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Sometimes, I see dimension lines drawn like this:

enter image description here enter image description here

Where there are extension lines and double-headed arrows between them. This is also how my textbook, Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th Edition, has it, and this is what we were taught to do in class.

However, most of the time, especially in hand-drawings, I see them drawn like this:

enter image description here enter image description here

Where there are no arrows, but rather slashes at each end. Whenever any of my lecturers are hand-drawing dimension lines, they always draw them with these slashes instead of arrows.

Is there any reason for these two different ways of dimensioning drawings? I can't seem to find any particular contexts in which either are used, except that when hand-drawing it's probably easier to do slashes instead of arrows. Then again, I've also seen the slashes in computer drawings.

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  • $\begingroup$ It narrowly depends on the company or client you are working with, every company usually has its own cad/drafting standard. Both slash and arrowhead are conventional. I've seen "dots" been used in the past. $\endgroup$
    – r13
    Sep 24 at 0:34
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Slashes are accepted in the iso/ansi standards as alternative to arrows which are preferred. They have a few advantages over arrows, especially in hand drawn documents. I see these quite often in architects sketches, and furniture designers plans (who seem to prefer these even in digital drawings). If I'm drawing dimensioned things on a whiteboard im about 50% likely to use this style.

  • They are faster to draw and require less effort.
  • They can be more space efficient, especially if you chain dimensions together.

But arrows are easier to remove without disrupting existing lines.

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To my experience the slashes were mostly used by civil engineers and architects while the arrows are more common with mechanical engineers.

Nowadays, I see more often the arrows. This is probably due to the the fact that it's less effort to draw them properly in a computer system.

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The slash is easier to draw, more forgiving as to where you draw it can be a bit off and nobody minds it.

Also it looks more in harmony with the hand lettering we used to do on the days of real Blue print with white lines on prussian blue background.

We used to sharpen the tip of an HB lead pencil into a knife edge for lettering and call out arrows, dimension numbers and markings.

for example an R would have very thick horizontal lines and very thin vertical lines. A 7 had a thick floating top.

I used to hang some blue prints as artwork on my wall.

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  • $\begingroup$ which is easier? slash or arrow head? $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Sep 24 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ for hand drafting with pencil, slash. because of its slant. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Sep 24 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ we used sandpaper to get the flat. God, I hated drafting. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Sep 24 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ you would be frowned upon if your lettering underline would not end under the text. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Sep 24 at 17:39

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