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    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Physicist, Sep 23, 2011.

    1. Physicist

      Physicist New Member

      Sep 2011
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      Hello everyone,

      I would like to ask you for an advice regarding additional training in mechanical design for a person not quite from the field.

      I am a physicist about to obtain a PhD degree in applied physics with 7+ years of hands-on experience in commercial and scientific environment (high vacuum, instrumentation, radiation, cryogenics etc.). I have worked on projects requiring a variety of skills, mechanical design engineering being one of them. I have not been formally trained to prepare 3D models and detailed CAD drawings, but I have been given lots of opportunities to learn how to do that. All in all, I have prepared most of the drawings for the equipment I have designed and tested myself and have always worked close with designers and workshop engineers.

      Thinking about how fun this is and to boost my career, I am wondering if there are courses or training in mechanical design engineering suitable for me. Starting from scratch (does HNC/HND fall into this category?) could be a waste (?) in a sense in my case, while a few years studies (BEng, MPhil) might be an overshoot. On one hand, I know I am not a formally trained engineer and may be lacking some knowledge of standards, good design practice, etc. Also a relevant certificate (/diploma?) could be a strong point in my CV. On the other hand, would a "small" certificate give me something useful in your field, i.e. when applying for a designer position and competing with more experienced people like you? As an outsider, I am not really sure what kind of training is there on the market, what my options are and if any of them could be of any help for a physicist.

      Many thanks for your feedback.
    3. ASevern

      ASevern New Member

      Jan 2011
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      Try one of the Institutes for the way forward. If your background is as stated why is there a need to do 3D modelling design or know the standards/regulations. At your level ther should be interested Engineers to support you who not only have knowledge of modelling/drawing from scratch but also have the experience to advise on what is relevant and the pitfalls to avoid.
      Proper modelling/drawing consumes a lot of time if to be effective; time lost on what you are best at. If you require models for analysis let those with the skills do them and then apply your analysis software to the models.
    4. axemechdesign

      axemechdesign New Member

      Apr 2011
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      It depends on what you are out to achieve, as in there are many different disciplines in Mechanical engineering, I have worked in a few different products areas of mechanical design, Medical devices, packaging machines, weapon release systems, ruggedised hard drives, aerospace fluid, oxygen and air systems/valves, Aerospace load cells, and down hole oil and gas equipment.

      All of these areas have there different engineering requirements, form the generic mechanical, electrical, electronic and software. to more specific areas within the disciplines. For example in Mechanical, you can get specialists in Stress analysis, Draughtspersons, conceptual design, detailed design, which all generally use CAD and other tools, then you get science based engineers such as optical engineers, laser engineers, test engineers and analysists, which will not necessarily deal with CAD, but have other tools and software to help them, test engineers will be more practically based and in themselves may be specialists in types of testing, the Analysists will be more honed in on looking into results and forming conclusions on them, so will be more science based people.

      May of these roles with combine together, or overlap, especially in small companies where you will be expected to cover most of the areas to greater or lesser extent, where large corporations you will be more segregated.

      So in short it depends what you want to actually do, If you want to go down the raw mechanical design route, then an HND will give you some vague direction in the basics (they are more practically based than the degrees) but will only give the basics in CAD, it would be better to do a CAD course, again the actual system will depend the companies and industry you enter, but Solidworks is a good basis, one of the re-sellers will be able to provide a basic course and onwards (most CAD systems are pretty close these days and don't take long to change to.

      It would also be good to look into a course by an institute i.e. IMechE for some courses on Mechanical engineering calculations, you'll need at least basic stress calcs (beam bending, torsion, shear etc) and I would suggest a GD&T course (Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing) which should teach you the basics in how to tolerance piece parts and assemblies to avoid clashes.

      All this will not make you an expert but will get you on the way.

    5. zulfika

      zulfika Member

      Mar 2010
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      Good day,

      Take a look at the below book I have prepared :

      Book type - Kindle e-book.
      This book can be purchased from http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011DY7PYU
      The price of this book is USD1.99 only.
      This book was prepared to provide a general exposure to how a product mechanical designer would go about designing a product. A key function of this book is to offer a guided hands on training course for the reader to get a feel of how a new product would be designed in a typical real scenario product development cycle.
      The training course has been designed such that any person having a minimum understanding in the basics of technical drafting can complete the course at the person's own place and schedule. The training course can be done using any 2D/3D CAD software the reader is comfortable with and it can also be done using a drafting board for those who do not have access to a 2D/3D CAD software.
      It is hoped that those who complete the training course will find it useful in their pursuit of a career in the product mechanical design engineering field.
      Questions and feedback from users of this book are welcomed and can be e-mailed to [email protected]

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