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Concept# Axonometric projection

Summary

Axonometric projection is a type of orthographic projection used for creating a pictorial drawing of an object, where the object is rotated around one or more of its axes to reveal multiple sides.
"Axonometry" means "to measure along the axes". In German literature, axonometry is based on Pohlke's theorem, such that the scope of axonometric projection could encompass every type of parallel projection, including not only orthographic projection (and multiview projection), but also oblique projection. However, outside of German literature, the term "axonometric" is sometimes used only to distinguish between orthographic views where the principal axes of an object are not orthogonal to the projection plane, and orthographic views in which the principal axes of the object are orthogonal to the projection plane. (In multiview projection these would be called auxiliary views and primary views, respectively.) Confusingly, the term "orthographic projection" is also sometimes reserved only for the primary views.
Thus, in German literature, "axonometric projection" might be considered synonymous with "parallel projection", overall; but in English literature, an "axonometric projection" might be considered synonymous with an "auxiliary view" (versus a "primary view") in a "multiview orthographic projection".
With an axonometric projection, the scale of an object does not depend on its location (i.e., an object in the "foreground" has the same scale as an object in the "background"); consequently, such pictures look distorted, as human vision and photography use perspective projection, in which the perceived scale of an object depends on its distance and location from the viewer. This distortion, the direct result of a presence or absence of foreshortening, is especially evident if the object is mostly composed of rectangular features. Despite this limitation, axonometric projection can be useful for purposes of illustration, especially because it allows for simultaneously relaying precise measurements.

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