The steam engine, a major driver in the Industrial Revolution, underscores the importance of engineering in modern history. This beam engine is on display at the main building of the ETSIIM in Madrid, Spain.

Engineering is the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design, build, and maintain structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes. It may encompass using insights to conceive, model and scale an appropriate solution to a problem or objective. The discipline of engineering is extremely broad, and encompasses a range of more specialized fields of engineering, each with a more specific emphasis on particular areas of technology and types of application.

The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD, the predecessor of ABET)[1] has defined “engineering” as:

The creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation or safety to life and property.[2][3]

One who practices engineering is called an engineer, and those licensed to do so may have more formal designations such as Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Ingenieur or European Engineer.


[edit] History

Engineering has existed since ancient times as humans devised fundamental inventions such as the pulley, lever, and wheel. Each of these inventions is consistent with the modern definition of engineering, exploiting basic mechanical principles to develop useful tools and objects.

The term engineering itself has a much more recent etymology, deriving from the word engineer, which itself dates back to 1325, when an engine’er (literally, one who operates an engine) originally referred to “a constructor of military engines.”[4] In this context, now obsolete, an “engine” referred to a military machine, i.e., a mechanical contraption used in war (for example, a catapult). Notable exceptions of the obsolete usage which have survived to the present day are military engineering corps, e.g., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The word “engine” itself is of even older origin, ultimately deriving from the Latin ingenium (c. 1250), meaning “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention.”[5]

Later, as the design of civilian structures such as bridges and buildings matured as a technical discipline, the term civil engineering[3] entered the lexicon as a way to distinguish between those specializing in the construction of such non-military projects and those involved in the older discipline of military engineering.

[edit] Ancient era

The Ancient Romans built aqueducts to bring a steady supply of clean fresh water to cities and towns in the empire.

The Pharos of Alexandria, the pyramids in Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Acropolis and the Parthenon in Greece, the Roman aqueducts, Via Appia and the Colosseum, Teotihuacán and the cities and pyramids of the Mayan, Inca and Aztec Empires, the Great Wall of China, the Brihadeshwara temple of Tanjavur and tombs of India, among many others, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the ancient civil and military engineers.

The earliest civil engineer known by name is Imhotep.[3] As one of the officials of the Pharaoh, Djosèr, he probably designed and supervised the construction of the Pyramid of Djoser (the Step Pyramid) at Saqqara in Egypt around 26302611 BC.[6] He may also have been responsible for the first known use of columns in architecture.[citation needed]

Ancient Greece developed machines in both the civilian and military domains. The Antikythera mechanism, the first known mechanical computer,[7][8] and the mechanical inventions of Archimedes are examples of early mechanical engineering. Some of Archimedes’ inventions as well as the Antikythera mechanism required sophisticated knowledge of differential gearing or epicyclic gearing, two key principles in machine theory that helped design the gear trains of the Industrial revolution, and are still widely used today in diverse fields such as robotics and automotive engineering.[9]

Chinese, Greek and Roman armies employed complex military machines and inventions such as artillery which was developed by the Greeks around the 4th century B.C.,[10] the trireme, the ballista and the catapult. In the Middle Ages, the Trebuchet was developed.

[edit] Renaissance era

The first electrical engineer is considered to be William Gilbert, with his 1600 publication of De Magnete, who coined the term “electricity“.[11]

The first steam engine was built in 1698 by mechanical engineer Thomas Savery.[12] The development of this device gave rise to the industrial revolution in the coming decades, allowing for the beginnings of mass production.

With the rise of engineering as a profession in the 18th century, the term became more narrowly applied to fields in which mathematics and science were applied to these ends. Similarly, in addition to military and civil engineering the fields then known as the mechanic arts became incorporated into engineering.

[edit] Modern era

The International Space Station represents a modern engineering challenge from many disciplines.

