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Mechanical skills

  1. Feb 4, 2005 #1
    Hi everyone,
    I have decided to devote my life to Mechanical engineering research and development after my college times. For this decision, I have to be familiar with the very fundamentals mechanical concepts such as the workings of pulleys, gear, wheel, torque, springs and others in addition to college subjects. Frankly, I cannot even build simple mouse-trap and don't understand the workings and applications of small things used in mouse-trap. Can I become a good Mechanical Engineer without these expertise ? How can I practise to excel in these Mechanical skills and creativity ? What is your comment and opinion? I appreciate it. Thanks you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2005 #2

    Chronos

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    Technical skills, like building stuff you design, comes with experience. If you are really inclined to understand how stuff works, you will get your hands dirty trying to make it work sooner or later. Dang technicians can't do anything right.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2005 #3
    Interesting subject. For me Electrical Engineering was the natural way to go. I am 44, had a 200 in 1 electronics kit at 8 and was repairing b&w TV's at 14.
    You know the type of kid, many of you out there were the same. Dad buys a new VCR and we pull it apart to see how it works. We normally tend to follow the course of the things in which we have the most aptitude.

    Although my background is Mainframe Computers, whenever someone I know has something that has ceased functioning, I'm the go to guy. It could be electrical, mechanical, an alien spacecraft, whatever.
    Why, because I will have a crack at nearly anything and for me the key is exactly what was mentioned re: the mousetrap. Having never seen the device before need not be a problem. Knowing how the thing is supposed to function (assuming it is not functioning now) is the key. Study it for as long as it takes for the penny to drop. After that the dollars will follow. Once you know that, repairing the device is the easy part no matter what it is.

    Having said all this, I do believe that this ability that I and many others of you out there share is a gift. Something it seems that I was born with and that has followed me through life. I have restored old cars, built and designed my own house with my own two hands, My house was built in my head before it even hit the paper, for me it's a visual thing, if I can see it in my head, all is possible.

    None of this is boasting, I say again, I see it as a gift. So where does "aptitude and natural ability" come into it??? Are those skills necessary for a successful career in engineering. Any ideas
     
  5. Feb 5, 2005 #4

    brewnog

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    Frankly, no. As you said, they're fundamentals. Some people can understand them, some people can't. However, they can be learnt...

    As Wardw has already pointed out, by far the best way to learn is to take things to bits, have a play with them, and put them back together. I got a carburettor for my 4th birthday, it was in pieces that evening. As a kid, I was also addicted to Lego and Meccano, - hours of fun and learning are to be had trying to make a 4-wheel steering, fully independent suspension car with differentials out of Lego.
     
  6. Feb 5, 2005 #5
    That is wild, no wait don't tell me, you had built your first car by 6, just kidding.
    Seriously a carburettor for you fourth birthday. I have to ask...why??

    was it "daddy daddy can I have a webber for my birthday".
    "no I'm afraid not son, it is either a stromberg down draft or nothing".


    :rofl:
     
  7. Feb 5, 2005 #6

    brewnog

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    I didn't ask for it, I didn't even know what it was. My godfather owned a Skoda garage and my dad just came in and said "here's a carburettor from Uncle Steve". All I know is that I'd discovered butterfly valves long before I could spell carburettor. I think my parents were sick of me dismantling my toys instead of playing with them.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2005 #7
    I plan to do my mech. engineering too and not sure if i have the practical skills to become a good engineer.. :(.. At this point of time, i'm just hoping that i will be able to learn the skills that are necessary and be good at it..
     
  9. Feb 15, 2005 #8

    Integral

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    TECHNICIANS CAN'T GET IT RIGHT! :confused: Humph... Perhaps if you learned how to tell them what you need.. More often then not an engineer assumes away the real world then when the techs try to fix ....


    OH Well the war between Techs and Engineers will never end. :biggrin:

    Who..ME ... A Technician??
     
  10. Feb 16, 2005 #9

    Gokul43201

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    Hear ! Hear !
     
  11. Feb 16, 2005 #10

    Integral

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    You all "engineers" need to actually get out and attempt to fix the things you design. I have been cuss'n idiot engineers who manage to place the most likely to fail part in the least accessible place for over 30yrs. A basic requirement for a technician is that he have extra joints in his wrists to reach the unreachable, and eyes on stalks to see behind and underneath the places that can either be reached or seen but not both.

    Yeah, Yeah, blame the tech because your idea can't be implemented, with a back of the envelope sketch, in ketsup, handed to the tech as you head off to that vital meeting. With the details (ie the real design) left to the techs imagination.

    (By the way, to the outsiders: this is of course a bit of exaggeration. In the manufacturing world wonderful things happen when you happen to get a competent technician team working with a competent engineering team. Failure to communicate or incompetence on the part of one or the other can make for some difficult times.)
     
  12. Feb 16, 2005 #11

    FredGarvin

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    AMEN BROTHER!

    I have been preaching that for quite a while. At my place of employment we get two types of engineers: 1.) the kind (I'd like to say like me) that get their hands dirty and dig in to get things done, and usually have fun doing it. 2.) The guys that can actually wear nice dress shirts and shoes to work because they never seem to leave their desks or meeting rooms.

    I have a firm belief that if you don't go down and work with the technicians on something you have designed/worked on, you don't have the right to be a designer/engineer. You have to spend time in the trenches.


    That being said EngTechno, go to school first off and get your education. You will learn a lot there. A lot of the items you are worried about now will fall into place. Your education is your foundation. When you graduate and start your career, the real learning will begin. It takes time. I learn every day and I have been at it just over 10 years now.
     
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