Tuesday, May 24, 2022

What do I do as a Mechanical Design Engineer?

Shows and movies give us a really bad perception of engineers and what they really do i mean they share things like this could destroy the city the whole world which is exactly what we're trying to prevent what if i can solve that in the next 24 hours yes guys i've been working you're telling me one guy can design and build an entire machine in a .

Few hours no okay no what actually happens is we divide the product we're working on into a bunch of sub-assemblies each mechanical engineer is then in charge of one sub-assembly and will probably take at least months to get it complete so with all the misinformation out there i decided to make a video on what i do on a .

Day-to-day as a mechanical design engineer when i was in school i did internships as a design engineer then once i graduated in 2021 i worked at tesla as a mechanical design engineer and now i'm working at a robotics startup as a mechanical design engineer the main thing we do is we design and build hardware that's functional when i .

Say hardware i'm not referring to computer hardware like motherboards or cpu but instead i'm talking about mechanical hardware like sheet metal fasteners or gears let's say you're working at a company as a mechanical design engineer whether it's a big company like tesla or a smaller startup you'll most likely be working in a team .

That contains other mechanical engineers the team will be responsible for taking a product from a design concept to a working product for example hypothetically speaking let's say the mechanical engineering team you're working on is in charge of creating a car's instrument panel the team contains six people and the mechanical .

Engineering manager on that team is responsible for giving every single mechanical engineer a set of parts that they're going to own on the instrument panel based on each person's expertise he decides to give rami the glove box iplower and ip upper he decides to give ashley the ventilators and vents since she has the most thermals experience he .

Decided to give you the cluster bezel speaker assembly and cup holders fourth he gives sam the steering column display screen and gap hiders finally he gives theo the cross car beam which is the backbone of the instrument panel every mechanical engineer is responsible for the product life cycle for the parts that they were assigned the lifecycle .

Includes six steps design development review testing deployment and maintenance now within the product lifecycle under the development stage there is a product development process that we need to be comfortable using and it contains eight steps conceptual design design analysis prototyping production drawings material selection .

Pilot production production and qa we use cad software like solidworks to do the design analysis prototyping and production drawings for instance we'll use solidworks simulation to do some finite element analysis on some parts to see how they'll perform under heavy loads or under changing temperatures we can then continue testing our design by .

Creating 3d printed prototypes and once we're content with our design we'll go into creating production drawings these drawings look like this and would get sent out to external suppliers will give us feedback on how easy it is to actually build it the next three steps fall under the computer aided manufacturing category or cam for short .

Where we convert cad models into information that can be used by machines on the shop floor in order to transform raw materials into finished products now sometimes instead of calling this position a mechanical design engineering role we can refer to it as a product design engineer usually companies that are more consumer electronics focused .

Will kind of use that title like apple for example but regardless they both do the same thing however keep in mind that there is a difference between product designers and product design engineers a product designer is someone who designs a physical product based on user needs and they're really just starting off with pencil sketches they figure out .

What the general look and style of the product will be and all their sketches explore all the materials colors shapes and features that are possible the output of their work is usually sketches renderings models or non-functional prototypes now a design engineer someone who designs the engineering or manufacturing aspect of a design that .

Was given to them by a product designer they're usually using 3d cad software to do so the output of their work is usually technical drawings fixtures or tolerances for example when a product designer designs a bike it will look like this on the other hand when a product design engineer does it it'll look something like that now let's look .

At some of the responsibilities that you have as a mechanical design engineer first we will design parts components and assemblies that meet the requirements of your assigned projects second you will create cad models engineering drawings billing materials or bombs for short and testing and assembly documentation this helps make .

The product feel real and allows you to design something that can actually be built third you can find yourself using your knowledge of material science or thermodynamics to evaluate mechanical systems fourth you can be helping out with the product sourcing and purchasing of the parts that will go into your design that means if you need sheet .

Metal to be bent a certain way or specific screws you need to go contact people and buy it yourself fifth when things go wrong you'll probably need to undergo root cause analysis to figure out the root cause of a problem there's a whole science behind this and there's a bunch of different root cause analysis methods that you can use to do so like .