Electrical engineering can trace its origins back to the experiments of Alessandro Volta in the 1800s, the experiments of Michael Faraday, Georg Ohm and others and the invention of the electric motor in 1872. The work of James Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz in the late 19th century gave rise to the field of electronics. The later inventions of the vacuum tube and the transistor further accelerated the development of electronics to such an extent that electrical and electronics engineers currently outnumber their colleagues of any other engineering specialty.[3]

The inventions of Thomas Savery and the Scottish engineer James Watt gave rise to modern mechanical engineering. The development of specialized machines and their maintenance tools during the industrial revolution led to the rapid growth of mechanical engineering both in its birthplace Britain and abroad.[3]

John Smeaton was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer, and often regarded as the “father” of civil engineering. He was an English civil engineer responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a capable mechanical engineer and an eminent physicist. Smeaton designed the third Eddystone Lighthouse (1755–59) where he pioneered the use of ‘hydraulic lime‘ (a form of mortar which will set under water) and developed a technique involving dovetailed blocks of granite in the building of the lighthouse. His lighthouse remained in use until 1877 and was dismantled and partially rebuilt at Plymouth Hoe where it is known as Smeaton’s Tower. He is important in the history, rediscovery of, and development of modern cement, because he identified the compositional requirements needed to obtain “hydraulicity” in lime; work which led ultimately to the invention of Portland cement.

Chemical engineering, like its counterpart mechanical engineering, developed in the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution.[3] Industrial scale manufacturing demanded new materials and new processes and by 1880 the need for large scale production of chemicals was such that a new industry was created, dedicated to the development and large scale manufacturing of chemicals in new industrial plants.[3] The role of the chemical engineer was the design of these chemical plants and processes.[3]

Aeronautical engineering deals with aircraft design while aerospace engineering is a more modern term that expands the reach of the discipline by including spacecraft design.[13] Its origins can be traced back to the aviation pioneers around the start of the 20th century although the work of Sir George Cayley has recently been dated as being from the last decade of the 18th century. Early knowledge of aeronautical engineering was largely empirical with some concepts and skills imported from other branches of engineering.[14]

The first PhD in engineering (technically, applied science and engineering) awarded in the United States went to Willard Gibbs at Yale University in 1863; it was also the second PhD awarded in science in the U.S.[15]

Only a decade after the successful flights by the Wright brothers, there was extensive development of aeronautical engineering through development of military aircraft that were used in World War I . Meanwhile, research to provide fundamental background science continued by combining theoretical physics with experiments.

In 1990, with the rise of computer technology, the first search engine was built by computer engineer Alan Emtage.

[edit] Main branches of engineering

Engineering, much like other science, is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub-disciplines. These disciplines concern themselves with differing areas of engineering work. Although initially an engineer will usually be trained in a specific discipline, throughout an engineer’s career the engineer may become multi-disciplined, having worked in several of the outlined areas. Engineering is often characterized as having four main branches:[16][17][18]

Beyond these four, sources vary on other main branches. Historically, naval engineering and mining engineering were major branches. Modern fields sometimes included as major branches include aerospace, computer, electronic, petroleum, systems, audio, software, architectural, biosystems, biomedical,[19] industrial, materials,[20] and nuclear[21] engineering.[citation needed]

New specialties sometimes combine with the traditional fields and form new branches – for example Earth Systems Engineering and Management involves a wide range of subject areas including anthropology, engineering, environmental science, ethics and philosophy. A new or emerging area of application will commonly be defined temporarily as a permutation or subset of existing disciplines; there is often gray area as to when a given sub-field becomes large and/or prominent enough to warrant classification as a new “branch.” One key indicator of such emergence is when major universities start establishing departments and programs in the new field.

For each of these fields there exists considerable overlap, especially in the areas of the application of sciences to their disciplines such as physics, chemistry and mathematics.

[edit] Methodology

Design of a turbine requires collaboration of engineers from many fields, as the system involves mechanical, electro-magnetic and chemical processes. The blades, rotor and stator as well as the steam cycle all need to be carefully designed and optimized.

Engineers apply mathematics and sciences such as physics to find suitable solutions to problems or to make improvements to the status quo. More than ever, engineers are now required to have knowledge of relevant sciences for their design projects. As a result, they may keep on learning new material throughout their career.

