How to Become a Good Mechanical Design Engineer – For Freshers

Global market is having a boom in automobile, IOT, consumer electronics and manufacturing sector. Market is becoming very competitive. 

To be in competition companies are launching new products and improving their existing product line. Launching new product requires design engineers who works from concept to part in production. 

Tasks of a Design Engineer

Following tasks are performed by a design engineer. All tasks are not performed by one person. Tasks are assigned based on their expertise, learning and interest.

  1. Understanding market requirement
  2. Concept design
  3. Material selection
  4. Detailed part design
  5. 3D CAD Modeling
  6. Simulation
  7. Design for manufacturing
  8. Vendor development
  9. Part and product level testing.
  10. Work as a Team

Lets discuss the qualities that recruiters looked for while hiring mechanical design engineers. If you are college student and have interest in mechanical design. You can gain skills that will help you in achieving career goals in mechanical design.

Mindset and Approach towards Product Design 

To be a good mechanical design engineer. You shall Start looking at products from different aspects and start learning from them.  

While working on product design or improvement, always ask yourself following question :

  1. Who are your product end users ?
  2. What is product function ?
  3. What are product applications ?
  4. Bench-marking (existing product alternatives) 

Knowing product function, its application and competitors is very important. You can not design a better product without knowing your competitors, users (market ) and your product.

Technical Know How

One should be technical sound for mechanical design engineer position. Lot of decisions based on calculation and experience are taken by a design engineer.

For example, while working on design of a consumer electronics product. We try to find the answers for following Questions.

  • Is product designed by you will be liked by prospective customers ?
  • What shall be the part material ?
  •  Is designed product is manufacturable ?
  • What are required  manufacturing tolerances ?

To answer above questions technical know how on following topics is required.

  1. Product knowledge
  2. Material Selection
  3. Structural and Thermal calculations
  4. Design for manufacturing
  5. Tolerance Analysis

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.

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

Check out in detail why simulation is required here ?

CAD (Computer Aided Design) and Engineering Drawings

Knowing CAD software does not make you a product design engineer. 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 two cad tools. You can pickup any of these cad tools such as solid-works, creo, catia or NX etc and starts practicing.

Check out Free cad tools available in market

Ability to understand engineering drawings

Gain knowledge of engineering drawing. You should be able to make cad models from 2D engineering drawings and vice-versa. 

Work on a Personal Project (Real life Project)

To gain experience you can start working on a personal project. This will help you in solving real life engineering problems, which are very different from the book problem. Engineering students can consider working on a design project as their final year project. 

Develop Soft Skills

Number of mechanical  engineers with good technical knowledge are increasing. As a result competition is also increasing.

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

  • Good 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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