Author Topic: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum  (Read 8298 times)

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Online Simon

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suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:19:48 am »
As I've now started in a new job as a draughsman I wouldn't mind joining a forum for mechanical engineering where hopefully people are also familiar with CAD software. So what is the mechanical equivalent to the eevBlog forum ?
 

Offline AlfBaz

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 10:25:11 am »
Time to start mevBlog!:D
 

Online Simon

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 10:38:39 am »
Yea, Dave needs a mechanical partner ;) or we could have a mechanical/cad section. I think many people on here are into mechanical stuff as well. Some electronics would be nothing without the mechanical "front end"
 

Offline johnwa

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 10:57:55 am »
Have a look at http://www.cnczone.com. They have sections for CAD/CAM, and various metalworking techniques. It has been a while since I have been over there, looks like they have expanded quite a bit in the meantime...
 

HLA-27b

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 12:16:02 pm »
Besides CNCZone there is also http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/
Both of these are vast places.
 

HLA-27b

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 01:28:35 pm »
http://www.eng-tips.com/       
This is the duck's guts imo.
Check out Drafting Standards, GD&T & Tolerance Analysis section.


http://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=101
This is also a big repository of engineering knowledge.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 01:59:01 pm »
If you don't find any suitable, then I can't see why we can have one here I think.
But I do always like using the best tool for the job, so if there is another forum that does it good already, no need to duplicate.

Dave.
 

Online Simon

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 02:05:23 pm »
If you don't find any suitable, then I can't see why we can have one here I think.
But I do always like using the best tool for the job, so if there is another forum that does it good already, no need to duplicate.

Dave.

Well you see i think on here we have a range of skills and abilities and I think you will find that people who are into electronics usually have one other significant skill too that often overlaps. For example on many a photography forum I have been on there has been talk of building custom electronics.

Obviously we talk about computers here often as they are closely related to electronics and of course politics  ;)

I think mechanics and in particular machining ect comes close with electronics with CNc equipment being home built these days and things like makerbots bring the mechanics and electronics closer. Then you have all of the software these days that is a cross between computing and mechanics.

I don't know if there are enough people on this forum to fuel a mechanical / cad section you may be surprised. Some specific forums can get a bit too political about their subject and some may prefer a more relaxed environment. look at how many have moved over from a "certain other" electronics forum because of the amount of "attitude" there was. If you do want to do it probably start small and let it grow on it's own like the existing forum has.
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 05:11:13 pm »
In many ways you cannot separate mechanical and electrical/electronic engineering they go hand in hand along with chemistry.
Cant even write on this forum without mechanics being directly involved,  some one had to sit down and work out the stresses on the key board so that it either is not to heavy or breaks. 
 

Offline FJV

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Some sites
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 07:45:28 pm »
If you want CAD specific you wanna go to Sean Dotson's site.His site has great tutorials on Autodesk inventor and Solidworks.
http://www.mcadforums.com/forums/

As for mechanical engineering, I haven't come across what I would call "professional level" engineering forums.

But there are some model engineering sites with sometimes really great stuff, though not consistently what I would call "professional level".
http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/

 

Online Simon

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 07:51:21 pm »
well I'm using the "revolutionary" solid edge
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 10:51:19 am »
...or we could have a mechanical/cad section...

Same problem as with Electronics. What kind of Mech/cad? What level?
Design a lab supply? or look at the rasperberrryPi as a fanboy? Getting interested in the production process of a diode?

In the mech department, you can go to study a bearing for 10 years, or look how to repair, upgrade or modify
your Bobcat 751 skidsteer, Genie Z34 telescopic boom lift or years-70 Deckel lathe.

I find the mech to have a much higher 2nd level entrance level. In electronics you can do much under the 1000 euro level in a 3x4m room. You'll see that in mech you're way more limited, unless you stay at your desk and order everything in a cnc shop.

Compare it with electronics development without soldering iron.
You really will need the lathe, alu-welding, a huge stock of half-fabricates, a bigger space to weld, grind and paint.
And the opportunities to assemble and test your model.