If multiple options exist, engineers weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements. The crucial and unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result. It is usually not enough to build a technically successful product; it must also meet further requirements.

Constraints may include available resources, physical, imaginative or technical limitations, flexibility for future modifications and additions, and other factors, such as requirements for cost, safety, marketability, productibility, and serviceability. By understanding the constraints, engineers derive specifications for the limits within which a viable object or system may be produced and operated.

[edit] Problem solving

Engineers use their knowledge of science, mathematics, logic, economics, and appropriate experience or tacit knowledge to find suitable solutions to a problem. Creating an appropriate mathematical model of a problem allows them to analyze it (sometimes definitively), and to test potential solutions.

Usually multiple reasonable solutions exist, so engineers must evaluate the different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best meets their requirements. Genrich Altshuller, after gathering statistics on a large number of patents, suggested that compromises are at the heart of “low-level” engineering designs, while at a higher level the best design is one which eliminates the core contradiction causing the problem.

Engineers typically attempt to predict how well their designs will perform to their specifications prior to full-scale production. They use, among other things: prototypes, scale models, simulations, destructive tests, nondestructive tests, and stress tests. Testing ensures that products will perform as expected.

Engineers take on the responsibility of producing designs that will perform as well as expected and will not cause unintended harm to the public at large. Engineers typically include a factor of safety in their designs to reduce the risk of unexpected failure. However, the greater the safety factor, the less efficient the design may be.

The study of failed products is known as forensic engineering, and can help the product designer in evaluating his or her design in the light of real conditions. The discipline is of greatest value after disasters, such as bridge collapses, when careful analysis is needed to establish the cause or causes of the failure.

[edit] Computer use

A computer simulation of high velocity air flow around the Space Shuttle during re-entry. Solutions to the flow require modelling of the combined effects of the fluid flow and heat equations.

As with all modern scientific and technological endeavors, computers and software play an increasingly important role. As well as the typical business application software there are a number of computer aided applications (Computer-aided technologies) specifically for engineering. Computers can be used to generate models of fundamental physical processes, which can be solved using numerical methods.

One of the most widely used tools in the profession is computer-aided design (CAD) software like Autodesk Inventor, DSS Solidworks, or PRO Engineer which enables engineers to create 3D models, 2D drawings, and schematics of their designs. CAD together with Digital mockup (DMU) and CAE software such as finite element method analysis or analytic element method allows engineers to create models of designs that can be analyzed without having to make expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes.

These allow products and components to be checked for flaws; assess fit and assembly; study ergonomics; and to analyze static and dynamic characteristics of systems such as stresses, temperatures, electromagnetic emissions, electrical currents and voltages, digital logic levels, fluid flows, and kinematics. Access and distribution of all this information is generally organized with the use of Product Data Management software.[22]

There are also many tools to support specific engineering tasks such as computer-aided manufacture (CAM) software to generate CNC machining instructions; Manufacturing Process Management software for production engineering; EDA for printed circuit board (PCB) and circuit schematics for electronic engineers; MRO applications for maintenance management; and AEC software for civil engineering.

In recent years the use of computer software to aid the development of goods has collectively come to be known as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).[23]

[edit] Social context

Engineering is a subject that ranges from large collaborations to small individual projects. Almost all engineering projects are beholden to some sort of financing agency: a company, a set of investors, or a government. The few types of engineering that are minimally constrained by such issues are pro bono engineering and open design engineering.

By its very nature engineering is bound up with society and human behavior. Every product or construction used by modern society will have been influenced by engineering design. Engineering design is a very powerful tool to make changes to environment, society and economies, and its application brings with it a great responsibility. Many engineering societies have established codes of practice and codes of ethics to guide members and inform the public at large.

Engineering projects can be subject to controversy. Examples from different engineering disciplines include the development of nuclear weapons, the Three Gorges Dam, the design and use of Sport utility vehicles and the extraction of oil. In response, some western engineering companies have enacted serious corporate and social responsibility policies.

