A mix of utilities and CAD and automation tools characterizes our first roundup of engineering applications for the iPad.
In searching Apple's App Store, it's obvious that there's a lot of low-hanging technical fruit. Most notable is the plethora of engineering unit conversion programs. We've included a few we found of particular interest to mechanical and industrial engineers. There are also many apps of value only to captive users of a particular vendor's products; we've included some with widespread user bases.
Click the image below to view our slideshow of useful engineering apps:
This native viewer for the ubiquitous DWG CAD file format supports both 2D and 3D renditions. Usability features include pan and zoom. Files can be accessed via ftp or Dropbox. $3.99. Go here.
Clearly, our starter list isn't comprehensive. Still, we believe it's a good beginning. We're also interested in your favorites for a followup gallery. Please send your picks to me at email@example.com.
It's really too bad that all you promote is iPad, especially considering that Apple is rapidly losing market share to Android. Forget "the rest of us", how 'bout articles and apps for "the most of us"?
I too have used and would like to see more apps like iCircuit. I would also like to see a pSpice tie-in app as well as a component EDA Librarian for iCircuit, so we could expand the 30+ components and families to include other glue logic, FPGA DSP and - why not - even tubes!
It would go a long way towards removing the iPad from toy status and turning it into a real work platform.
Let's hope, short of jail-breaking your device and running Linux variants on it, you could actually turn the iPAD (and other tablets) into a valuable workhorse type of highly portable tool.
Thanks for citing iCircuit. Most of the posts had to do with Electro-Mechanical apps or add-ons and viewers.
Why not some really productive tools that allow creation at first hand in the iOS domain rather than doing all the work on big desktops and saving the tablets to passing the work around for comment? Not to belittle that aspect. It is invaluable, but must we always be tied to our big computers?
A web application at http://AnalysisChamp.com is capable of performing expression evaluation with complex unit conversion. It includes a list of searchable units that can be entered as expressions and returned in desired units. The webpage is formatted for desktop or mobile device screens and is free.
I entered your example (assuming that "m" = meters and "um" = micrometers) and it returned 9.09E6. It also has magnetic, luminescence, electric, viscocity, energy, force, mass, pressure, temperature, time, velocity and other unit types.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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