and thanks in advance for taking the time to help me.

TL;DR: I work for a company where I need to make technical drawings—mostly using SolidWorks—of some mechanical components. Do I have to include the scale for the technical drawings even if 1) no one in the manufacturing team pays attention to it and 2) I provide all of the relevant dimensions on the drawing?

I'm an engineer, and I currently work for a company as an R&D and product development engineer. A big part of my job is to design and create technical drawings for the manufacturing team to carry out the necessary processes to make what I designed a real product.

In our company, we manufacture parts for medical devices, which makes every aspect of our business quite complicated by having to adhere to a very strict set of rules and standards, which also applies to the format of our technical drawings. We are now updating our guidelines and standards for our technical drawings, and one of the topics that was brought up is the importance of providing scale information in the technical drawings (for example, 2:3 @ A4).

Now I know that adding the scale information is not that difficult or time-consuming, but I couldn't help but notice that apart from the discussions we had recently on this particular topic, no one, especially in the manufacturing team, has ever looked at or paid any sort of meaningful attention to the scale information despite us (the design and technical drawing team) always showing it in the drawings.

The thing is, we use mainly SolidWorks to do our job, and sometimes it is easy to change the scale of a drawing without updating the relevant field that automatically shows the universal scale of the drawing. This obviously causes the true scale of the drawing to conflict with the scale provided in the relevant field in the title blocks. That is why I'm wondering whether or not it is an acceptable practice to omit such a detail, especially when taking into consideration that 1) no one ever asked or paid attention to the scale information, and 2) we already provide all of the relevant dimensions clearly, which totally negates the need for a scale in our drawings in our company.

I'm almost sure that our management will accept whatever I deem "acceptable", but I couldn't find any conclusive answers in that regard, and most of the articles discussing this topic are targeting technical drawings created by architects and civil engineers, which is quite different from what we do here.

Thanks for taking the time, and I appreciate your help.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Every drawing I have ever worked on has stated DO NOT SCALE. Don't yours? $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2023 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ Well, there is a additional problem. It is assumed by default that any drawing may have a reproduction error so the scaling may not be true in anycase. But by omitting scaling information you may be setting yourself in a situation where somebody interprets your image as not in scale. While it may sound as what you want. Not in scale also means relationships in picture not correct. So they may ignore self evident error because yeah the item does not look like the item in drawing but seems to match dimensions. So they may not catch an easy error because of this. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented May 24, 2023 at 5:31
  • $\begingroup$ Although i do wish that there would be a standard way of saying in unspecified scale. Because it would reduce doing things for sake of doing things. That dont cesseserly have a meaning. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented May 24, 2023 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ @greg-locock .. but I have seen very old (actual blue prints) that included scale, and old scaling rulers from the same period. $\endgroup$
    – david
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @david yes, so have I. I'm talking about what I was taught as opposed to the way things were done historically. Up until mylar the only medium that was safe to scale off was aluminium, where you drew with a scalpel and erased with a little hammer. No thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2023 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


You should not ommit the scale. Even if no one seems to read it, it is still important information. The task is quite trivial, I don't see any reason why to remove the scale because it can cause several issue later on.

  1. Since you are working for a medical device company and might be exposed to an audit from an quality organ, such as FDA or Tüv. They will look at everything and if it is not correctly documented the company might not pass the audit.

  2. When a new employee has to look up old information, maybe you will no longer work there. It could become tedious to try and figure out what was done if data is missing from the drawing.


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