Engineering is a key driver of human development.[24] Sub-Saharan Africa in particular has a very small engineering capacity which results in many African nations being unable to develop crucial infrastructure without outside aid.[citation needed] The attainment of many of the Millennium Development Goals requires the achievement of sufficient engineering capacity to develop infrastructure and sustainable technological development.[25]

All overseas development and relief NGOs make considerable use of engineers to apply solutions in disaster and development scenarios. A number of charitable organizations aim to use engineering directly for the good of mankind:

[edit] Relationships with other disciplines

[edit] Science

Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.

There exists an overlap between the sciences and engineering practice; in engineering, one applies science. Both areas of endeavor rely on accurate observation of materials and phenomena. Both use mathematics and classification criteria to analyze and communicate observations.

Scientists may also have to complete engineering tasks, such as designing experimental apparatus or building prototypes. Conversely, in the process of developing technology engineers sometimes find themselves exploring new phenomena, thus becoming, for the moment, scientists.

In the book What Engineers Know and How They Know It,[30] Walter Vincenti asserts that engineering research has a character different from that of scientific research. First, it often deals with areas in which the basic physics and/or chemistry are well understood, but the problems themselves are too complex to solve in an exact manner.

Examples are the use of numerical approximations to the Navier-Stokes equations to describe aerodynamic flow over an aircraft, or the use of Miner’s rule to calculate fatigue damage. Second, engineering research employs many semi-empirical methods that are foreign to pure scientific research, one example being the method of parameter variation.[citation needed]

As stated by Fung et al. in the revision to the classic engineering text, Foundations of Solid Mechanics:

“Engineering is quite different from science. Scientists try to understand nature. Engineers try to make things that do not exist in nature. Engineers stress invention. To embody an invention the engineer must put his idea in concrete terms, and design something that people can use. That something can be a device, a gadget, a material, a method, a computing program, an innovative experiment, a new solution to a problem, or an improvement on what is existing. Since a design has to be concrete, it must have its geometry, dimensions, and characteristic numbers. Almost all engineers working on new designs find that they do not have all the needed information. Most often, they are limited by insufficient scientific knowledge. Thus they study mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and mechanics. Often they have to add to the sciences relevant to their profession. Thus engineering sciences are born.”[31]

Although engineering solutions make use of scientific principles, engineers must also take into account safety, efficiency, economy, reliability and constructability or ease of fabrication, as well as legal considerations such as patent infringement or liability in the case of failure of the solution.

[edit] Medicine and biology

Leonardo da Vinci, seen here in a self-portrait, has been described as the epitome of the artist/engineer.[32] He is also known for his studies on human anatomy and physiology.

The study of the human body, albeit from different directions and for different purposes, is an important common link between medicine and some engineering disciplines. Medicine aims to sustain, enhance and even replace functions of the human body, if necessary, through the use of technology.

Modern medicine can replace several of the body’s functions through the use of artificial organs and can significantly alter the function of the human body through artificial devices such as, for example, brain implants and pacemakers.[33][34] The fields of Bionics and medical Bionics are dedicated to the study of synthetic implants pertaining to natural systems.

Conversely, some engineering disciplines view the human body as a biological machine worth studying, and are dedicated to emulating many of its functions by replacing biology with technology. This has led to fields such as artificial intelligence, neural networks, fuzzy logic, and robotics. There are also substantial interdisciplinary interactions between engineering and medicine.[35][36]

Both fields provide solutions to real world problems. This often requires moving forward before phenomena are completely understood in a more rigorous scientific sense and therefore experimentation and empirical knowledge is an integral part of both.

Medicine, in part, studies the function of the human body. The human body, as a biological machine, has many functions that can be modeled using Engineering methods.[37]

The heart for example functions much like a pump,[38] the skeleton is like a linked structure with levers,[39] the brain produces electrical signals etc.[40] These similarities as well as the increasing importance and application of Engineering principles in Medicine, led to the development of the field of biomedical engineering that uses concepts developed in both disciplines.

