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  • What don't graduates know?

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Matchbook, Feb 10, 2015.

    1. Matchbook

      Matchbook New Member

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      Hello, I'm new here. I work as a CAD Engineer for a small R&D company, it is my first role since uni, where I graduated with a degree in Design Engineering.

      I would be the first to admit that although I hold a degree, there is a world of knowledge which I do not not know. I find this is especially apparent in comparison with peers of mine who did apprenticeships, most notably practical knowledge. A understand that a degree does open doors that wouldn't be otherwise available.

      My question; What do you think are the main areas that graduate don't know? gaps in knowledge?
      What do you find surprising that graduates don't know?

      I am looking to fill those gaps and find that my job does not allow that time to do it at work. Thank you in advance
       
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    3. Erich

      Erich Well-Known Member

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      Engineering degrees don't cover a lot about manufacturing processes, the tolerances they can achieve and the details that make a part easy to build for a given process. You are expected to pick that up as you go along. On the job training as it were.

      Spend as much time as you can on the shop floor. Make friends with the machinists and fabricators. They will be happy to explain what makes their jobs easier and what makes life hell.
       
    4. 4t8

      4t8 New Member

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      Erich makes a great point.
      "Spend as much time as you can on the shop floor. Make friends with the machinists and fabricators. They will be happy to explain what makes their jobs easier and what makes life hell."
      A lot of the time the production folk don't speak up (for any number of reasons) when parts/assemblies aren't manufacturing friendly.
      The more you guys talk the better your designs will be.
       
    5. zaccutt

      zaccutt Member

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      I love this question.

      Graduates have no idea how to build or put together things. I know this cause I've been there. The real world is a hell of a lot different then CAD. There is a lot of money to be saved by transferring knowledge to the design side and it rarely happens.

      I suggest a machining course and build experience. This is the route I took and my designs are so much better.

      Overall though let me drum up the most important points i can think of. (this is related to machine building but applies everywhere)

      Clearance- if parts are supposed to have a clearance between them, add more and then some more. All too often I see parts have have 1mm clearance and they don't fit because real world happens. Make it a 1/4" or 1/2" if possible.

      Before you start designing think ahead like for example, how will the machine be lifted or moved? Is it ergo? What parts or sections will be prone to breaking or jamming and can they be made accessible? How can the machine be taken apart? Realize that it's likely the machine will be taken apart numerous times so making this simple will make people love you.

      I could go on forever but definitely learn all you can while you're young. You have about 40 years after that to sit at a computer and design...
       
    6. Alex 105

      Alex 105 New Member

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      In addition to manufacturing processes, which is a great answer, I would say a lot of new engineers have gaps in drafting and GD&T knowledge, as well as just lacking practice with drafting.

      GD&T really isn’t as hard as a lot of people think it is, especially if you jump in to learning it while you are still in an academic mindset early in your career. A lot of it is really just pretty basic geometry once you boil it down. It does, however, require practice to get used to all of the notation and to learn good methods for doing things. It’s a discipline that has a lot of technically correct options for approaching a problem but some options are better than others in terms of clarity and in terms of what’s practical to actually carry out.

      Drafting also requires practice, with a focus on clear communication while not being overly restrictive. A good drawing makes it easy to find the views you need and to pick out the information you are looking for. Again, it takes practice, though a few tips I usually give new hires would include: avoid putting information on a drawing that isn’t a requirement, don’t include redundant information, and don’t be afraid to take up the space you need to show things clearly.
       

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