Fme8 charts fishbone diagrams or the five wise sixth you may find yourself participating in technical reviews this means that if another mechanical engineer finished one of their designs they'll share it with you for some feedback you may propose a better material they could use or maybe you feel like their design isn't really easy .

To assemble so they propose a better solution these are just the six main responsibilities but obviously every single mechanical design engineering role is a little bit different smaller startups or companies may have you be a lot more involved with a lot more responsibilities but larger companies will have you just hone in and focus on .

One specific aspect of mechanical engineering now if you're working on a part or product that is relatively new and is in the earlier stages of the development process you may have to undergo the engineering design process it starts off with product designers who send you sketches or digital surface models of what they want the final .

Product to look like and feel like their models are usually non-functional and it's our job to bring these models to life in a few steps first we need to break down the part we're working on into its components second we need to figure out what requirement each component has that can include things like aesthetically pleasing lightweight .

Waterproof heat resistant strong low cost securely mounted aerodynamic etc every requirement must be met but sometimes achieving one requirement means sacrificing on another so things can get a little messy for example let's say you're designing this component for one of the new cars that you're working on the product designers gave you .

Information on what the part will look like on the outside then all the mechanical engineers sat together to create a bunch of product requirements for instance some of the requirements were that the gap around the part must be small enough so that it doesn't look ugly it also can't be taken off too easily it needed to hold other .

Components and easily attach to its surroundings it also needs to look good and there was also some mass and cost requirements with that you'll need to start asking yourself questions like how do i mount this part do i use tape magnets screws clips if i use clips how many do i need and where should i place them so the part can be securely mounted .

You may also ask yourself what material should i use to get this nice finish should i use only that one material or should i use a mix of materials will the part be strong enough to handle additional loads how will they react under changes in temperature for example when it's been out in direct sunlight for too long as you answer these .

Questions and you make decisions on how you're going to satisfy each design requirement you will need to implement some root cause analysis to basically predict how things will go wrong just in case for example if you plan to mount this part using an adhesive but you know this part may be under a lot of direct sunlight then a potential issue is that .

The adhesive may become less sticky delaminate or change its color over time with that in mind you may want to implement another kind of mounting solution that isn't using adhesives now after the engineering design process is over and you have a working prototype you may have to undergo the engineering validation process here you need to make .

Sure that the design is gonna do what it's supposed to do especially if you're making hundreds of thousands of these this process can be broken down into five steps evt dvt pvt ramp and mass production you see engineers really love their acronyms so what i just said may sound a little bit like gibberish but let me explain what each step stands for .

Ebt stands for engineering validation trial the goal here is to finance the design and to comfortably build 20 to 50 units that have the desired look and actually work but as these units get built about 40 of them will fail for a bunch of reasons so we'll solve the issues that come up by making some slight design changes or by altering the .

Manufacturing process that we were planning on going with in the beginning once the hardware is ready it's time to move on to the next stage which is dvt dbt stands for design validation trial in this stage we'll focus on perfecting the tools and techniques that will actually build our part the outcome of this stage should be anywhere between 50 .

To 200 units that are actually built using a proper manufacturing process these units are then put through tests to make sure that they're durable and reliable now once the tools and processes that we're going to use to actually build our part or our product already we move on to the next stage which is pvt pvt stands for production .

Validation trial where every part that comes out should be passing all tests and should be good to sell but at this stage there's still some quality control procedures that the manufacturing plant will have set up to make sure that there are truly no failures finally we move on to ramp and mass production where at this point we're building thousands of .

Products and the process should be streamlined by now if i had to break down my job and how much time i spent doing all the different things i mentioned so far i'd say about 50 of my time is spent in meetings then about 25 of my time is spent designing where i'm just working in solidworks finally the remaining 25 is spent documenting my .

Work that means i could be creating documents explaining why i made a certain design change or maybe a document talking about how all these different parts would be assembled together anyways i hope this video brought you value if it did check out this video where i show you how to create an engineering portfolio because .

They're actually really important in helping you land mechanical design engineering jobs or check out that video where i show you what mechanical design engineering job interviews are like anyways i'll see you in the next one peace


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