Newly emerging branches of science, such as Systems biology, are adapting analytical tools traditionally used for engineering, such as systems modeling and computational analysis, to the description of biological systems.[37]

[edit] Art

A drawing for a booster engine for steam locomotives. Engineering is applied to design, with emphasis on function and the utilization of mathematics and science.

There are connections between engineering and art;[41] they are direct in some fields, for example, architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design (even to the extent that these disciplines may sometimes be included in a University’s Faculty of Engineering); and indirect in others.[41][42][43][44]

The Art Institute of Chicago, for instance, held an exhibition about the art of NASA‘s aerospace design.[45] Robert Maillart‘s bridge design is perceived by some to have been deliberately artistic.[46] At the University of South Florida, an engineering professor, through a grant with the National Science Foundation, has developed a course that connects art and engineering.[42][47]

Among famous historical figures Leonardo Da Vinci is a well known Renaissance artist and engineer, and a prime example of the nexus between art and engineering.[32][48]

[edit] Other fields

In Political science the term engineering has been borrowed for the study of the subjects of Social engineering and Political engineering, which deal with forming political and social structures using engineering methodology coupled with political science principles. Financial engineering has similarly borrowed the term.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ ABET History
  2. ^ Engineers’ Council for Professional Development. (1947). Canons of ethics for engineers
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Engineers’ Council for Professional Development definition on Encyclopaedia Britannica (Includes Britannica article on Engineering)
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  5. ^ Origin: 1250–1300; ME engin < AF, OF < L ingenium nature, innate quality, esp. mental power, hence a clever invention, equiv. to in- + -genium, equiv. to gen- begetting; Source: Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2006.
  6. ^ Barry J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt, Routledge 2005, p. 159
  7. ^ The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project“, The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project. Retrieved 2007-07-01 Quote: “The Antikythera Mechanism is now understood to be dedicated to astronomical phenomena and operates as a complex mechanical “computer” which tracks the cycles of the Solar System.”
  8. ^ Wilford, John. (July 31, 2008). Discovering How Greeks Computed in 100 B.C.. New York Times.
  9. ^ Wright, M T. (2005). “Epicyclic Gearing and the Antikythera Mechanism, part 2”. Antiquarian Horology 29 (1 (September 2005)): 54–60. 
  10. ^ Britannica on Greek civilization in the 5th century Military technology Quote: “The 7th century, by contrast, had witnessed rapid innovations, such as the introduction of the hoplite and the trireme, which still were the basic instruments of war in the 5th.” and “But it was the development of artillery that opened an epoch, and this invention did not predate the 4th century. It was first heard of in the context of Sicilian warfare against Carthage in the time of Dionysius I of Syracuse.”
  11. ^ Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000, CD-ROM, version 2.5.
  12. ^ Jenkins, Rhys (1936). Links in the History of Engineering and Technology from Tudor Times. Ayer Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 0-8369-2167-4. 
  13. ^ Imperial College: Studying engineering at Imperial: Engineering courses are offered in five main branches of engineering: aeronautical, chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical. There are also courses in computing science, software engineering, information systems engineering, materials science and engineering, mining engineering and petroleum engineering.
  14. ^ Van Every, Kermit E. (1986). “Aeronautical engineering”. Encyclopedia Americana 1. Grolier Incorporated. p. 226. 
  15. ^ Wheeler, Lynde, Phelps (1951). Josiah Willard Gibbs — the History of a Great Mind. Ox Bow Press. ISBN 1-881987-11-6. 
  16. ^ Journal of the British Nuclear Energy Society: Volume 1 British Nuclear Energy Society – 1962 – Snippet view Quote: In most universities it should be possible to cover the main branches of engineering, ie civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering in this way. More specialised fields of engineering application, of which nuclear power is …
  17. ^ The Engineering Profession by Sir James Hamilton, UK Engineering Council Quote: “The Civilingenior degree encompasses the main branches of engineering civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical.” (From the Internet Archive)
