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What do you want young engineers/designers to know?

teemfan93

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
We are doing a talk at my work (we do product development) on machining/design for machining. There are a number of younger engineers straight out of college that don't have real world experience with machining. What are some tips/design tricks you all would like for them to know? We are working through an outline of discussion points and I'd like to get some input from machinists if possible.

Thank you!
 

4GSR

Diamond
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Location
Victoria, Texas, USA
They need to spend 6 years in the shop, starting with deburring parts. Next learning basic lathe and mill operation. Turn loose and let them machine parts. Learn to program machines and understand the tooling needed to machine a certain feature on the parts. Cutting threads! And the list goes on and on.
 

wood2steel

Aluminum
Joined
May 17, 2013
Location
georgia
As said;;; they have to be exposed to at least a minimal amount of manual machine operations. Delta is really struggling with new Grads coming in to their shops with their 'Credentials ' but they can't even figure out how to do the basic parts setup on the CNC machinery. The basics get your Common Sense working properly and give you a scope of what's happening beyond the 'Keyboard'--- 🤔
 

Rickyb

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Location
Troy mi
Get them to realize the the tolerances they add to a drawing essentially defines the manufacturing process. From there the questions and learning can begin.
 

empower

Stainless
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
common sense. what works in CAD, doesnt necessarily work in real world, or at least not cost effectively.
 

BugRobotics

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Location
Denver, CO
Have them design some parts that would be normally used in your work and then have them sit down in the shop with machinists so they can understand good and bad design practices.
 

Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Have them design some parts that would be normally used in your work and then have them sit down in the shop with machinists so they can understand good and bad design practices.
I second this, not sure there's a better way to teach design skills.

Also teach them to ask questions, properly. As in- identify the root issue, locate the person with the most knowledge on the issue, and then coerce them into sharing thst knowledge. Then write that down.

Programmed via Mazatrol
 

rcoope

Stainless
Joined
Sep 25, 2010
Location
Vancouver Canada
As someone who mentors young engineers and who works closely with experienced tool makers, I'd highlight work holding and tolerancing. How is a part going to be held and is it possible to make the part easier to hold, or probe, without changing design intent? I guess you also have machinability in there, such as avoiding the need for unnecessarily small end mills, and recognizing that on a bull nose end mill for example, you can have a smaller end radius than side radius. But for a given material, all those machinability considerations come down to the cubic relationship between tool stability and the tools length and diameter and what happens when stick out gets to be too many multiples of diameter.

Tolerancing is dependent on the purpose of different part features, but in a well understood way that can be looked up in books that designers should have on their desks. But senior mentors need to help new engineers understand appropriate features and tolerances for their industry, how to indicate tolerances on drawings, and the costs associated with unnecessarily tight tolerances.

But the biggest thing shop staff and engineers need to do is to learn to respect each other and listen to each other. Like Lockheed's Kelly Johnson said, "I wanted there to be a good relationship between engineer and mechanic". That radical idea is the key to excellence in manufacturing.
 

BugRobotics

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Location
Denver, CO
But the biggest thing shop staff and engineers need to do is to learn to respect each other and listen to each other. Like Lockheed's Kelly Johnson said, "I wanted there to be a good relationship between engineer and mechanic". That radical idea is the key to excellence in manufacturing.

Well said.
 

thermite

Diamond
at least buy them all a drill chart

Really.

If they are to pretend to be "designers" I'll take the ones who know the McMaster-Carr catalog by rote and would make good PURCHASING AGENTS over "let's-we-pretend" machinists.

Buggers are FOREVER specing s**t they pull out of their ass when a stock, off-the-shelf part could be used for lower cost, faster, and without built-in maintenance forever-hassle.

:(
 

John Garner

Titanium
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Location
south SF Bay area, California
Assuming that the designers and makers are on the same "campus", the design managers and the make-it managers should get to know each other.

Then both sides should host the other sides in a grown-up " take your child to work" day. On the clock.

As an assembly-and-test engineer, I bought a lot of coffee and doughnuts for machinists and their supervisors, and stopped by the shops to say hi, off my clock. I also took a handful of machinists at a time hrough the assembly-and-test high bays, describing what they were seeing, but encouraging them to ask questions and set the pace.

Having a machinist be excited when he recognized a part he made, installed on on the flight structure deeply satisfied me.

I am absolutely convinced that our employer's return on such investment was VASTLY greater than whatever they spent on consultants.
 

CarbideBob

Diamond
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Flushing/Flint, Michigan
The first thing would be that all that stuff in the books and all the fancy calculations are a great but they are just a guide.
The real world is so much more complicated.
An old engineer I am talking with and newbie in the next cubicle.
"They always come in this way. All the books, charts and spreadsheets galore to set the world on fire and know it all. Six months in they begin to change".

Second would be pay attention to those that do the making.
Maybe they don't understand what you are doing and maybe you do not understand what and why they are trying to tell you.
One comes out of engineering school and you think you know stuff. Yes you do and no you don't.

I still do not understand simple metal chip formation on cutting tools.
As a young engineer I certainly thought I did knowing the formulas, force diagrams, shear/yield, FEA.

Much of the audience here will be machinists. There is a kind of hate for engineers as brainless twits.
Bob
 

plastikdreams

Diamond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
upstate nj
We have fun with the engineers, sometimes they will ask us to move core locating pins .001...we'll keep the mold a few hours without touching it then send it back out...believe it or not we have had them say we lowered/raised them too much lol. I always enjoy asking them if they know what .001 and then explaining it to them when they give you a blank look. Then asking them if they really think it's going to make a difference. Lol
 

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
I was seven years old when I stood next to an engineer. He was sitting on the right side of the cab of a wood-burning steam locomotive hauling fresh-cut pine logs in Louisiana. That looked like a nice job, though the heat was a bit much in August. The next year, we went to a different lumber mill and I got to climb around the retired locos.

Fisher Locos 1948 3.jpg

I soon was into Dad's tool chest and recall using a star drill to make a hole through the basement wall. I was ten when I got a bench jigsaw, twelve when I got a wood lathe and drill press. I quickly found that a wood lathe can turn brass. Thirteen when I got my first metal lathe and started turning steel. I started collecting and repairing antique clocks and firearms. Somewhere in the next few years, I found out what the other kind of engineers do and went to a good school which included opportunities to see and operate real grownup industrial machine tools and take plant tours along with the book work. In my spare time, I learned to weld, repair watches and make investment cast jewelry.

At twenty-three, I got a job testing truck parts, which included watching other guys using tools and machines while I directed, planned the operations and use of the equipment and wrote up the results. I soon noticed that many of the other young engineers had no experience in using tools or machines and seemed to know nothing of manufacturing processes. I wondered how they ever got the idea of going to engineering school. I took every opportunity to go across the road to the truck plant. I could walk through the forge shop, heat treat shop, axle and transmission machining and assembly department and see entire trucks built from parts to driving off the line. I watched and learned. I saved my money and bought more and better machines and taught myself to use them. Another definition of engineer is one who builds engines. I have done that, but I never did get to drive a locomotive.

I still wonder how engineers that don't use hand tools or run machine tools can be expected to design products that must be made with machine tools. By the time I retired, the new engineers were well-versed in CAD, but many still seemed to have no idea how those colored lines on the screen got to become truck parts. I got comfortable with using computers over the years, but managed to escape the need to learn CAD and never did work at a drafting board.

Larry
 








 
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