Engineering and design are two inseparable fields in today’s modern world. Thanks to 3D design tools, modeling software, and rapid prototyping, engineers and designers can work seamlessly in creating products that users actually love. In fact, the two roles are often assumed by the same person.
Design engineers can now rely on a wide range of tools to bring their visions into reality. If you are looking for the best tools you should be using in 2019, these options are worth checking out. Let’s have a look, shall we?
We really cannot talk about design tools for engineers (or engineering tools for designers) without mentioning TinkerCAD. This a revolutionary tool brings 3D design and modelling to more designers by making it available in the cloud.
Yes, TinkerCAD runs entirely in the cloud as a service. It is also available for free and ties directly to 3D printing services for rapid prototyping. Running in the cloud doesn’t make this CAD tool less capable either. TinkerCAD offers the same set of features that premium desktop tools offer.
TinkerCAD also supports importing from existing models. You will also find the shape library on the platform to be particularly intuitive when you are just getting started with a new project. If inexperienced 3D designers can use TinkerCAD, any designer can too.
The free pcb cad software from Altium is another must-use tool if you are developing products that require circuit boards. Altium Designer goes above and beyond in making PCB design an easy process. For example, it offers a comprehensive list of components for you to use.
The design process starts with a common circuit diagram. Altium then automatically converts the circuit diagram into 3D PCB model for two main purposes: for checking part clearance and manufacturing possibilities and for modeling itself.
With Altium Designer working alongside other CAD software, you can also design other components for the product, including a custom PCB case, moving parts, and supporting components. Combined with 3D printing, rapid prototyping of complex products is a possibility.
Another must-use design tool for those looking to design complex components and structures is Solidworks. The tool is famous for its parametric, featured-based modeling approach. You can define parameters for the design, simulate different scenarios, and even use dimensional metrics for sizing.
If TinkerCAD represents how seamless 3D design can be, Solidworks takes care of the complex, advanced side of the equation. You can still produce prototypes using 3D printers, but the models produced using Solidworks are notoriously technical and ready for mass manufacturing.
Naturally, other tools such as AutoCAD are just as advanced, but there is something about the UI of Solidworks that makes this tool a favorite among top engineers. If you are looking for a premium tool for your next project, this is one to try.
The tools we covered in this article represent a wide spectrum of resources available to today’s design engineers. Do you have your own favorite design tools? Share your experience with them in the comment section below.