Mechanical engineers research, design, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices like engines, electric generators, and power-consuming machines like air conditioning systems. Mechanical engineers depend on a variety of handheld and digital tools to complete their daily tasks. Here are some of the crucial tools every mechanical engineer needs.
Toggle clamps are quick-action tools that operate using the toggle action principle to hold a stationary workpiece in a locked position. They are especially needed for injection molding, welding applications, production lines, and others. Among the various types of clamps are push-pull clamps. They are ideal for applications requiring repetitive movements and high clamping forces to lock components quickly.
Computer-aided design (CAD) software
CAD is software that eases the creation, modification, and optimization of design processes to allow for higher precision, more straightforward and more accurate design iterations, and part/ project management comprehensive documentation. It enables you to build parts and assemblies in 2D or 3D models to visualize their construction. Computer-aided design helps mechanical engineers make more accurate presentations and easy modifications to improve design quality.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing application that helps in prototype development, design improvement, and inventory optimization. The 3D technology involves using visualization software that allows you to have a better overview of your project, efficient adjustment, and improvement of parts and is also a corrective method that helps you rectify past design errors. It also enhances easy design modification using your ideas and the customer's. 3D printing also helps analyze your mechanical projects and can be used in the aeronautics and automotive industries. While every mechanical engineer needs to use 3D printing technology in this modern age, you do not have to operate a 3D printer yourself. Instead, you can upload your designs to the platform of a reliable 3D online printing service like Fictiv. By doing so, you could receive your parts as quickly as the next day - saving you both time and effort.
Finite element analysis (FEA) software
Engineers use FEA software to perform structural analysis on stresses and deflections in complex structures. It also helps predict production reactions to heat, air and fluid flow, vibration, and cold. FEA not only helps engineers make better and quicker design decisions but also helps solve structural engineering problems. This software eases simulation and allows you to import models from any CAD software directly, simulate single parts and assemblies’ geometry, and part interaction management with automatic context. In addition, they refine automatically generated meshes for user requirements and personalize menus and layouts.
Coordinate measuring machines (CMM)
Coordinate measuring machines are computerized measuring tools that are extremely precise in taking measurements. CMM is ideal for parts and components that require extreme dimension precision and can automatically measure parts to ensure they are within tolerance. A CMM comprises the machine itself, the measuring probe, and the control system and is used in manufacturing industries' metrology.
MATLAB (Matrix Laboratory)
MATLAB is a programming language or environment that does more complex numerical analysis to provide a programming solution using matrices and vectors. Its plotting capability allows for easy simulation and fast display of results. With MATLAB, mechanical engineers can model, simulate, and prototype, carry out data analysis, explore, and visualize, develop algorithms and applications, including graphical user interface building.
Mechanical engineering is essential in every manufacturing setup. These tools help mechanical engineers to accomplish their daily tasks with ease and professionalism.