18 votes

Can I use AutoCAD to learn mechanical engineering by DOING (like programming)?

AutoCAD is a computerised drafting package that lets people draw pictures. Mechanical engineering is more than just knowing how to draw pictures in two or three dimensions. Amongst other things, ...
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  • 9,382
10 votes
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How do you make a 3D print with an accurately aligned bore hole?

3D printing bores/holes is inherently and wildly inaccurate. You can continuously tweak the model, material, and print configurations to get better results, but for best results, in my experience, ...
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  • 1,578
8 votes

Can I use AutoCAD to learn mechanical engineering by DOING (like programming)?

No. AutoCAD isn't going to teach you mechanical engineering any more than a compiler will teach you software engineering. You have to actually learn some things, then you will pick up experience by ...
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  • 11.2k
7 votes

How to hold electrical wires on a part?

A clamp and strain relief are used all over the place. You'll see this everywhere from domestic electrical plugs to the cable exit of power tools. The choice of cable and sheath/insulation is a ...
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  • 1,264
6 votes
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What should the size difference be between a lid and a container?

To make the lid fit on reliably with as tight as possible, the only difference you need in the box and lid dimensions is the resolution of the 3-D printer. You need to account for manufacturing ...
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6 votes

Is "pitch diameter" the same as the distance between the centers?

Pitch diameter is the diameter of the pitch circle described by the mid point of the length of the teeth around the gear, as shown in this diagram: The pitch circle defines the point where the teeth ...
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6 votes

Eject Circuit Board From Jig

Your lever is applying force to the approximate center of the board. It's not perfectly in the center and I suspect that the contact is such that the board ejects not quite vertically, but enough to ...
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  • 6,082
5 votes

How to prevent vibration loosening whilst maintaining adjustability?

Double nutting can be an easy option for this. I was about to describe it myself, but these folks do a great job. This image, from the article, models the forces that do the job. Take note of the ...
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  • 1,966
5 votes

Can I use AutoCAD to learn mechanical engineering by DOING (like programming)?

As Fred alluded to in the above post, mechanical engineering is a vast topic. It takes time and commitment to become a mechanical engineer. Also AutoCAD or 3D-printing alone is not mechanical ...
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5 votes

Evaluating performance of heat sink designs without finite element simulation

First, to counter what some people are saying about printed metals, selective laser sintering can produce parts that are as thermally conductive as their base metals. They are limited only by ...
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  • 1,167
5 votes

How do you create a chamfer in 3D CAD that joins the edges of two different shapes?

This type of feature is typically called a "loft", but I would caution you that this should be used only if needed. Lofted features will cost you a lot of money if you try to get them machined. If you'...
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  • 3,525
5 votes

Is "pitch diameter" the same as the distance between the centers?

As indeed answered by Greenonline, the centre distance is the average of the pitch diameters of the two meshing gears, but this is only strictly true when the gears are operating at standard centre ...
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  • 1,262
5 votes

How is the table of a 3d printer called?

This is called a buildplate :)
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4 votes

Snap fit on an enclosure

3D prints are weak in the direction of each layers plane. You could try to make the part in a different orientation. Second thing to try is to use a coarser print. My friend tested mechanical ...
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  • 3,360
4 votes

Why is 3D printing with metals so uncommon?

There are a number of practical processes for 3D printing in metals using various powder sintering techniques as described in other answers. However it is difficult to use the sort of direct ...
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4 votes
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Why is 3D printing with metals so uncommon?

Metals are used. Albeit, in machines that are much more expensive and complex than your run of the mill FDM style machines that you're likely referring to. The main reason you don't see many or any ...
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  • 1,578
4 votes
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Is the construction of a high-speed 3D printer (replicator from Star Trek) possible?

A replicator is a very long way from 3D printing. Although 3D printing is often endowed in the media with quasi magical properties all it really is is multi axis CNC extrusion and not fundamentally ...
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4 votes

Why didn't 3D printing become a standard commodity after around 2012?

One facet of this discussion which hasn't yet been discussed is 3D modelling literacy. Think for a moment about regular '2D Printers'. You may have one at home - but what do you use it for? For ...
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4 votes
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Why are many compliant mechanisms only flexible in the joints?

In this case its because they are emulating a bar mechanisms. This makes it possible for the designer to think of the problem in terms of revolute joints which allows them to use age old design ...
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  • 3,360
3 votes

Snap fit on an enclosure

In addition to joojaa's excellent advice, you might try reducing the height of the interference and/or increasing the length of the flexure to which it is mounted — such changes would reduce the ...
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  • 6,719
3 votes

Are ABS/PLA too volatile to be used in cryo vacuum?

It is unlikely polymers will be an issue, but the additives used may pose problems. Polymers should have negligible volatility due to their long chain nature. Polymer additives may still pose an issue....
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  • 3,971
3 votes

What should the size difference be between a lid and a container?

You seem to want an a slight interference fit so the top will snugly seat into the housing. Depending on your wall thickness and size you could probably oversize the "male" portion of the cap like ....
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  • 1,578
3 votes

Can I use AutoCAD to learn mechanical engineering by DOING (like programming)?

One thing that other people don't seem to have touched on is the utility of the simulation packaged in AutoCAD. It's a type of Finite Element Analysis, which is an incredibly useful tool, but one that ...
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3 votes

Can I use AutoCAD to learn mechanical engineering by DOING (like programming)?

As a working professional ME with 18 years in the field, I'll tell you that there's a great deal of difference between what will work in AutoCAD (or any other such software package) and what will work ...
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  • 2,135
3 votes

Simple and easy Open Source CAD tools for basic 2D and 3D designs

It isn't open source, but for students Onshape is free. Onshape runs in the browser so it will work on pretty much any current computer regardless of operating system. It is real 3D solid modeling ...
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  • 841
3 votes

Help understanding this dimension sheet

h11 is the tolerance range. There's a standard shaft/hole chart based on dimension/tolerance. (sorry about the images, I've searched on google but cannot find everything on the same image). h11 is ...
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  • 335
3 votes
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Small scale manufacturing

I believe the key here is not the material, but the manufacturing method. I would not recommend a small cnc machine, which seems to be what you're considering. Those are cool and fun, but you will ...
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  • 1,418
3 votes
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Where can I find technical drawings for computer parts?

I would research component manufactures web sites. It is highly unlikely that you will find all the information in on location. Here our example web site links to get started. NZXT - Mini ITX ...
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3 votes

Why are many compliant mechanisms only flexible in the joints?

I'll start from the particular example you are asking about. It is a positional adjustment device. It is heavily used in laser optical tables to provide micrometer adjustments. And it falls in the ...
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  • 22.6k
2 votes

Evaluating performance of heat sink designs without finite element simulation

Some pointers: It's first about surface area! But don't put the fins too close together or there is not enough space for natural convection to start... I read somewhere that ~0.25" (~6 mm) is a ...
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