Big disc sander | Drawing industrial machines

Week 1| Informing Integrated Product Design | Spring Semester 2015 | UTS

The task

The task at hand is to draw one of the machines in the UTS DAB Fabrication Workshop. First there is the quick 20 minute sketch during the tutorial session. This would simply be a rough pencil sketch. Then I have to create a more detailed and rendered drawing, improving on my rough sketch. Since I have a box of watercolour lying about, I decided to use this to render my drawings.

First up, is the big disc sander. I have fond memories of this machine from last semester. After the band saw, this was the second industrial machine I've ever used in my life. I used it to sand ureol— the material we used to make the tool for the vacuum formed pencil case and the blocks project. This machine can sand through ureol really fast. In fact, I lost a lot of marks in my vacuum formed project because I sanded too much which made my measurements way off.

blue pencil sketch of machine
Figure 1: Rough sketch in tutorial

Difficulty at the beginning

As you can see I'm still struggling with understanding perspective. It's doing my head in a bit. I guess I just have to keep on doing it. As discussed by Nassim Taleb in ‘Antifragile’, there are many things in life that can only be understood through practice.

There are secrets to our world that only practice can reveal, and no opinion or analysis will ever capture in full.

Give it time

Given more time to sketch and render at home, the final product is much better if I could say so myself. My experience is that drawing has to do more with seeing rather than hand movements. In my previous attempts I gave up on, I was drawing the image formed in my head, dictated by my ordinary mental consciousness (OMC), not what my eyes was seeing. I had to really look the photograph for a long time to approximate the proportions of the machine. Some of the proportions did not make sense to my OMC. Ignoring my OMC and just drawing what I saw even if it did not make sense yielded better results.

drawing of machine with watercolouring
Figure 2: Rendered sketch

Finally, here is the photo I took during the tutorial sketch. I will attempt and do another round of sketches after this semester is over. We can then compare to see if the iterations made a difference.

big green industrial machine
Figure 3: photograph of big disc sander


  1. Taleb, N.N. , Antifragile: things that gain from disorder, Random House, New York.