  18. ^ Indu Ramchandani (2000). Student’s Britannica India,7vol.Set. Popular Prakashan. p. BRANCHES There are traditionally four primary engineering disciplines: civil, mechanical, electrical and chemical. ISBN 978-0-85229-761-2. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  19. ^ Bronzino JD, ed., The Biomedical Engineering Handbook, CRC Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8493-2121-2
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Arbe, Katrina (2001.05.07). “PDM: Not Just for the Big Boys Anymore”. ThomasNet. 
  23. ^ Arbe, Katrina (2003.05.22). “The Latest Chapter in CAD Software Evaluation”. ThomasNet. 
  24. ^ PDF on Human Development
  25. ^ MDG info pdf
  26. ^ Home page for EMI
  27. ^ Rosakis, Ares Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science. “Chair’s Message, CalTech.”. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  28. ^ Ryschkewitsch, M.G. NASA Chief Engineer. “Improving the capability to Engineer Complex Systems –Broadening the Conversation on the Art and Science of Systems Engineering”. p. 21. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  29. ^ American Society for Engineering Education (1970). Engineering education 60. American Society for Engineering Education. p. 467. “The great engineer Theodore von Karman once said, “Scientists study the world as it is, engineers create the world that never has been.” Today, more than ever, the engineer must create a world that never has been…” 
  30. ^ Vincenti, Walter G. (1993). What Engineers Know and How They Know It: Analytical Studies from Aeronautical History. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-3974-2. 
  31. ^ Classical and Computational Solid Mechanics, YC Fung and P. Tong. World Scientific. 2001. 
  32. ^ a b Bjerklie, David. “The Art of Renaissance Engineering.” MIT’s Technology Review Jan./Feb.1998: 54-9. Article explores the concept of the “artist-engineer”, an individual who used his artistic talent in engineering. Quote from article: Da Vinci reached the pinnacle of “artist-engineer”-dom, Quote2: “It was Leonardo da Vinci who initiated the most ambitious expansion in the role of artist-engineer, progressing from astute observer to inventor to theoretician.” (Bjerklie 58)
  33. ^ Ethical Assessment of Implantable Brain Chips. Ellen M. McGee and G. Q. Maguire, Jr. from Boston University
  34. ^ IEEE technical paper: Foreign parts (electronic body implants).by Evans-Pughe, C. quote from summary: Feeling threatened by cyborgs?
  35. ^ Institute of Medicine and Engineering: Mission statement The mission of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME) is to stimulate fundamental research at the interface between biomedicine and engineering/physical/computational sciences leading to innovative applications in biomedical research and clinical practice.
  36. ^ IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology: Both general and technical articles on current technologies and methods used in biomedical and clinical engineering…
  37. ^ a b Royal Academy of Engineering and Academy of Medical Sciences: Systems Biology: a vision for engineering and medicine in pdf: quote1: Systems Biology is an emerging methodology that has yet to be defined quote2: It applies the concepts of systems engineering to the study of complex biological systems through iteration between computational and/or mathematical modelling and experimentation.
  38. ^ Science Museum of Minnesota: Online Lesson 5a; The heart as a pump
  39. ^ Minnesota State University emuseum: Bones act as levers
  40. ^ UC Berkeley News: UC researchers create model of brain’s electrical storm during a seizure
  41. ^ a b Lehigh University project: We wanted to use this project to demonstrate the relationship between art and architecture and engineering
  42. ^ a b National Science Foundation:The Art of Engineering: Professor uses the fine arts to broaden students’ engineering perspectives
  43. ^ MIT World:The Art of Engineering: Inventor James Dyson on the Art of Engineering: quote: A member of the British Design Council, James Dyson has been designing products since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1970.
  44. ^ University of Texas at Dallas: The Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering
  45. ^ Aerospace Design: The Art of Engineering from NASA’s Aeronautical Research
  46. ^ Princeton U: Robert Maillart’s Bridges: The Art of Engineering: quote: no doubt that Maillart was fully conscious of the aesthetic implications…
  47. ^ quote:..the tools of artists and the perspective of engineers..
  48. ^ Drew U: user website: cites Bjerklie paper

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Engineering, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Industrial Design

An iPod, an industrially designed product.

