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How To Be A Good Design Engineer?


We explained the manufacturing engineering before in which designs related manufacturing process of product that will be released to the market. So there is a ‘product’ needed to be designed. In this regard, there must someone to design that ‘product’. Designer or design engineer term is related to this kind of businnes.

Qualifications of ‘designer’ of related product, depends of the product itself. Complexity of the product actually. The name of designer is not ‘design engineer’, everytime. For example, if the aesthetics of the product in the market is important, designer of the product need not to be engineer. Industrial designers can fit to that description. But in this article of Mechanical Base, we will mention about desing engineering in industry. You can find out informations about;

-Who is ‘design engineer’?
-What are the responsiblities of ‘design engineer’?
-What to do to be a good ‘design engineer’?
-What kinds of softwares that design engineers use?

Who Is Design Engineer?

The term of ‘engineering’ has various kinds of disciplines inside it such as, mechanical, electrical, software, chemical etc. Even Mechanical Engineering also has lots of disciplines inside it that an individual mechanical engineer can not be capable all of these disciplines as professional manner. Think about, heat transfer, strength of materials, manufacturing processes, mechanical vibrations, classical mechanics, automotive… All of these sub-disciplines related to Mechanical Engineering. Also in bachelor science of Mechanical Engineering educations, all the aspects of these sub-disciplines are not explained to students. You can take the general understanding of all of these sub-disciplines of Mechanical Engineering in bachelor degree. You can select one of them to profess yourself to work with them in your professional carrer.

Consider about the designing process of a very complex product to be released to the market such as an automobile. To design an automobile that must be competitive with other products at market in current technology, requires the work of various kinds of disciplines from various kinds of engineering areas. Think that sofware section itself must have lots of professional brains from various disciplines inside software. Also mechanical engineering section must has lots of professional people from disciplines that we count above.

So you understand that design engineers have special professions in related disciplines. One could say ‘i’m a design engineer’ that general people can understand, he/she drawing something in CAD softwares. It is not actually like that, he/she probably have a profession in special discipline such as heat transfer, mechanical vibrations etc.

So what is important in design engineering is very good profession in specific area in related engineering discipline.

What Are The Responsiblities Of A Design Engineer?


So the task is designing of a product(automobile in our discussion) that must be competitive in market in terms of technology an price. So in design deparments, these parameters are must be researched before starting to design product. Every people from every discipline must know, what is the ‘situation’ of products in market in terms of their profession?

For example the person that responsible about mechanical vibrations and control of them(design engineer) must know about the vibrational charactheristics of the products that in the market. Also that person must know about the vibrational charactheristics of products with the increasing price. So this designer can desing the product’s related parameter(vibrational charactheristics as a proper price/ performance according to the market. The general responsibilty of a design engineer can be summarized like that.

Think about all the people inside R&D department make their job in this manner. The designed prototype will be proper for it’s market and will probably find customer according to it’s price/performance in the market.

What To Do For Being A Succesful Design Engineer?

New product stamp. The meeting at the white office table

If you read this article up to this section, you can answer this question yourself also. A succesful design engineer must be master in his/her specific discipline in related engineering branch. Decisions are very important in product design phase. To make good decisions in product design phase, you need to be professional in your area. A design engineer that deals with the heat transfer of an internal combustion engine, must know the general heat transfer discipline in a very professional way, and the how the heat transfer in internal combustion engines are modeled. Also for engineering modeling, a good design engineer must know the calculus in a very professional way.

What Kinds Of Softwares That Design Engineers Are Using?

One of the biggest mistakes is, engineering students considers the engineering softwares are the main target to learn to be a good engineer. And they are not considering the general engineering areas such as mechanical vibrations, heat transfer etc. They force themselves to learn engineering softwares instead of learning the different engineering disciplines. Learning these softwares is very good thing for their careers but learning these softwares without learning calculus and a specific engineering discipline has no meaning to be a design engineer.

