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Auto Tech Outlook | Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Whether one makes the drawings on their own or need to interact and analyze them, in-depth knowledge of how the CAD system works is a must. This aspect can be tricky because every company uses their CAD brand for the systems.
FREMONT, CA: Automotive design engineers are the people in the automotive world who turn ideas into functional designs. There are different design engineers in the automotive field, but most of them need a similar skill set.
Here are the three most important technical skills one should focus to be a remarkable automotive design engineer.
1. CAD Experience
If one is a design engineer, they will be working with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) sometimes once a day or sometimes every minute. It is the primary tool for determining how the parts function and fit together quickly. It is also crucial to know how to create, move, and analyze a 3D model. Showing that one knows at least one CAD program is essential to get any job as a design engineer.
Whether one makes the drawings on their own or need to interact and analyze them, in-depth knowledge of how the CAD system works is a must. This aspect can be tricky because every company uses their CAD brand for the systems. Therefore, one can start with the base model of 3D modeling, Solidworks. It is a user-friendly and spontaneous, go-to program when one is first learning how to think like a 3D designer.
The first thing one should know as an automotive design engineer is GD&T. GD&T comprises everything from engineering drawing symbols to tolerance stack-ups. One cannot design an automotive part without understanding the core concepts of dimensioning first. It is vital that one gets some hands-on experience with existing drawings and understand how a drawing is controlled.
Knowing the features and controls of parts is of supreme importance to design engineering. Before one can get into complex stress calculations or load properties of diverse materials, they need to know how to read a basic engineering drawing.
3. Design for Manufacturability (DFM) Methods
As the automotive sector advances, the design engineer’s role ties more and more into the production realm. Earlier, application or design engineers created the product’s functional design, and then it was passed over to the manufacturing plant to generate the product. Today, the application department is expected to support the production throughout the vehicle production life in a nearly full capacity. This viewpoint implies that any overlooked issues with the parts’ manufacturability will be the design engineer’s responsibility.
As a designer, one should be deeply involved when the components are commencing their prototype production. Sometimes the engineer may only have a limited scope of what can go wrong with the part. However, when assembly trials start, the real issues begin to come forward. Therefore, knowing each feature’s impact, part, and tolerance one designate on a part will make one a prodigious design engineer. Their first goal is always function, while the second goal is to keep things simple.