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How to trace your tooling.

The following instructions are a guide on how to send VMT the information we need to design a Shadow Board or Foam Solution when the tools are in use and cannot be sent to VMT for us to measure/survey at our premises.


Gather all tools together and position the tools into a layout that would work best for the user.

Measure the overall size of the layout and take a clear photograph with the dimensions of the layout clearly visible.

VMT Key Point

  • To avoid any potential near misses or accidents when removing or placing heavier items on the shadow board, position these items away from the upper regions of the shadow board.
  • Place similar tools together to aid efficient working for when a user is searching for tooling.


Place tools on A3 or A4 paper or by the gridded paper
supplied by VMT.

Where possible, keep similar tools together to aid the VMT
design process.

VMT Key Point

  • Attempt to leave at
    least 15mm between the edge of the paper and the tool to ensure no issues
    with missing sections of tool when scanning the paper at a later stage.


Hold the tool in place with one hand and using black pen (either fine tip or biro) in the other, draw around the outer profile of the tool.  

 VMT Key Point

  • Ensure that the tool doesn’t change position when tracing the outer profile, thereby ensuring no inaccuracy in the shadow/profile shape.

Trace any internal detail/holes that might be used for a fixing (for shadow boards) or be useful to help create a recognisable tool shape shadow (eg the internal of a hacksaw/ring spanner)

VMT Key Point

  • If an internal circular hole is difficult to trace mark the central point and make a note on the paper of the diameter.

Ensure that the traced profile of the tool follows as closely as possible the outside profile of the tool.

Inaccuracies with profile trace (too large) could result in the tool not being held in place accurately against the shadow on a shadow board.

VMT Key Point

  • As a reference, the below shows an accurately traced profile line (green) and an inaccurately traced profile line (red).

Once the outside profile of the tool has been traced remove the tool and measure the depth of the tool this allows VMT to accurately select a fixing for a shadow board or pocket depth for a foam solution.

Make a note (in mm) of the depth of the tool inside the profile.

VMT Key Point

  • Check this depth measurement twice as any inaccuracies here could result in a insufficient fixing method or pocket depth in the final product.

Email or Post

Gather all tracings and send in an envelope to VMT, ideally along with the layout photograph (although this can be emailed to

VMT Key Point

  • To ensure the tracings come to the correct department post to –
Design Team
Visual Management Technology Ltd
Suite BG4
Clarence Mill
Clarence Road
SK10 5JZ