 1996

Bertoline, G. R., Wiebe, E. N., Miller, C. L., & Nasman, L. O. (1995). Engineering Graphics Communication . Burr Ridge, IL: Richard D. Irwin, $66.95, 1062 pp. (ISBN 0-256-11418-8).

Robert A. Chin
East Carolina University

Engineering Graphics Communication is part of and could be considered the heart of the Irwin Graphic Series . Both the book and the Series were developed in response to a need to make fundamental changes in the manner in which graphics instruction is delivered. The Series itself is composed of texts, workbooks, and related curriculum materials--including instructor's manuals, illustrations on CD-ROM, solutions manuals, videotapes, grading disks, and supplementary software. Many of the latter are contained in the Graphics Instructional Library , which is available to instructors who adopt the text. The intent of these materials is to bridge the gap between the instructional materials currently available to teachers of engineering and technical graphics and contemporary graphics practices.

The book is organized around four major themes: Part I, "Visual Science for Engineering Design Graphics"; Part II, "Fundamentals of Engineering Design Graphics"; Part III, "Descriptive Geometry"; and Part IV, "Standard Engineering Design Graphics Practices." In addition, the authors have included an extensive glossary, appendices, and an index.

Part I, "Visual Science for Engineering Design Graphics," is composed of five chapters--"Introduction to Graphics Communications," "The Engineering Design Process," "Technical Drawing Tools," "Sketching and Text," and "Visualization for Design"--and introduces the reader to the unique tools and procedures used in engineering graphics. Specifically, it examines the art of visualization, sketching techniques, and the role and significance of engineering graphics in the communications process.

The second part, "Fundamentals of Engineering Design Graphics," deals with the construction of 2-D and 3-D geometry and how to create multiview and pictorial representations. Its four chapters--"Engineering Geometry and Construction," "Three-Dimensional Modeling," "Multiview Drawing," and "Pictorial Drawings"--convey the concepts and techniques associated with the development of engineering drawings with both traditional drawing tools and computers.

Part III, "Descriptive Geometry," focuses on the application of the multiview drawing principles introduced in Part II to the solution of engineering problems. It consists of three chapters: "Auxiliary Views," which examines the types, uses, and construction of auxiliary views; "Fundamentals of Descriptive Geometry," which deals with the fundamentals of true length of lines and size, shape of surfaces, and the relationship between lines and planes; and "Intersections and Developments," which deals with the development of 3-D forms and the intersections created between geometric forms.

The last part, "Standard Engineering Design Graphics Practices," is divided into six chapters. The first four, "Section Views," "Dimensioning and Tolerancing Practices," "Fastening Devices and Methods," and "Working Drawings," introduce additional standards and conventions that complement techniques and concepts dealt with in earlier parts of the book and show how they are melded in design situations and in the development of engineering drawings. The other two chapters, "Production and Automated Manufacturing Processes" and "Technical Data Presentation," deal with production processes and their impact on engineering graphics and the presentation of data and information.

The content and the approaches advanced by the authors for presenting their ideas is based on the findings of two recent curriculum studies. In one, researchers in a study sponsored by the National Science Foundation concluded that 3-D modeling should be at the core of engineering graphics instruction ( Juricic & Barr, 1990 ). In a SIGGRAPH sponsored study, researchers suggested that graphics instruction has a common knowledge base and that visualization is unique and an important part of instruction in graphics ( Bertoline, Bowers, McGrath, Pleck, & Sadowski, 1991 ).

The authors of the book, in addition to discussing the technology used to do graphics, have made use of the technology throughout the book. The resources used for producing the book include MS-DOS and Macintosh platforms as well as FreeHand, 3-D Studio, StrataVision, PhotoShop, Animator Pro, HiJack Pro, DOS Mounter, Mac-in-DOS, Debabilizer, DeltaGraph, and MS Excel, to name just a few. And, to the best of our knowledge, Engineering Graphics Communication is the first engineering graphics text to take advantage of four-color illustrations both to enhance the communication process and to demonstrate the power of graphics as a communications medium.

A list of learning objectives opens each chapter. Each chapter also contains an introduction and an industry application box, which summarizes an article that describes how graphics and design are currently used in industry.

At the end of each chapter, readers will find a summary that emphasizes key points, a list of key terms, a series of review questions, and review problems. Most chapters also contain references to AutoCAD and CADKEY CAD activities that could be completed in conjunction with the chapter, and a list of relevant articles and books.

The book, however, will not be without its critics. Engineering Graphics Communication is longer than all its contemporaries and contains enough content for several courses. There are errors in the book that were missed during editing. They are, however, insignificant, can very easily be overlooked, and do not affect the associated materials if one wishes to ignore them. There will be those who would suggest that graphics associated with construction should have been included in addition to those associated with manufacturing.

The book is worthy of very serious consideration. It is the first new graphics text to appear on the market in quite a while, and the first significant graphics text to be based on extensive research of contemporary graphics theory and practices.

Engineering Graphics Communication is also the first graphics text that goes well beyond the token coverage that many other texts give to the design process and visualization. Furthermore, it is the first that provides contemporary coverage of modern presentation methods, 3-D modeling, and engineering geometry. Users will find that all topics are related to one another seamlessly. The book exhibits the continuity so many graphics texts written 25, 50, even 75 years ago do not possess because it does not rely on tacked-on supplements that purport to bring books up to contemporary standards.

Users of the book will find it to be quite useful because of its contemporary nature. It is easy to read and a pleasure to use, in great part because it is well illustrated and because of the authors' decision to deliver their message using contemporary four-color technology.


Bertoline , G. R., Bowers, D., McGrath, M. B., Pleck, M. H., & Sadowski, M. (1991). A conceptual model for an engineering graphics curriculum for the year 2000 & beyond. In G. R. Bertoline & D. Bowers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1990 Mid-Year Meeting of the Engineering Design Graphics Division of the ASEE (pp. 241-254). Washington, DC: American Society for Engineering Education.

Juricic , D., & Barr, R. E. (1990). Engineering design ideation and communication methodology for the next decade and beyond. In D. Juricic & R. E. Barr (Eds.), Proceedings of the NSF Symposium on Modernization of the Engineering Design Graphics Curriculum (pp. 185-193). Austin, TX: University of Texas Printing Department.

Reference Citation: Chin, R. A. (1996). Review of Engineering Graphics Communication . Journal of Industrial Teacher Education , 33(2), 93-96.