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Mechanical engineering and design software helps engineers and designers visualize, analyze, and communicate design intent before building a physical prototype. Mechanical engineering software is employed across an array of disciplines, from sustainability and architecture to manufacturing. It’s used to design everything from cars to prosthetics to headphones.
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.
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 minimizing 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.
Mechanical engineering resource center
Access an expanding repository of mechanical engineering resources to inspire new ideas, deepen your skillset, and gain insight into trends in your industry.
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