How Can I Make Setup Diagrams?

There are several ways to make setup diagrams, but the two main categories are pen and paper or digitally.

Making Setup Diagrams Using Pen and Paper

For my classes, you can always draw a setup diagram using pens, pencils, and paper.  This is often the easiest way to do it.   Even though I often refer to it as a sketch, don’t worry about being overly artistic. This sketch doesn’t require much shading.  It doesn’t have to be drawn with perfect perspective.

A notebook containing the setup diagram.  Some colored pens are on the notebook.

You should include a sketch in your lab notebook.  You can simply take a picture of this.  Of course, you might want to draw a “fresh” version that’s a little neater than the one you quickly sketched during your lab time.

For my classes, you can always draw a setup diagram using pens, pencils, and paper.  This is often the easiest way to do it.   Even though I often refer to it as a sketch, don’t worry about being overly artistic. This sketch doesn’t require much shading.  It doesn’t have to be drawn with perfect perspective.

You should include a sketch in your lab notebook.  You can simply take a picture of this.  Of course, you might want to draw a “fresh” version that’s a little neater than the one you quickly sketched during your lab time.

Digital Diagrams

You can also use a digital drawing platform.  The diagram included in this article was drawn using an iPad and Apple Pencil.  I drew it in Microsoft OneNote.  You could use any tablet or computer with a pen-based input.  After drawing it, I select the drawing and paste it into Word as a picture.

If you would like a slightly more professional look, you could use a drawing tool.  I’ve created many diagrams by using the drawing tools available in Microsoft PowerPoint. 

I prefer PowerPoint over Word.  When I try to draw things in Word, the pieces will often randomly roam around the page. 

Construct your diagram in PowerPoint, then select it.  Paste it into Word as a picture.

The advantage of creating your setup diagram using digital tools is that you can easily move items around without erasing and redrawing them.