.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline bullet308

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 12:44:08 pm »
I have a CAD/CNC/machine tool background, more in a gunsmithing context than anything else,  and would love to see some ME/machine tool stuff here. As my focus has shifted more towards electronics, I am particularly interested in where the two worlds overlap the most. For instance, I have been looking at DIY CNC pick-and-place stuff and have rekindled my small CNC machine tool interests that I tinkered with and abandoned a decade ago (its a lot cheaper and simpler now). This also dovetails in with the 3D printer stuff as well.

(BTW, as interesting as 3D printing is, I think that at this point, the subtractive side of the house (little CNC mills, etc) still buys you more capability for your money and is much more highly evolved).
>>>BULLET>>>
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 05:25:25 pm »
You don't need to spend a lot of money on the mechanical side as you don't need CNC or machine tools for that matter. A hacksaw a few cold chisels and hammers and some files and it is possible with some skill and a bit of time to make just about anything.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 05:48:29 pm »
Exact tools the Afghani's use to make guns........... Who needs a 3d printer?
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 06:33:38 pm »
You don't need to spend a lot of money on the mechanical side as you don't need CNC or machine tools for that matter. A hacksaw a few cold chisels and hammers and some files and it is possible with some skill and a bit of time to make just about anything.

As someone who has hand scrapped 18" square cast iron surface plates flat to less than .000025" with nothing but a carbide scraper and bluing and red lead I agree with your sentiment. But not very practical.  If you change that from some skill and a bit of time, to a lot of skill and a whole lot of time I would agree.  I do agree with you that people tend to think cnc imediately instead of just a manual machine and that is not always a good idea unless all you want to do is rout and drill circuit boards. If you have watched any of my videos on here and think about taking the machine tools away and doing the same thing you may change your mind.

Online Simon

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 07:11:34 pm »
indeed, at work we still use mills and lathes for simple tasks, only complex stuff like connectors is done n the cnc equipment
 

Offline bullet308

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 08:04:38 pm »
Yeah, but I have already GOT the manual machines. :-)

Also, its hard to do the really fine work on a 13x40 lathe (glad that beast is in my fathers garage) or my high-mileage Clausing mill. If I get something small, it might as well be CNC, given the economics of it nowadays.

>>>BULLET>>>
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 09:07:40 pm »
You don't need to spend a lot of money on the mechanical side as you don't need CNC or machine tools for that matter. A hacksaw a few cold chisels and hammers and some files and it is possible with some skill and a bit of time to make just about anything.

As someone who has hand scrapped 18" square cast iron surface plates flat to less than .000025" with nothing but a carbide scraper and bluing and red lead I agree with your sentiment. But not very practical.  If you change that from some skill and a bit of time, to a lot of skill and a whole lot of time I would agree.  I do agree with you that people tend to think cnc imediately instead of just a manual machine and that is not always a good idea unless all you want to do is rout and drill circuit boards. If you have watched any of my videos on here and think about taking the machine tools away and doing the same thing you may change your mind.

