Mechanical Engineering

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Mechanical engineering is a design process that focuses on the mechanical aspects of a product to create a design. When designing, mechanical engineers have a number of top priorities: to optimize performance, mechanical efficiency, and production costs. By considering all of these aspects of a new product, engineers are able to produce a final product design and initiate production.

Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design

Mechanical engineering differs from industrial design in that mechanical engineers may be primarily concerned with how the machine or product operates with respect to itself or to other machines. Industrial designers are mostly concerned with how the product operates with respect to human users. Mechanical engineering and industrial design are not mutually exclusive processes; many product development teams put heavy emphasis on both processes in order to develop a product that has great usability and is engineered to be as efficient as possible.

Until relatively recently, most mechanical engineering and industrial design was done was done by hand. The introduction and subsequent maturation of CAD in the last 25 years has given many new tools to designers and engineers, including solid forms modeling, rapid prototyping, and computer controlled manufacturing.

Engineers and designers can now preview their objects in a realistic computerized setting, making design and engineering adjustments without having to start from scratch. CAD and other programs also simplify the engineer's job by running simulations of various conditions, including both the effects of external conditions on the object and possible internal mechanical failures. Once perfected, the computerized designs can be built into working, fully functional models for pre-production real-world testing.


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