Do not forget, nearly all the engineering package softwares are TOOLS. Not the main things that you will use in your career. These tools are necessary also for an design engineer today. Complex engineering problems can be solved very easily with these tools. You will take some of results for your problem, but you need to have very good therotical background to assess whether these results correct or not. Also you need to have very well therotical background to obtain the mathematical model inside thhe related engineering software.

We will mention about the some of engineering softwares that are being used in most of R&D departments.


As you can understand from its name(MATrix LABratory), this is very useful tool for a design engineer to solve very complex mathematical problems. Also if a design engineer must do an optimization from various kinds of parameters that are related to the problem, MatLab can be a very good assistant.


MatLab has its own programming language that a design engineer can set up the solution of related mathematical model of an engineering system. For example in mechanical vibration analysis, building up the mathematical model of an engineering system’s vibrations in MatLab can be very helpful to illustrate the vibrations.

Also MatLab has various kinds of tools inside the Simulink, that various kinds of engineering disciplines can do their job inside this. For example, Simulink has very good toolbox to design electronic control systems for various kinds of engineering systems such as automobiles, aircraft products etc.

YOU CAN LEARN MatLab IN MECHANICAL BASE; Click And Start To Learn MatLab!


This is the most common finite element analysis(FEA) tool that is used in design departments. You can obtain the computational simulations of physical engineering systems inside the ANSYS. These physical systems include: Fluids, mechanics, electric and electronics, solid-fluid problems etc. Solutions are obtained according to the finite element methods, that you need to obtain the mesh structure in a very good way. Not only the mesh structure, boundry conditions such as forces, pressures, joints, heat situations, electrical inputs, physical properties of fluids etc. Meshing in ANSYS has its own profession. You need to obtain a proper mesh structure to obtain correct results from analysis.


Also definition of boundry conditions is very important to obtain correct results from FEA analysis in ANSYS. Complex engineering systems generally has very complex boundry conditions that the design engineer must know all the therotical basis of this. So the importance of therotical background about the related engineering discipline is also very important in this regard.



This is generally used tool in most design departments for 3D design. Physical model of the final product must be designed in a CAD software for FEA or CAM. Solidworks is generally used in this manner. Solidworks also has other tools such as FEA, but it is not professional as other professional FEA softwares that avaliable in market. For CAD, there is no requirement of profession in specific area. You need to know the 3D design commands of Solidworks to design the 3D model of products. We recommend that, learn CAD first, around the engineering softwares that stated here if you want to be a design engineer. In Solidworks software also, there are lots of other tools for specific engineering areas such as molding design. But if you want to progress yourself in molding and mold design, learn this tool.


So as you understand that, you do not have to and can not learn an engineering software completely with its all tools for all specific disciplines. Decide in which area that you want to progess in engineering, and learn software’s tools that related to that area.


Siemens NX

It is one of the most professional CAD-CAM and PLM software. Actually it is not common as Solidworks, but 3D design commands of Siemens NX is superior to most of CAD softwares. Also CAM software of Siemens NX is most used CAM in the market. Like Solidworks, Siemens NX has also superior tools for various engineering areas, and if you interested in a specific area of engineering that is a toolbox in Siemens NX, we strongly recommend you to learn them. In most professional R&D departments, Siemens NX is generally used as CAD tool.




Consider that you designed a part or product, you need to illustrate it according to standards that is called Technical Drawing. Technical drawing in mechanical engineering has its own illustrative standards such as views of part, dimensions of part, production tolerances of designed part etc. This is a special language around mechanical engineers around the world. So the 2D drawing commands of AutoCAD can be very useful to obtain the technical drawings of designed parts. But you need to learn how to draw Technical Drawing before this. So we strongly recommend you that you need to learn AutoCAD 2D commands to obtain Technical Drawings of designed parts.



These recommendations are valid for mechanical design engineers. These software recommendations can be widen, if you have other recommendations, remark in comments below.

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