How to become a well skilled mechanical design engineer?

7 mins.

September 3, 2022

How to become a well skilled mechanical design engineer?
​​1. Develop CAD and engineering layout skills. These are not “drafting” skills, but proficiency and an intuitive feel for working with shape and proportion, and skill at solving spatial allocation problems. A lot of design is adjusting and balancing things to make everything fit, and this is an acquired skill. When you get good at this, you will develop a sort of personal style, that will oftentimes be recognizable, and you will learn to recognize work done by the unskilled at a glance.
2. You need to become very familiar with all of the existing technology that relates to your field. You need to understand how things have been done in the past, before you can develop new methods that are yet unseen to this world.
3. You need to get the most “hands-on” experience possible. It helps a lot if you have outside interests that let you use your hands; things like restoring cars, designing and building model airplanes, racing motorcycles, etc. This kind of experience is critical, because it gives you a more “common sense” view of the world.
4. You should learn all you can about the Design Process itself. There are a lot of books that you can read, which will teach you this, and knowing, and following, a formal process is the difference between being an amateur and being a professional. Things like DFMEA’s, and PFMEA’s, design reviews: how to manage product safety hazards, etc…
5. You need to learn as much as possible about multi-purpose numerical optimisation. This is something that’s going to become more important to know about in the future. For instance, you should know about Parameter Design Spaces, Space-Filling DOE’s, Response Surface Meta-Modelling, Pareto Boundaries, Attribute Trade-off Spaces, etc…
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