Copying blueprints and drawings dates back closely to the beginnings of the creation process of the original blueprint itself. The need for creating multiple copies was solved by the invention of the Guttenberg press, but only to some extent. It did it mainly for books and papers. In order to get a copy of a drawing or schematics, one must use other methods. Those methods were sometimes used legally, other times – not so much. Legal copying of a blueprint or a drawing were made in order to disseminate information among various users. Let’s say a factory and its workers. Illegal copying on the other hand, was done in order to steal the information of the drawing. Here a good example would be industrial espionage.
Lazy Drawing Techniques were used to replicate a blueprint. Those include methods like indigo paper, which hardly works when using blueprints, but it is doable. Various rice paper applications with different thicknesses and properties helped too. However in those cases man hours needed to replicate a blueprint were sometimes more than to create a whole new blueprints from scratch. Nevertheless, both were used. And they weren’t actually lazy drawing methods either.
Then, with the espionage, photographs of the blueprints solved the problem, but again to a point. Besides, we will stick to the peacetime and honest side of things, which differs from that. Luckily, in time copying on a Xerox machine did the job with slightly deteriorating properties of the duplicate, however with enough information transferred to save the day. Then again, some drawings, due to their size and shape, were hardly xero-copy-able. Imagine a sheet of a building drawings 7 feet long by 4 feet wide and how you need to fold that and Xerox it, then re-fold and do it again. Sometimes, more often that not – misalignment happens when you have to put the pieces together.
In the end, we got to a point, where a vector file can solve any of the abovementioned problems with ease. Enter The Digital Era. Vector drawings are saved on a small file, transferrable, replicable, infinitely flexible and adjustable. With that said, copying a ready file is one part of the bargain. Here we get back to the lazy drawing techniques which are used when file is not ready, or – the blueprints should be transferred from a physical medium or a different file.
Surprisingly enough, here there is a solution as well. Many of the software programs offer an option. It is in the form of pre-designed transformation of the lines into vectors, sometimes with high fidelity. More often than not though, additional work is needed. Sometimes that work is substantial too. But in the end, having an AI /of a sort/ doing the job for you even partially – can save time. It is sometimes called “lazy drawing” among professionals, but it is actually an approach. Nothing easy about it. Sometimes there are blueprints that cannot be approached in any other way due to missing information, parts of the drawings or whole copies lost in time. So even this sounds bad with the word “lazy” in it, sometimes can be the only solution.