You may have a prototype, but you’re unable to draw. This is the dilemma faced by many inventors along their pursuit to have their invention patented. Your inability to depict your invention does not have to hinder your work’s progress. Here are three ways you can depict your invention without having to be an artist.
Photograph your work.
Use a film or digital camera. If you’re using a film camera, decide which views you’ll be taking of your invention. Take a black and white photo of each view. Scan the photos onto your computer and print on paper. Once you’ve printed the images, add reference numbers to the figures. If you’re using a digital camera, you’ll follow the same steps as if you were using a film camera. The only difference is that the digital photos will be in color. In order to get the best quality copies of the images, you must convert them to black and white. When you’re downloading the image, select the grayscale instead of color. You can also convert the image to grayscale after the download. At this point you can add reference numbers to the figures. Whether you use a film or digital camera make sure to take close shots of the prototype. When taking photos of small objects it is recommended that you use a zoom lens. If your camera does not come with this feature, you can check to see if there’s a macro setting. This feature is ideal for extreme close ups. Use the flash when taking photos in sunlit areas. The flash will assist in evening out the shadows.
Trace your photo by hand.
This approach will provide you with drawings that carry a less photographic appearance. You’ll need to get tracing paper; a pencil; ink pens; a soft eraser; masking tape; a numbering template; a light source; a plastic template with shapes such as circles or boxes; and white correction fluid. Put the photo on a light box. You may use a piece of glass above a light source if you’re unable to use a light box. Stick the tracing paper to the photo with masking tape. Trace the outline of your invention. Once you’ve traced the outline, detach the tracing paper from the photo. Trace over the pencil with an ink pen. Make sure to use a ruler when drawing straight lines. If there are pencil marks after tracing, erase them. Ink lines that do not contribute to the drawing may be white out. Insert the figures and reference numbers on your drawing sheets and make a copy of the tracing sheet.
Use a computer for tracing.
To use the computer for tracing you would need software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Freehand. Start by importing the photo into the software of your choice. Add a new layer for you to trace over the photo. In order to see the photo while tracing you must change the opacity. Use a drawing tool for tracing. Once you’ve finished, save the traced image at its full opacity.
Haliyma Barrow is a contributor at Patexia, a multidisciplinary social network for researchers and scientists featuring crowdsourced prior art contests. Patexia is a resource for intellectual property news, researcher networking, and patent research through our patent database.