How to Become a Good Mechanical Design Engineer

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To become mechanical design engineer, First you require degree or diploma in mechanical engineering. That helps in improving your basic knowledge in mechanical field. During degree or some other course, you will gain knowledge on all topics. But to become a good mechanical design engineer. You need to keep your focus on some basic skills discussed here. 

If you are also switching from any other field to design field. Following skills can help you in achieving your goal. If we are aware of the tasks done by mechanical engineer. And what qualities are required to perform those tasks. We can achieve our goal of becoming a good mechanical design engineer. 

Tasks of a Design Engineer

Design engineer plays very important role in complete product design and development. One can not become expert in all of these tasks. But based on his experience and interest. They have to become in any one of these areas. Now lets discuss the tasks performed by a design engineer.

  • Understand Market Requirement.
  • Concept Design.
  • Material Selection
  • Detailed Part Design.
  • 3D CAD Modeling.
  • Structural Simulation.
  • Thermal Simulation.
  • Aerodynamics.
  • Design for Manufacturing.
  • Vendor development
  • Part and product level testing.

Qualities and Skills for Mechanical Design Engineer

To perform above tasks effectively some of following qualities are skills are required. During your graduation you can try to achieve these qualities and skills. That can give you some advantages in your career. During your interview recruiters look for these qualities and skills.

Mindset and Approach towards Product Design 

You can develop this approach by looking products around you from design engineer prospective and start learning from it. 

When you design a new product. You always brainstorm following questions:

  1. Who are product end users ?
  2. What is product function and applications ?
  3. Target Cost ?
  4. Bench-marking (existing product alternatives)  
If you are aware of product users and its competitors, you can design a product accordingly.
Technical Know How

Lot of decisions during design are taken based on engineering calculation and experience. Therefore Design engineer shall be technical sound.

For example, For the design of a consumer electronics product. Design engineer shall have following knowledge and skills. 

  1. Complete Product Knowledge
  2. CAD Design
  3. Plastic or Sheet Metal Design
  4. Material Selection
  5. Structural and Thermal calculations
  6. Design for manufacturing
  7. Tolerance Analysis
  8. Problem Solving Skills
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Product Testing
Simulation Tools & Manual Calculation

Simulation tools are used to predict the behavior of a system before actually building it. This helps in saving cost and getting product into market in short timelines. As a student you should develop interest in simulation tools such as ansys, Solid-works simulation, flowtherm etc. Check out in detail why simulation tools are required ?

Always try to solve real life Problems using theory in books. For example while solving thermodynamics problem, match simulation and manual calculation results.

CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Engineering Drawings

You can not become a good design engineer only with the knowledge of CAD tool. Product designing is not just about making 3D cad models and engineering drawings.

But this is required skill. As a fresher you shall know how to use a cad tool. Its advisable if you gain expertise in any one cad tools. You can pickup any of these cad tools such as solid-works, creo, catia or NX etc and starts practicing. You can also Check following Freely available cad tools.

Ability to understand engineering drawings

Knowledge of understanding engineering drawing is a must skill. Learn to generate cad models from 2D engineering drawings and vice-versa.

Work on a Personal Project (Real life Project)
To gain experience, Working on a personal project is a good idea. This will help you in solving real life engineering problems, which are very different from the theoretical problem. Engineering students can consider working on a design project as their final year project. 
Develop Soft Skills

To stand out from the crowd and prove yourself. You shall start working on following soft-skills. These soft skills are equally important as the technical skills.

  • Communication skills
  • Positive attitude towards work
  • Ability of work as team
  • Leadership qualities
  • Update yourself with current trends in technical area

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