Technical Documentation

5.1Types and Contents of Technical Documentation

The immediate product of design and construction activities is technical docu­mentation. It is a collection of drawings and other documents that are created during designing. Bearing in mind the order of documentation arising, the variability of the scope and form of furniture, as well as separate treatment in the evaluation and approval system of projects, the following types of technical documentation of furniture are distinguished:

• Preliminary draft—consists of drawings and other documents presenting the concept of the furniture concerning its purpose, function, form, structure, materials and finishes used. The final result of this draft may be a mock-up made in a reduced scale or to the scale of 1:1. Mock-up—a type of model of the furniture piece or its part—made from substitute materials, usually to the scale of 1:1, in order to check the visual form, proportions, and even its functionality;

• Technical draft for modelling—contains drawings and other documents con­cerning the concept of the furniture piece in terms of its function, construction, materials and finishes used, enabling the realisation of its model. The final result of this project should be a model. The model is the first copy of the furniture piece made from appropriate materials to the scale of 1:1; and

• Technical draft for prototypes—comprises drawings and other documents of executive nature, constituting the final stage of designing the furniture piece and developed in such a way that enables the realisation of the prototype or test series. The final result of this project is the prototype. A prototype is a model of the furniture piece made in production conditions, taking into account the specific technical, technological, material and organisational characteristics of the company.

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015 J. Smardzewski, Furniture Design,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-19533-9_5

The design documentation typically includes:

• technical description,

• technical requirements (conditions),

• view drawings of the furniture piece,

• assembly drawing,

• executive drawings,

• drawings of the more important details,

• drawings of fittings and non-standard accessories,

• drawings of packaging,

• drawings (instructions) of packing the furniture,

• drawings (instructions) of assembling furniture,

• strength calculations and

• photographs, mock-ups and models.

The technical description should include:

• the name and symbol of the furniture piece, suite or set;

• the name of the designer or the names of the members of the design team and the name of the institution where the design was created;

• components of the furniture suite or set overall dimensions and more important functional dimensions;

• purpose and description of functionality; and

• realisation.

The description of the purpose and functionality of the furniture piece is in every case a necessary component of the different types of technical documentation and should contain information on:

• the general purpose of the furniture piece in the furniture—housing interior relation, the surrounding objects, as well as how to meet social demand;

• the detailed purpose of the furniture piece in the relation furniture—individual user.

The description of the purpose of multifunctional furniture should include infor­mation about how to use the furniture piece. And the description of realisation include the details that were not provided in the drawings, and relating to materials, construction solutions, veneering, finishing, upholstering methods, type of pack­aging, etc. For upholstered furniture, the elasticity class should be provided. Illustrative materials can also be included, but only in a situation when they are as follows:

• complicated multifunctional furniture,

• complex interior design and

• furniture of innovative structural-material solutions.

These materials include sketches, illustrative drawings, charts and similar docu­ments explaining the functional program and colour solutions. For a set of segment furniture, it is recommend to make vertical projections of the rooms using programmed arrangement systems. The calculations should justify the construction and material solutions adopted in the project, e. g. the strength of joints and cross sections of construction elements.

A mock-up is done if the solutions to the shape and design of the furniture piece are particularly complicated, difficult to present in a drawing. It is also a supplement to the preliminary technical documentation.

A photograph of the model mainly shows the aesthetic and structural features of the furniture piece. In the case of multifunctional furniture piece or set, it is rec­ommended to take a number of images that is necessary for a clear presentation of individual functions or functional programs.

Technical requirements (conditions) complement the technical drawing. In tech­nical conditions concerning the furniture piece, the requirements should be specified which were not shown or cannot be shown in a drawing, and which are relevant to the development of quality of the furniture piece. Usually they should include:

• a reference to the norms related to a particular type of furniture;

• a description of the place and climatic conditions of using the furniture piece (office, kitchen, school, etc.);

• a description of the quality requirements for materials, including the definitions of permissible defects or repetitive systems: colour, drawing, polishing or the tone of wood or other materials (the proper material standards and quality certificates should be referenced);

• the requirements concerning accuracy of realisation, including the quality of joints, colour and system of drawings of wood on contiguous elements, the thickness of adhesive bond and its colour, clearances of moving parts, smoothness of surfaces, size of bending, phasing and rounding the edges, etc. These requirements should be clearly differentiated for frontal, exterior, interior and invisible surfaces;

• requirements in the scope of assembly, working and finishing fittings surfaces, and requirements concerning packaging, storage and transport of the furniture piece.

The technical requirements in many cases form the basis for settling disputes in the event of a complaint.

The number and type of drawings included in the technical documentation for particular stages of designing depend on the complexity of the shape and structure of the furniture piece. Depending on the type of documentation, its component parts are shown in Table 5.1.

Particular parts of the documentation have individual requirements. And so:

• The view drawing of the furniture piece is done on a sheet of A3 or A4 format in reduced scales. Usually this drawing shows the external appearance of the furniture piece according to the principles of rectangular and perspective viewing. At the same time, it is recommended that the perspective drawing presenting the visual form of the product was done on a separate sheet. For readability of the documentation, however, it is permitted to place the

Component parts of

Type of documentation




Technical draft for modelling

Technical draft for prototypes

View drawing




Assembly drawing,



Drawings of the more important details


Drawings of fittings and non-standard accessories



Technical description




Illustrative materials









perspective drawing over the drawing board of the sheet, on which the views of the furniture piece in rectangular viewings have been presented. In the drawing of the furniture piece’s views, done according to the principles of rectangular viewing, it is recommended to place the most important dimensions and func­tional parameters in addition to the overall dimensions.

• The assembly drawing should be done in accordance with the principles of rectangular viewing using the necessary cross sections, on sheets constituting multiple A4 units. Assembly drawings can be done in two varieties, in a reduced scale with drawn out structural details or to a scale of 1:1 applied to box furniture of uncomplicated construction. If a scale greater than 1:5 is applied, the assembly drawing should include the views of the furniture piece, realised in accordance with the principles of rectangular projection, to a scale of 1:10. The scale of 1:1 is applied with the use of dimensional shortcuts in relation to case furniture and skeletal furniture of a complicated construction.

• Drawings of the more important structural details are drawn up to a scale of 1:1 and on A4 and A3 sheets, in order to better understand the structure of the furniture piece.

• The drawings of fittings and non-standard furniture accessories are realised as executive drawings according to the principles of the technical machine drawing to a scale of 1:1 and 1:2.

In the developed technical documentation, on the outer page of its cover, at least the

following inscriptions and symbols should be included:

• the name of the furniture piece of furniture set, documentation marking;

• symbol or name of institution where the documentation was created;

• the name of the designer, author of the design or name of members of the design team; and

• date of completion of developing the documentation.