KitchenAid 5 qt. Stand Mixer, designed in 1937 by Egmont Arens, remains very successful today

Western Electric Model 302 telephone, found almost universally in the United States from 1937 until the introduction of touch-tone dialing.[1]

Calculator Olivetti Divisumma 24 designed in 1956 by Marcello Nizzoli

Industrial Design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, Architecture, functionality, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product’s marketability and production. The role of an industrial designer is to create and execute design solutions for problems of form, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, and sales.[2]


[edit] History

The first use of the term “Industrial Design” is often attributed to the industrial designer Joseph Claude Sinel in 1919 (although he himself denied this in interviews), but the discipline predates 1919 by at least a decade. Christopher Dresser is considered the world’s first industrial designer. Industrial design’s origins lie in the industrialization of consumer products. For instance the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907 and a precursor to the Bauhaus, was a state-sponsored effort to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass-production techniques, to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States.

The earliest use of the term may have been in The Art Union, A monthly Journal of the Fine Arts, 1839.[citation needed]

“Dyce’s report to the Board of Trade on foreign schools of Design for Manufactures. Mr Dyces official visit to France, Prussia and Bavaria for the purpose of examining the state of schools of design in those countries will be fresh in the recollection of our readers. His report on this subject was ordered to be printed some few months since, on the motion of Mr Hume.”

“The school of St Peter, at Lyons was founded about 1750 for the instruction of draftsmen employed in preparing patterns for the silk manufacture. It has been much more successful than the Paris school and having been disorganized by the revolution, was restored by Napoleon and differently constituted, being then erected into an Academy of Fine Art: to which the study of design for silk manufacture was merely attached as a subordinate branch. It appears that all the students who entered the school commence as if they were intended for artists in the higher sense of the word and are not expected to decide as to whether they will devote themselves to the Fine Arts or to Industrial Design, until they have completed their exercises in drawing and painting of the figure from the antique and from the living model. It is for this reason, and from the fact that artists for industrial purposes are both well paid and highly considered (as being well instructed men) that so many individuals in France engage themselves in both pursuits.”

The practical draughtsman’s book of industrial design: was printed in 1853

[edit] Definition of industrial design

[edit] General

The objective of this area is to study both function and form, and the connection between product, the user and the environment – product as it happens in any other architecture area, being the only difference, that here the professionals that participate in the process are all specialized in small scale design, rather than in other massive colossal equipments like buildings or ships. Industrial Designers do not design the gears or motors that make machines move, or the circuits that control the movement (that task is usually attributed to engineers), but they can affect technical aspects through usability design and form relationships. And usually, they partner a whole of other professionals like marketers, to identify and fulfill needs, wants and expectations.

[edit] In depth

Industrial design (ID) is the professional service of creating and developing concepts and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.

Design, itself, is often difficult to describe to non-designers and engineers because the meaning accepted by the design community is not one made of words. Instead, the definition is created as a result of acquiring a critical framework for the analysis and creation of artifacts. One of the many accepted (but intentionally unspecific) definitions of design originates from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design, “Design is the process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state.” This applies to new artifacts, whose existing state is undefined, and previously created artifacts, whose state stands to be improved.

[edit] Process of design

A Fender Stratocaster with sunburst finish, one of the most widely recognized electric guitars in the world.

Model 1300 Volkswagen Beetle

Although the process of design may be considered ‘creative’, many analytical processes also take place. In fact, many industrial designers often use various design methodologies in their creative process. Some of the processes that are commonly used are user research, sketching, comparative product research, model making, prototyping and testing. These processes are best defined by the Industrial Designers and/or other team members. Industrial Designers often utilize 3D software, computer-aided industrial design and CAD programs to move from concept to production. Also Industrial Designers may build a prototype first and then use industrial CT scanning to test for interior defects and also generate a CAD model. From this the manufacturing process may be modified to make the product better. Product characteristics specified by the Industrial Designers may include the overall form of the object, the location of details with respect to one another, colors, texture, form, and aspects concerning the use of the product ergonomics. Additionally the Industrial Designers may specify aspects concerning the production process, choice of materials and the way the product is presented to the consumer at the point of sale. The use of industrial designers in a product development process may lead to added values by improved usability, lowered production costs and more appealing products.

