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The Drawing Abbreviations And Symbols Of Mechanical Design And Engineering

You may easily identify the abbreviation KG and CM, do you know the meaning of CYL and EQUI SP on a CNC design?

In the context of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) design, the abbreviations “CYL” and “EQUI SP” typically refer to specific features or parameters. In CNC design, “CYL” usually stands for “Cylinder.” It indicates the presence or specification of a cylindrical shape or feature in the design. It could refer to a cylindrical tool or a workpiece that requires machining operations such as drilling or turning.The abbreviation “EQUI SP” is less commonly used and might have different interpretations based on the specific CNC system or software being used.

However, one possible meaning for “EQUI SP” could be “Equal Spacing.” This term suggests that the CNC design involves maintaining equal distances or intervals between certain components or features. It could apply to the placement of holes, slots, or other elements on a workpiece or a toolpath. If you have access to any accompanying documentation or guidelines related to the CNC design you’re working with, it would be helpful to consult those resources to get precise definitions for the abbreviations used.Here we collected the standard engineering drawing abbreviations and symbols to provide help for users.

Why Use Abbreviations and Symbols in Engineering Drawings

Abbreviations and symbols are used in engineering drawings for several reasons:


Clarity And Conciseness

Engineering drawings often contain a large amount of information, including dimensions, tolerances, annotations, and other details. Using abbreviations and symbols allows for concise representation, making the drawings easier to read and understand.


Abbreviations and symbols follow established standards and conventions. By using universally recognized abbreviations and symbols, engineering drawings can be easily understood by professionals across different industries and countries. This promotes consistency and reduces the chances of misinterpretation.

Space Optimization

Engineering drawings are often created on limited-size sheets, and space optimization is crucial. Using abbreviations and symbols helps reduce the amount of text required, allowing more information to fit within the available space.

Efficiency And Time Saving

Abbreviations and symbols streamline the drafting process. Instead of writing out full words or descriptions, engineers and drafters can use standardized abbreviations and symbols, saving time and effort.

Precision And Accuracy

Abbreviations and symbols in engineering drawings are precise and carry specific meanings. They help convey information in a concise and unambiguous manner, reducing the potential for errors or misunderstandings in the interpretation of the drawings.

Tradition And Familiarity

Many abbreviations and symbols used in engineering drawings have a long history and are deeply ingrained in the profession. They have become widely recognized and understood by professionals in the field, allowing for effective communication and collaboration.

The use of abbreviations and symbols in engineering drawings improves communication, reduces errors, and enhances the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes.

Common Drawing Abbreviations And Symbols Of Mechanical Design And Engineering

The technical engineering drawing abbreviations we outline here are the terms used in the manufacturing(include precision cnc machining and more) and inspection of parts and assemblies. Here are some common engineering drawing abbreviations used in technical drawings:

  • Dia: Diameter
  • Rad: Radius
  • L: Length
  • W: Width
  • H: Height
  • D: Depth
  • T: Thickness
  • CB: Counterbore
  • Ra: Surface finish
  • CPD: Center to center distance
  • CSK: Countersink
  • Fillet: F
  • CH: Chamfer
  • Tol: Tolerance
  • Sym: Symmetrical
  • NW: Nominal width
  • LH: Left-hand
  • RH: Right-hand
  • CBO: Checked by others
  • EDM: Electrical discharge machining
  • APPR: Approved by
  • MATL: Material
  • ASSY: Assembly
  • DWG: Drawing
  • THK: Thickness
  • PCD: Pitch circle diameter
  • Ang: Angle
  • ID: Inner diameter
  • NOM: Nominal
  • FNPT: Female National Pipe Thread
  • PH: Pin height
  • HW: Height >workplane
  • CCW: Counterclockwise
  • CW: Clockwise
  • CL: Centerline
  • CP: Center point
  • GPM: Gallons per minute
  • OD: Outer diameter
  • TPI: Threads per inch
  • MNPT: Male National Pipe Thread

More Engineering Drawing Abbreviations Can Be Used In CNC Manufacturing

Certainly! Here are some additional engineering drawing abbreviations commonly used in CNC manufacturing:

