43 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 ...
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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. ...
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  • 271
7 votes

Can two different modeling programs be used to confirm the results of each other?

Yes, getting a second opinion can be useful. This is done routinely in weather forecasting where exact solutions are unknown, and there is some judgement about how to apply various factors. There ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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  • 3,971
6 votes

Can two different modeling programs be used to confirm the results of each other?

I write this from the perspective of an engineer who develops simulation software. I think the practice described is bad, and I recommend you do not use two different softwares to "confirm" the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
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Possible Hazards of Software Controlled Systems (Ex. Airline GPS/Elevator)?

Commercial air traffic is in pretty constant contact with air traffic control, and GPS is not the primary method of tracking aircraft position. This article, written in the wake of the MH370 ...
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4 votes

Can two different modeling programs be used to confirm the results of each other?

I think this is a good practice overall. By using two different softwares, you may be able two avoid two kind of errors: 1) errors that come from an inaccurate software (which should not be ...
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  • 149
3 votes
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GIM Mechanism Software (Kinematics / Analysis / Synthesis)

Okay, it took me way too long to figure this out. I'm thinking this is just not a very intuitive interface. Here's the fix for anybody else who makes it here. Click #1, Click #2 (carefully!), then ...
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  • 281
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 ...
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3 votes
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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 ...
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3 votes

How to solve an overconstrained static free body diagram?

your system of equations is underdetermined, which means that you don't have enough information to solve it. You can proof it by calculating the determinant. For a unique solution it has to be unequal ...
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  • 51
3 votes

Can not boot BeagleBone Black with 4D LCD touch screen using pre-built Android images

Base on the information provide try shorting the jumpers on the 4D Systems LCD Display. As best as I know Android LCD cape only recognizes the LCD at a specific address. I believe there is EEPROM ...
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3 votes
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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 ...
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  • 6,192
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-...
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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 ...
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  • 6,192
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 ...
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  • 4,668
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 ...
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2 votes

Can two different modeling programs be used to confirm the results of each other?

Answer from the point of view of a Design Engineer Checking the results of one program against another will give you some level of certainty that the results are correct. It is unlikely to give you ...
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  • 3,145
2 votes

Can two different modeling programs be used to confirm the results of each other?

I concur with the other answers here, that this in general can be a good idea and will help ensure the accuracy of simulation results. In terms of how good it is in relation to the other verification ...
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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 - ...
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  • 1,217
2 votes

How to solve an overconstrained static free body diagram?

The problem is relatively simple if the supports have infinite stiffness. The way to then solve it conceptually is to apply the principle of superposition to: (a) system with a support at $C$, ...
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  • 121
2 votes

Why choose approximation over interpolation to implement digital lofting?

I think your history isn't quite right here. The first widely-used CAD systems used Bezier curves, where the end points of each section do lie on the curve. For cubic Bezier curves, the intermediate ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 6,192
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 ...
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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 ...
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