The 7 BIGGEST Drafting Hacks for Architecture Students – Tips to Improve Architectural Drafting

Want to get better at architectural drafting?

I’ve got 7 drafting hacks for architecture students to help improve your architectural drafting skills.

Check out my FREE online course for architecture students “70 Hacks for Archi Students”

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Drafting Hacks for Architecture Students

Tips to Improve Architectural Drafting

If you want to improve the way you draft as an architecture student, I’ve got 7 drafting hacks for you. These are 7 of those light bulb moments I’ve had as an architecture student. The small things that make huge differences when drafting.

These 7 hacks are from my new interactive online architecture course, 70 Hacks for Architecture Students. If you haven’t checked that out yet, I highly recommend you do. I spent over 6 months on it – it’s completely free and is packed with these small things that make huge impacts on the work you do.

So, lets go through the 7 biggest drafting hacks for architecture students.

Drafting Hack #1 – Anti-Smudge Hack

Don’t you hate it when you’re working on a drawing, you look down, and see a big fat smudge from your pencil or fineliner?


Fear no more!

There is a way to prevent smudging and smearing when drafting or doing architectural drawing.


Step 1: Grab a piece of cardboard, paper, tape or anything you can find.

Step 2: Lay it on the backside of your ruler.

Step 3: Tape over it.

This is something my first year tutor showed me, and have since done it to every single one of my rulers!


It creates a space between the ruler and your fabulous work, allowing you to move your ruler freely without smudging pencil or pen marks wildly over your drawings.


Drafting Hack #2 – Systematising Drawing

Whether you’re trying to draw bricks, walls, columns or something else. There are times when we must do some pretty tedious drawings . . .


Times where you must draw bricks over and over. Or, columns and walls, and you keep losing track of how wide you should be drawing them.



Instead of trying to remember that the walls are 150mm, the columns are 300mm and the bricks are 110mm, you can draw those dimensions on a plain sheet of paper or card and label it.


That way, when you are needing to draw those common components, you don’t have to spend time trying to calculate how wide it should be on your scale ruler.


Instead, you can just grab your template sheet and copy what you created earlier.


Drafting Hack #3 – Rendering Hack (Overpowered) FT. Llyan Austria

Let the printer render your drawings for you (this is SO OP!)


Step 1: Print off a picture you want to trace in colour.


Step 2: Place the print face down on your sheet and dab rubbing alcohol on it. This will transfer the printer ink onto the sheet to make it look like a watercolour drawing.


Step 3: Get a fine line marker and begin drawing over the top of it.


Step 4: Admire your fantastic work.


This is perfect if you have a digital render of your project and want to showcase it using a different style. It can also be used if you’ve taken a photo of a building you want to replicate as a drawing.


If you aren’t learning anything from it, it’s probably not worth doing. Getting good grades is nowhere near as important as getting good education.


As Llyan mentions – use this wisely! And . . . don’t show your teachers!


Drafting Hack #4 – DIY Trace Box

Grab a plastic storage container and torch (can use your phone torch). Place the torch on the underside of the plastic container. Voila! You’ve got yourself a do-it-yourself light trace box for architectural drawing.


Drafting Hack #5 – On Demand Pens



Tie your two most used pens together with a rubber band. That way you can flick between the two with ease.


Drafting Hack #6 – Extend Your Lines

You might be wondering why architects tend to extend their lines past the stopping point?

The reason for this is to avoid confusion in drawings.


“Huh? Doesn’t that make it more confusing?”


Well, no. Think of the alternative. Architects tend to rush when sketching in order get their thoughts on paper as quickly as possible. The alternative is that, when rushing, your lines fall short of the stopping point. This can look sloppy and cause confusion. Do the walls connect, or does it stop before hand?


It’s better to overextend than underextend. You can always clean it up in your final drawings.

Along with accuracy and precision, you also get extra points for style.


Drafting Hack #7 – Drawing Textures Cheat FT. Surviving Architecture

Underlay your drawing sheet with any textured material or object. Draw on the sheet to have this texture show up on your page as a texture. This is great for drawing concrete, wood, brick or grass textures, and anything else you want. You can get very creative with this when drafting!


I hope you found these 7 architectural hacks for drafting useful!

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