  1. CNC: Computer Numerical Control
  2. CAD: Computer-Aided Design
  3. CAM: Computer-Aided Manufacturing
  4. RPM: Revolutions Per Minute
  5. IPM: Inches Per Minute
  6. G-code: CNC machine language
  7. M-code: Machine function code
  8. SFM: Surface Feet Per Minute
  9. DOC: Depth of Cut
  10. RDOC: Radial Depth of Cut
  11. ADOC: Axial Depth of Cut
  12. OAL: Overall Length
  13. LOC: Length of Cut
  14. OD: Outer Diameter
  15. ID: Inner Diameter
  16. IPR: Inches Per Revolution
  17. TPI: Threads Per Inch
  18. DFM: Design for Manufacturing
  19. BOM: Bill of Materials
  20. FEA: Finite Element Analysis
  21. FMEA: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  22. GD&T: Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
  23. HSM: High-Speed Machining
  24. RPM: Rapid Prototyping Machine
  25. MRR: Material Removal Rate
  26. VMC: Vertical Machining Center
  27. HMC: Horizontal Machining Center
  28. DFM: Design for Manufacturability
  29. DFX: Design for Excellence (e.g., DFM, DFA, DFR)
  30. CAD/CAM: Integrated computer-aided design and manufacturing

These abbreviations are commonly encountered in the field of CNC manufacturing and are used to communicate specific information, processes, and techniques related to CNC machining and production.

Engineering Drawing Symbols Chart

Basic types of symbols used in engineering drawings are countersink, counterbore, spotface, depth, radius, and diameter. Here are more commonly used engineering drawing symbols and design elements as below. Here is a chart type featuring some commonly used engineering drawing symbols:

1.Geometric Symbols

  • Circle: Represents a hole or drilled feature.
  • Square: Indicates a machining operation or process.
  • Triangle: Represents a milled surface or cut feature.
  • Hexagon: Indicates a dimension or measurement.
  • Concentric Circles: Represents a position or location of features.

2.Material and Surface Symbols

  • Roughness Symbol: Indicates the required surface finish.
  • Surface Texture Symbol: Represents the desired surface texture.
  • Welding Symbol: Indicates the type of weld and welding details.
  • Surface Profile Symbol: Represents the required surface profile.
  • Datum Feature Symbol: Indicates a datum reference frame for measurements.

3.Electrical Symbols

  • Resistor: Represents a resistor component.
  • Capacitor: Represents a capacitor component.
  • Inductor: Represents an inductor component.
  • Transformer: Represents a transformer component.
  • Ground Symbol: Indicates an electrical ground connection.

3.Mechanical Symbols

  • Bolt/Nut Symbol: Represents a bolted joint or fastening.
  • Gear Symbol: Indicates a gear or gear assembly.
  • Spring Symbol: Represents a spring component.
  • Bearing Symbol: Indicates a bearing component.
  • Motor Symbol: Represents an electric motor.

5.Flowchart Symbols

  • Start/End Symbol: Represents the start or end of a process.
  • Decision Symbol: Indicates a decision point in a process flow.
  • Process Symbol: Represents a specific process or action.
  • Data Symbol: Indicates data input or output.
  • Connector Symbol: Connects different parts of a flowchart.

It’s important to note that there are many more symbols used in engineering drawings, and the specific symbols used can vary depending on the industry, standards, and specific applications.

Engineering Drawing Symbols Chart

Certainly! Here is a table featuring some commonly used engineering drawing symbols:

Ø or ⌀Diameter
θ or ∠Angle
RaSurface finish (Roughness average)
CPCenter point
CPDCenter to center distance
NWNominal width
CBOChecked by others
APPRApproved by
PCDPitch circle diameter
EDMElectrical discharge machining
TPIThreads per inch
ODOuter diameter
IDInner diameter
PHPin height
HWHeight above workplane
FNPTFemale National Pipe Thread
MNPTMale National Pipe Thread
GPMGallons per minute
CADComputer-Aided Design
CAMComputer-Aided Manufacturing
RPMRevolutions Per Minute
IPMInches Per Minute
G-codeCNC machine language
M-codeMachine function code
SFMSurface Feet Per Minute
DOCDepth of Cut
RDOCRadial Depth of Cut
ADOCAxial Depth of Cut
OALOverall Length
LOCLength of Cut
IPRInches Per Revolution
TPIThreads Per Inch
DFMDesign for Manufacturing
BOMBill of Materials
FEAFinite Element Analysis
FMEAFailure Mode and Effects Analysis
GD&TGeometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
HSMHigh-Speed Machining
VMCVertical Machining Center
HMCHorizontal Machining Center
DFMDesign for Manufacturability
DFXDesign for Excellence (e.g., DFM, DFA, DFR)
CAD/CAMIntegrated computer-aided design and manufacturing

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and the symbols used can vary depending on the industry, specific standards, and applications. It’s always important to refer to the relevant standards or guidelines specific to your field for a comprehensive list of symbols and their meanings.