Classic drawing interpretation problem

There’s a classic problem with drawings:  interpretation.   Without enough information, there is always some sort of ambiguity.  Let’s take at a classic interpretation problem for example.

What is the shape of the part being described by this drawing (below)?  Note that Hidden Line Visible is turned on for both the Front and Top views.

Classic drawing interpretation problem

Because HLV is on, this cannot be a sheet metal bracket, since you’d be able to see the sheet metal wall as hidden lines in both views.


Not the solution

So, can you model this part?  Well, I’m not going to make you wait for the solution.  If you want to cheat to see the solution modelled in SOLIDWORKS, feel free to download it herewoodblockproblem (SW2015).

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

5 thoughts on “Classic drawing interpretation problem”

  1. Puzzles need to be pointless, otherwise they wouldn’t be puzzles, they’d be work!

    I did solve this, and it was fun… but I don’t have SW2015, and having put more than enough money into SW upgrades, for which sin I have been more than amply punished by the law of diminishing returns and tormented by recurrent bugs (I believe 2015 was a shocker), pointless (that word again!) code bloat, compounded by mounting VAR/corporate disfunction, (whew!)….

    … I’ll never know if there’s another solution.

    Sometimes it’s good to accept there are things one cannot know…

  2. Saw this one in a mid-to-late 70’s Playboy, I recall.
    Solution required showing the ‘side-view’ of the object.

    I realized there are 2 possible correct answers, ‘official correct answer’ side-view involves no hidden lines, 2nd ‘unofficial’ (alternate) solution involves 2 short hidden lines. 🙂

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