What is 3D mechanical engineering and design software?
Mechanical engineering and design software helps engineers and designers visualise, analyse and communicate design intent before building a physical prototype. Mechanical engineering software is employed across an array of disciplines, from manufacturing (US site) and architecture (US site) to sustainability. It is used to design everything from cars to prosthetics to headphones.
Types of mechanical engineering and design software
Computer-aided design (CAD) is one of the most ubiquitous software design tools. The models generated by CAD software are often used as inputs to other mechanical engineering and design tools.
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is a broad term for software used in aiding engineering analysis. CAE software can perform complex tasks such as finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), among others.
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) refers to the use of software to help automate the manufacturing process. CAM is typically used after a design has been developed with CAD software and is validated using CAE software before manufacturing.
HVAC design software is used to design indoor spaces that meet temperature and air quality requirements. It is often used in the design of large office and industrial buildings.
Product data management (PDM) software helps engineers with document management and revision control.
Turning concepts into reality
Each product starts as a concept, which can take the form of sketches, specifications or constraints that dictate design requirements. A product designer, or usually a team of product designers and engineers, then takes the concept and, using mechanical engineering software, turns the concept into a comprehensive product design. The final design must be manufacturable, that is, be able to meet manufacturing requirements, such as the ability to withstand specified stresses and strains while minimising the final product's weight. This design phase can take several iterations and refining. It can also include a design simulation phase, using software that tests and validates the product design before the final step of manufacturing.
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Mechanical engineering resource centre (US site)
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