CAD is the ultimate engineering tool for solving all kinds of design problems, right?
Well, maybe, but it only helps if users first have a feel for engineering, and second, know how to work with the tool. Roy Burmeister, Jr., senior product designer at Hutchinson Fluid Transfer Systems Inc. (Troy, MI), has that feel and knows how to use the tool, and he has advice for others that's worth reading.
Based on his experience designing with AutoCAD, CATIA, and Pro/ENGINEER, he has developed what he calls "The seven deadly sins of CAD." Here they are:
Separation between systems administration and the CAD department. Having someone who knows both design and administration leading both groups avoids conflicting priorities.
Lack of a comprehensive training program. Training makes CAD users more than mere CAD operators. It enables them to use the software to its fullest potential for streamlining and improving design.
No modeling standards. Without them, model construction can be ill-planned and result in models that are difficult or impossible to fix.
No backup. Expecting designers to catch their own mistakes is risky. They probably won't.
Unclear lines of supervisory authority. Having a variety of supervisors overseeing designers' work can lead to inconsistent directions and confusion.
Modeling parts more than once. One of the chief advantages of CAD is that you don't have to model anything twice. If you're going to consistently re-model, go back to the board.
Lack of productivity standards. Failure to set standards on timeliness, for example, takes away a sense of urgency and can result in late work.
Got any of your own "sins" to add to Roy's list? Speak out so we can all learn to use CAD more effectively.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
PowerStream is deploying the microgrid at its headquarters to demonstrate how people can generate and distribute their own energy and make their homes and businesses more sustainable through renewables.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.