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Design Standards



BS 8888 Technical Product Documentation (TPD)
Specification for defining, specifying and graphically representing products.

Note: The current edition is BS 8888:2011




This British Standard supersedes BS308-1:1993, BS308-2:1985 and BS308-3:1990, which are all withdrawn.  Drawing conventions which applied to BS 308-1'2'3 in general also apply to the European Standards referenced in BS 8888.

This standard is provided to unify all of the recently implemented ISO and EN ISO standards related to Technical Product Documentation (it references them).  Most designers and engineers should have no difficulty in working to the new standards. BS 8888 references standards covering all aspects of technical product documentation including:

  • Engineering Flow Diagrams,
  • Representation of Engineering components,
  • Lettering,
  • Units/ quantities,
  • Tolerancing,
  • Geometric Product Specifications,
  • Orthographic/Axonometric representation,
  • Handling of Computer based information
  • Metrology etc. etc.

An important difference between BS 308 and BS 8888 is in the marking of the decimal place.   In BS308 the decimal place is indicated with a decimal point.   In BS 8888 the decimal place is indicated with a comma with each group of three digits from the decimal provided with a space e.g. 14 234,012 8 .

For manual drawings this is not really a problem.   For Autocad drawings on a Windows based PC it is most convenient set the decimal point to display as a comma on the regional settings on the control panel (This option is available if you set the Country to German or France). .


BS 8888 Book

British Standards are supplying a book which provides clear information on the application of BS 8888 this costs 30,0 . The book is titled
BIP 2155:2009 The Essential Guide to Technical Product Specification: Engineering Drawing . {Neil Phelps and Colin Simmons]

This is obtained from BSI shop..
Note: Chapter 1 can be downloaded free...

This book is also obtained from Amazon ref.    The Essential Guide to Technical Product Specification: Engineering Drawing -ordered through this link, I get a small gift if you order from my website

The book linked at the top of the page is an excellent book with a greater range of information.    However I do notice that, in my earlier version, drawing examples still use the decimal point - The authors may have corrected this in the latest version.

BS 8888 Nominative Reference

In Appendix A of BS 8888 a list of Nominative reference standards is provided.     These standards contain the detailed requirements which must by met for claiming complience with BS 8888.     The pages linked below include the majority of these standards






British Standards - ISO Drawing Aids
Drawing Sheet Sizes Title Block Notes Drawing Guide
Specifying Limits and Fits-Holes & Shafts Dimensioning Geometric Tolerances
Weld Representation Drawing Components Dimensioning Tolerances and Limits
Surface Texture Notes Lettering
Simplified Fastening Assy's Abbreviations and Symbols Flowsheet symbols
Notes on Process Drawings Notes On Mechanical Drawings Electrical/ Control Diagram Types
Diagram Ref. Standards Electrical Control Symbols Electrical Power Symbols
Mechanical Flowsheet symbols Hydraulic/Pneumatic Symbols Useful Layout Dimensions
Item References/Item List Checking Mechanical Drawings  




Links Providing information on Drawing
  1. Draughstman.co.uk...A UK site specially devoted to drawing to UK codes
  2. BSI...British Standards Website
  3. Volvo Drawing Standards......For access to document 101-0005 on European-Standard-based drawing procedures
  4. Volvo Weld Symbols/Procedures.....For access to document 180-0001 on European-Standard-based Weld Symbols
  5. Volvo Geometrical Tolerancing...For access to document 112-0003 on geometrical tolerancing and 112-0004 on measuring principles
  6. The Design Process...A review of the design process including drawing examples.( Not BS 8888 )
  7. Drawing Tools...Notes on Drawing using CoralDraw
  8. Cadalot...Lots of Advice and Lessons from a Drawing expert
  9. Metrication.com..Information on metric drawing and other metric subjects
  10. Kelsey Park School-symbols ..A UK school website with electrical symbols
  11. openpdf BS8888 ..A site with lots of useful downloadable documents

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Last Updated 17/01/2013

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