I started work as a horologist's apprentice, he could cut a gear for a watch or clock out of a piece of sheet brass by hand and file the teeth on it drill it by hand with a wheel brace and fit it to a staff that he had turned up on a watchmakers lathe that used hand held tools and the finished watch or clock would keep perfect time, on some watches to a second a month or better. I am afraid that I never got that good before I left to do other things, but it was a great experience and I learn a lot of skills that were useful in other fields. 
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 07:59:31 am »
You don't need to spend a lot of money on the mechanical side as you don't need CNC or machine tools for that matter. A hacksaw a few cold chisels and hammers and some files and it is possible with some skill and a bit of time to make just about anything.
As someone who has hand scrapped 18" square cast iron surface plates flat to less than .000025" with nothing but a carbide scraper and bluing and red lead I agree with your sentiment. But not very practical.  If you change that from some skill and a bit of time, to a lot of skill and a whole lot of time I would agree.  I do agree with you that people tend to think cnc imediately instead of just a manual machine and that is not always a good idea unless all you want to do is rout and drill circuit boards. If you have watched any of my videos on here and think about taking the machine tools away and doing the same thing you may change your mind.
I started work as a horologist's apprentice, he could cut a gear for a watch or clock out of a piece of sheet brass by hand and file the teeth on it drill it by hand with a wheel brace and fit it to a staff that he had turned up on a watchmakers lathe that used hand held tools and the finished watch or clock would keep perfect time, on some watches to a second a month or better. I am afraid that I never got that good before I left to do other things, but it was a great experience and I learn a lot of skills that were useful in other fields. 
you may ask him to do it again for 36 teeth helixal gear (slanted about 30 degrees) about 3cm diameter, 3cm length of hardened steel or alloy, it has about 2.5cm diameter hole through, some bevel and chamfer for me, i'm willing to pay 1/10 of the cnc machine price. i have this broken plastic gear from my foot massager machine that i want to redo from hardened steel, its been like 8 years i'm not able to figure out how to do it at affordable price. the best i achieved is with some hardened steel plates embedded in fiberglass moulding but broken in the first application. if he's willing tell me i'll provide the CAD for him and material to use ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 08:04:31 am by Mechatrommer »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 03:11:22 pm »
That would be tough, he died about 15 years ago, but it could be done by hand I am sure, all hardening is done after the gear has been hobbed any way.
It always amazes me that every one thinks of CNC first for lathes and mills, I know a company just up the road from me that still has a large collection of plug board lathes as they are far faster for producing many items than a CNC. They do have CNC's as well but for speed of operation they cannot beat the old plug boards for simple things like bushes and threaded parts even parts with holes  drilled in them and slots cut for high volume the plug board is faster.
 

Online Simon

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2012, 05:46:35 am »
CNC is good for complicated items where more than one tool is needed and you want many, so instead of having to manually change the tools for each part you pre-load them and "forgetaboutit"
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2012, 07:45:32 am »
Thats the thing about plug board lathes you load all the tools for the job on the turret and any other tool position that may be needed load the auto feed and go away and forget while attending the next machine the Company that I referred to has about 20 of these old machines and only for people looking after them two of which just spend their time removing the finished item and the swarf, the setting up is done by the other two skilled people and that is the trouble it takes more skill to be a plug board setter than a cnc machinist, I know another company who employs a cnc miller and he used to be a car salesman until he decided to become a machinist to which end he went on a weeks course at the cnc machine tool factory. The first company I refer to makes parts for company's such as Rolls Royce and British Nuclear Fuels etc the second company makes equipment for McDonalds and Tesco etc. CNC is destroying core skills and so is CAD I have seen some really atrocious drawings produced by so called CAD draftsmen due to them having left school and taken up the job of CAD trainee, the old school draftsmen would have to do the actually work during their training for a five year apprenticeship,  not day release to the local tech for a year.     
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2012, 12:39:16 pm »
Core skills inherently diminish as technology progresses.  :'(
Many tool and die skills are completely wiped out because of wire and sinker edm technology.
Many manual machining skills are unnecessary because of cnc even in a non production environment.
Practically all advanced drafting skills are totally unnecessary because of cad.
Additive processes (fused metal deposition) will displace many subtractive (machining) processes.

As someone with a few old school core skills I find this on one hand sad, yet I love my solidworks and cnc and what they help me to accomplish. But if I had to pick one or the other I will stick with the core skills.  If you unplug the power I still know how to design, draft and machine.

Offline G7PSK

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Re: suggestion for a mechanical engineering forum
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2012, 05:38:22 pm »
The problem with designers using cad and not understanding some of the core skills manifests itself when they design something that has to be manufactured largely by hand, this is something that I have come across many times such as a stanchion 6 meters long in 150mm RHS the plans called for a plate welded on the ends 8mm double sided fillet weld. A hopper for a ship loader that was not able to be made as the angles on the drawing meant that the 8 pieces of SS plate 10mm thick and 3 Meter long and 2 meter on the longest end would not produce the shape required, all laser cut, a very expensive mistake made by a junior draftsman. Many more some of which I can no longer remember clearly but every time caused by CAD, I have never had a hand drawing that was so wrong.Garbage in garbage out. 
 


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