What is the main task of design engineer? Obviously, creating engineering drawing. Hence an engineering graduate must be good at it. Today, software like AutoCAD, Catia, Creo makes it easy to create and maintain engineering drawings. Creating engineering drawing as per instructions is the job of a draftsman. However, engineering design is much more than just creating drawing. Real design engineer not only understands the drawing but also can co-relate additional specifications like GD&T, material properties etc. to the performance of the component that is getting manufactured. Without such knowledge abilities you are no more than a sophisticated draftsman who works on computers.
Mastering drafting is just a start
Organizations which recruit design engineers typically take a CAD test before interview. Often there is a hitch in CAD test which the participant must locate and take appropriate action for solving it. Many young graduates are not able to do this because their ability to read engineering drawing is not up to the mark. Many of them do not understand that learning engineering design doesn’t only mean mastery in using CAD software and becoming proficient at its features, menus and commands.
Career of a design engineer always starts with a job of draftsman, but you can grow beyond it. Here the key thing is to understand that there are lot of things beyond just a print in an engineering drawing. If you want to put your career on fast track, mastering drafting skills is very essential first step. After it, you should start focusing on how each element specified in the drawing has an impact on the component’s performance which is getting manufactured.
Engineering drawing beyond a print!
Beyond basic dimensions and views, there are many other considerations. As a design engineer, you need to know
- What kind of additional information is given with GD&T?
- Why such tolerances are provided?
- How Will it affect the cost of manufacturing?
- How any changes/tolerances would impact the performance of the component
With this knowledge, you would be able to resolve any query raised by manufacturing about your design.
Today with growing competition, there are high expectations from fresh design engineers. For example, now-a-days usage of plastic components in our cars is increasing. When a company who manufactures plastic components recruits an engineer, it expects them to at least know a few basics about plastic product design. These basics include types of plastic, it’s properties when to use which type of plastic material, design considerations like strengthening a component with a ribbing structure and so on. Similar would be case for other domains like casting, forging, sheet metal etc. So, a fresh engineer aware of basic properties of materials and design considerations is the most sought after by the recruiters.
What to do if you do not want to remain as a draftsman
Now you understand that design engineering is much beyond mastering the CAD software. Foundation skills like drawing reading, engineering fundamentals, fitment systems, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) and knowledge of material properties, etc. play a vital role in the life of design engineers.
I am sure you know that there are many aspects discussed above were/are not part of your curriculum or you have compromised learning them in the hoard for scoring marks. If you want to pursue a career in engineering design, there are no options but to plug these holes.
Here a well-designed comprehensive course called Product and Tool Design Engineer from CADCAMGURU fits perfectly. It not only covers the three CAD software but also helps you build a very strong foundation of design fundamentals. Additionally, core domains like plastic, casting, sheet metal are included. Here you will know the properties of various materials and their key design considerations.
When you successfully complete the industry project for design, you have taken a very strong first step. And your journey towards becoming a successful design engineer starts!