One of the examples of technical drawing methods that are used as documentation that I have experienced in my professional life is Quickfit a brand of borosilicate laboratory glassware that is joined by tapered ground glass joints. All students of practical organic synthesis in chemistry will be familiar with these pieces of apparatus. The really nice thing is that they are very standardized and a simple sketch and/or list of the part numbers is a very accurate documentation of exactly what combination was used.
A researcher in another part of the world, or decades later, can build an identical piece of complex glassware and follow exactly the same methods to achieve a synthesis.
An image is shown below of a Soxhlet assembly from the Sigma-Aldrich catalogue (http://tinyurl.com/2utw8s).
There is a short Wikipedia article on Quickfit here (http://tinyurl.com/38q7nu).
Sunday 30 January 2011
Posted by Matt at 11:25