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What is design engineering?

Engineers solve some of the world's most technical and complex issues. Science, math, and problem-solving are at the heart of an engineer's occupation. This often requires constructing and maintaining machines, buildings, or public works. Design engineering is the process that engineers use to address these projects and problems. Design engineers create a purpose for designs and the end goals for what the deliverable will accomplish upon completion. While there are many steps to the process of design engineering, the one that many designers are concerned with is selecting a solution and creating a prototype for testing and optimization.

Cad Crowd's design engineering services and engineering design services strive to help companies across various sectors find designers well-versed in design engineering strategy, software, and project management. These designers can assist in a variety of sectors within the engineering industry. Some of the most common are mechanical, architectural, and electrical. Read on about how design plays a part in these specific areas.  

The role of design in mechanical engineering 

Mechanical design engineering is a subset of design engineering. Mechanical engineering deals with designing, constructing, and using machines. As a result, design engineers specializing in mechanical design can help companies create models for machines, public facilities, and public work services. For example, if your company needs a layout of your plumbing system or a location to store machinery or tools, a mechanical design engineer could help to make this happen. 

Architectural design engineering 

Do you need someone to help design a structure or create a model that informs customers of the potential interior and exterior ideas for a building? Then an architectural design engineering professional is the best person for the job. Much like mechanical engineering, the goal is to produce models that increase the accuracy of the design. 

Architectural design engineers must also use models to ensure the final product meets all safety specifications and building codes. While mechanical engineers work to bring machines and tools from model to completion, architectural design engineers create digital displays that help contractors complete construction projects. 

Electrical design engineering 

Your company is on its way to designing a mechanical tool or creating a building. However, the means for incorporating electricity and power have not been addressed, and this step is where an electrical design engineer will come into play.

Electrical design engineers ensure that electrical systems are correctly built into structures. With this comes planning, testing, developing, and modeling. Electrical design engineers often develop electrical system layouts that address the location of lighting equipment, power systems, and fire safety systems. These attributes are likely critical to obtaining building codes or permissions to continue with a project. 

While there is no exhaustive list of all the intersections of design and engineering, these are some of the most notable ways design engineers can develop models for complex engineering functions. 

The most popular design engineering software choices

The various types of design engineering software depend on the subset of the design engineering sector a professional is working with. While some companies cover a wide range of industries within the engineering field, some only offer specialties depending on the subset (i.e., architectural engineering or civil engineering). Below are some of the most popular software options, according to Capterra, a business software review company. 

MatLab – This programming software is ideal for engineers who combine data analysis with design processes. Users can develop algorithms and program languages that produce matrices and array mathematics and automatically generate code. Design engineers tend to like MatLab to design automated program tools. 

Onshape – Onshape is the first and only full-cloud 3D computer-aided design (CAD) system. Instead of sharing multiple files over flash drives or emails, designers can collaborate on files in real-time. Designers can access the software using web browsers, and bypass downloads, installs, and license keys. Design engineers will likely enjoy the freedom of designing alongside colleagues or clients. 

SolidWorks 3D – SolidWorks is a mechanical CAD software specializing in manufacturing design. In addition to many of the standard features other CAD engineering software possess, the application also allows for automated cost estimation and collaboration. This tool is perfect for those who want to add a budget-tracking element to the design engineering process. 

Inventor – Autodesk creates a wide variety of software CAD systems, but this tool that rounds out the top four is meant explicitly for engineers and designers. This software allows for professional design, simulation, visualization, and documentation of 3D mechanical models. Inventor is a subscription-based service that provides flexibility in modeling options and design automation. 

This is not an exhaustive list of all the design engineering options on the market. These are the most popular options for reviewers in the broad engineering field, and they cover the range of many options you will see out there. Some are cloud-based and promote collaborative workflows, while others are known for their robust design features and modeling flexibility. Either way, there are many options, and the Cad Crowd will assist you in finding freelance engineering design services required for your project. 

The importance of incorporating a design engineering process

Even though you may not be dealing with the ins and outs of your project's design, it is still crucial to understand the process many design engineers undertake to produce stellar work. One important fact is understanding the difference between scientific inquiry and design engineering processes. 

It is easy to lump them in the same category as they both handle project ideation to completion. However, they are markedly different. The steps involved in scientific inquiry allow individuals to use cognitive tools to understand patterns that shape what we see around us. 

On the other hand, engineers slightly alter this approach by coming to a situation to change the patterns to satisfy a client's needs. The following process has been attributed to the physical design but can also be applied to digital engineering. Therefore, a savvy design engineer will likely approach an engineering project in the following way: 

  • Locating the need – An experienced design engineer will consult with project managers and other constituents about the problem and gather all the information they need to create a solution. 
  • Finding more information – For example, you may require a mechanical engineer to build a prototype for a new innovative 3D printing technology. While they may be well-versed in mechanical design services, they may have to research how this emerging technology is meant to function. 
  • Creating potential solutions – Having a better idea of the problems, design engineers can then develop paths for solving this issue. This will depend on the problem itself, the scope of the project, and budgetary constraints. 
  • Choosing the best path – Designers will then decide which solution is the best based on some of the previous factors. 
  • Developing a digital model – This is where design engineering occurs. According to the chosen solution, a design engineer will create a digital prototype to fit the project's scope, specifications, and limitations. 
  • Testing its function – The design software choice will come into play here, and design engineers will test and evaluate the model's operation and function at this step. Today's software typically provides advanced automation features for designers to examine how the real-life prototype will perform adequately. 
  • Communicating and redesigning as necessary – This will likely be a back-and-forth process between the designer and the client. The progress will be shared with the project manager, and then a decision will be made on whether the model is ready for real-life production. 

Understanding this process will help you and your team develop an organized framework for efficiently working with a design engineer. It allows you to see and acknowledge all the steps needed to bring a design from an idea to a completed project. 

Cad Crowd is ready to help through our design engineering services

Design engineering and mechanical drafting services have grown in sophistication. A premier design engineering program can model everything regarding a digital prototype. As a result, much of the guesswork regarding the functionality of a design idea no longer exists. The level of detail now required for exemplary design engineering has now created a market where freelance design engineers are becoming more skilled and experienced than ever before. 

Whether you are seeking help with the production of your next construction project or need a digital prototype for new machinery, the team at Cad Crowd is here to help you find the design talent you need. Our design engineering services pair you with an experienced and pre-qualified freelance designer who is well versed in your chosen design technology. 

We can help you hire an expert designer directly, launch a design contest to receive various submissions, or handle the selection process by finding an hourly design expert. Regardless of your design engineering or mechanical design engineering needs, the Cad Crowd team is ready to help. 

We invite you to reach out for a free estimate today.  

Design engineering freelancers and companies at your disposal

Regardless of what aspect of engineering you're looking for help in, we have a network of design engineers who would love to help. No engineering projects are out of our reach, from civil and mechanical to electrical and structural. All of our freelancers are pre-vetted and highly qualified. If you want to use our services, contact us for a free quote!

Brands we've worked with

Yale University School of Medicine
Tiffany & Co.
CNOOC Limited
The Boston Consulting

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