Do-It-Yourself Blueprint

by Liz Cobbs; Updated September 26, 2017
Make your own blueprint using a special paper and a blueline machine.

Whether it's constructing a one-level house or a multi-storied building, the project has to have blueprints to give workers details on what to do. Blueprints show the architectural designs of buildings and their surroundings. Because of the photographic method in which the prints are made, the print begins on a white background and ends up blue. If you have blueprinting equipment, you can make a blueprint in your own office.

Produce the drawing that you want to turn into a blueprint. You can produce the drawing on vellum paper by computer-aided design (CAD), or by hand using manual drafting tools. Vellum paper is used for technical drawings as well as blueprints. If you do not have vellum paper, use a translucent bond paper, also called "transbond" paper, that allows light to pass through it. The CAD drawing or hand drawing becomes the original drawing.

Hold up the original drawing. Take a sheet of diazo paper and place it on top of the original. Make sure the diazo paper is the same size as the original. Also make sure all sides of the original drawing and the diazo paper match so it looks like one sheet of paper.

Place the two sheets of paper into the lower roller section of the blueline machine. In this process, the paper becomes exposed to ammonia and a black light. The machine's rollers will bring the two sheets of paper back out. The diazo paper now has an image of the drawing.

Peel away the original from the diazo paper. Take the diazo paper and place it into the blueline machine's top roller section. The machine will bring the diazo paper back out. If the diazo paper is not blue enough for you, you can feed it back into the roller multiple times.

About the Author

Liz Cobbs has been a professional writer since 1985. She has worked as a staff reporter at "The Ann Arbor News" and "The Ypsilanti Press" newspapers, and as an assistant manager of editorial services at Eastern Michigan University. Cobbs earned a B.A. in music theory from Wayne State University and an M.A. in communication from Regent University.

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