41 votes
Accepted

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

At the beginning of my career (1979) as a design engineer at HP, the mechanical engineer created the part design and then rendered it in pencil on paper, and then transferred it onto sheets of vellum ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
17 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

In the offices I worked in, drafters were also expected to have a grasp of the trades required to build the thing they were drawing. They'd have some background in welding, fitting, and fabrication. ...
Jason's user avatar
  • 271
7 votes
Accepted

How to notate the position of a train?

Speaking personally (as someone who deals with this sort of thing for a US Class I on a regular basis) -- operational and maintenance personnel find railroad locations the same way you and I find ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Determining the microstructure of steel after welding in modern computer software

Summary: 1) The answer to this question is difficult. You would need to know how austenite and ferrite behave in relation to what you are doing to them. You would also need to know their compositions,...
do-the-thing-please's user avatar
5 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

I think the duties that engineers have to perform are independent of the tools they use. Nowadays there seems to be a trend that everybody involved in a working process, regardless of if we are ...
pixelpoems.de's user avatar
5 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

But I am left with a question I don't have the answer to, nor the resources to answer it. These days it seems most mechanical engineers (at least the ones I know) are really performing the role of ...
NMech's user avatar
  • 24.3k
3 votes

Trying to find proper Open source CAD Software For the Automatic Tooth Comparing

This question may be better suited for the software recommendation SE and perhaps could be migrated. Consider that Meshlab meets a couple of your requirements. It's open source and has a comparison ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 7,055
3 votes

How are common free body diagrams and similar illustrations made?

The images references that you have provided look like they could have been produced in LaTeX, possibly using the TikZ package. Have a look at this example http://www.texample.net/tikz/examples/free-...
Jonathan R Swift's user avatar
3 votes

How to notate the position of a train?

In most cases a position on the track will be most useful as GPS probably won't have high enough resolution to indicate which line it is on if there are several tracks in parallel. Also many ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
  • 15.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Staad - structure design

In structural analysis, one represents a real beam (or column, or any other "unidimensional" element) is represented by one or more bars. A bar is defined as a connection between two nodes. If you ...
Wasabi's user avatar
  • 13.1k
3 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

We didn't have to ask how to use our tools. This SE is filled with how do I... for Solidworks, Abaqus, Ansys APGL... I guess we spent more time drawing and calculating, versus figuring out how to ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 6,793
3 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

The mechanical engineer actually designs the thing. The draftsman's job was to render the engineer's intent in a drawing which is clear and unambiguous. So the engineer can say "yup, that's what ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes

Effect of Earth's rotation on moving vehicles

The answer to the effects of Earth's rotation of moving vehicles: First, Earth doesn't rotate at a rate of 460 m/s. In fact, m/s is not the unit for the angular speed. It's like using Liters for mass. ...
Sina Atalay's user avatar
2 votes

Staad - structure design

In short, by having them each as single members or beams should not be influencing the result provided that you have connected them together as fully fixed/welded (this is the member end condition - ...
pauloz1890's user avatar
  • 1,217
2 votes
Accepted

Can someone export file from prt.1 to step?

You can remove the ".1" from the extension, so they are just .prt files - the .1 is to do with sequential numbering of backups, I believe. They can then be opened / converted using Autodesk Fusion 360,...
Jonathan R Swift's user avatar
2 votes

In what (free) software can I draw bodies in a 3D coordinate system?

For Windows, Linux and Mac, Solvespace will allow one to create three dimensional objects in a parametric as well as free-form manner. Text and dimensions are part of the program's features. The web ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 7,055
2 votes
Accepted

What CAD software is this?

I think the hint comes from the tab that says SOLIDWORKS in the left column, near the top of the block of actions. It's not visible in this screen shot, but is clearly visible in the video linked in ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 7,055
2 votes

How should the assignment to test software for a vehicle’s VCU be aproached?

I am not too familiar with the VCU, PV780, or PowerVision. Based on your description PV780 can be configured to be the Instrument Cluster Panel (ICP) for Engine Control Unit/Module (ECM) or ...
Mahendra Gunawardena's user avatar
2 votes

How are common free body diagrams and similar illustrations made?

CAD packages, drawing packages, you can even use shapes in software like Word & Excel, but most book diagrams were drawn by hand (until computers became common) - which explains the profession of ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 15.6k
2 votes

Engineering calculations in a tool that will handle units

If you're interested in using Python, check out the pint, astropy.units or unyt packages. I ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 806
2 votes

Engineering calculations in a tool that will handle units

No one seems to have suggested this, but Google search bar handles mixed units just fine. You can type "(25 pounds mass)(7 m/s^2) in dynes" and it'll give it to you. If you don't specify ...
RC_23's user avatar
  • 831
2 votes
Accepted

Easy software for : Multibody dynamics of rigid bodies?

You may find that SolveSpace (multi-platform, free) will do as you require. For your purposes, it's not particularly difficult to learn. The site also has a link to a tutorial which directly addresses ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
  • 7,055
2 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

Engineers designed and sorted the calculations defining the components - material, size, etc. Draftsmen did the drawing pencil on paper or ink, then did blueprints.
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 15.6k
2 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

I work with lot of architects and design school graduates and students that still work without computers. There is really nothing wrong with doing it this way except that it neccesitates sometimes ...
joojaa's user avatar
  • 3,597
2 votes

How did mechanical engineers work before SolidWorks?

Mechanical engineers that do not know about Solidworks yet in these days start from FreeCAD. When I attempted to create my own startup and suddenly needed to 3D print a few parts, I knew nothing about ...
h22's user avatar
  • 179
2 votes

Similarities Between Mechanical Engineering and Computer Engineering

Mechanical Engineering uses physical properaties of materials & engineering physics to solve problems. The major elements are Materials, Thermal, Fluids, & Static and Dynamic Design & ...
Tiger Guy's user avatar
  • 6,793
1 vote
Accepted

Why use python over MATLAB?

While I agree that MATLAB is far easier to use than Python with having a bunch of 'extensions' (if you will) already included, variable sharing / incorporation with simscape and SIMULINK (for control ...
John's user avatar
  • 88
1 vote

Shop for process data acquisition equipment and software

One of the best and proven method is the do a google search for local test and measurement companies in your area. A good search string to use is data acquisition hardware and software development ...
Mahendra Gunawardena's user avatar
1 vote

Engineering calculations in a tool that will handle units

Another great free tool that work very well and its a clone of MathCad (so you won't have to relearn something) is SMath Studio As I've mentioned up until now its free (although I think its closed ...
NMech's user avatar
  • 24.3k
1 vote

In what (free) software can I draw bodies in a 3D coordinate system?

You could try using FreeCAD, it's a 3D modelling software. It's more geared towards making a 3D assembly than making drawings though. Another option is Inkscape which is a vector graphics program.
Ken Grimes's user avatar

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