Industrial Design may also have a focus on technical concepts, products and processes. In addition to considering aesthetics, usability, and ergonomics, it can also encompass the engineering of objects, usefulness as well as usability, market placement, and other concerns such as seduction, psychology, desire, and the emotional attachment of the user to the object. These values and accompanying aspects on which Industrial Design is based can vary, both between different schools of thought and among practicing designers.

Product design and Industrial Design can overlap into the fields of user interface design, information design and interaction design. Various schools of Industrial Design may specialize in one of these aspects, ranging from pure art colleges (product styling) to mixed programs of engineering and design, to related disciplines like exhibit design and interior design, to schools where aesthetic design is almost completely subordinated to concerns of function and ergonomics of use (the so-called functionalist school).[4]

[edit] Industrial Design rights

Industrial Design rights are intellectual property rights that make exclusive the visual design of objects that are not purely utilitarian. A design patent would also be considered under this category. An Industrial Design consists of the creation of a shape, configuration or composition of pattern or color, or combination of pattern and color in three dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An Industrial Design can be a two- or three-dimensional pattern used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft. Under the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, a WIPO-administered treaty, a procedure for an international registration exists. An applicant can file for a single international deposit with WIPO or with the national office in a country party to the treaty. The design will then be protected in as many member countries of the treaty as desired.

[edit] Iconic industrial design

Chair by Charles Eames

A number of industrial designers have made such a significant impact on culture and daily life that their work is documented by historians of social science.[citation needed] Alvar Aalto, renowned as an architect, also designed a significant number of household items, such as chairs, stools, lamps, a tea-cart, and vases. Raymond Loewy was a prolific American designer who is responsible for the Royal Dutch Shell corporate logo, the original BP logo (in use until 2000), the PRR S1 steam locomotive, the Studebaker Starlight (including the later iconic bulletnose), as well as Schick electric razors, Electrolux refrigerators, short-wave radios, Le Creuset French ovens, and a complete line of modern furniture, among many other items.

Richard A. Teague, who spent most of his career with the American Motor Company, originated the concept of using interchangeable body panels so as to create a wide array of different vehicles using the same stampings. He was responsible for such unique automotive designs as the Pacer, Gremlin, Matador coupe, Jeep Cherokee, and the complete interior of the Eagle Premier.

Viktor Schreckengost designed bicycles manufactured by Murray bicycles for Murray and Sears, Roebuck and Company. With engineer Ray Spiller, he designed the first truck with a cab-over-engine configuration, a design in use to this day. Schreckengost also founded The Cleveland Institute of Art’s school of industrial design.

Oskar Barnack was a German optical engineer, precision mechanic, industrial designer and the father of 35mm photography. He developed the Leica, which became the hallmark for photography for 50 years and which still is a high water mark for mechanical and optical design.

Charles and Ray Eames were most famous for their pioneering furniture designs, such as the Eames Lounge Chair Wood and Eames Lounge Chair. Other influential designers included Henry Dreyfuss, Eliot Noyes, and Russel Wright.

Many of Apple‘s recent iconic products were designed by Sir Jonathan Ive.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ See his autobiography Against The Odds, Pub Thomson 2002[5]

[edit] References

  1. ^ “WE 300-series Types”. 2012-08-11. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  2. ^ de Noblet, J., Industrial Design, Paris: A.F.A.A. (1993)
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Pulos, Arthur J., The American Design Adventure 1940-1975, Cambridge, Mass:MIT Press (1988), p. 249 (ISBN 9780262161060)
  5. ^ Dyson, James (1997). Against the odds: An autobiography. London: Orion Business. ISBN 978-0-7528-0981-6. OCLC 38066046. 

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

Design, Creativity and Culture, Maurice Barnwell, Black Dog, October 2011, ISBN 978 1 907317 408

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Industrial Design, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

model-based definition

Model based definition (MBD), also known as digital product definition (DPD), is the practice of using 3D digital data (such as solid models and associated metadata) within 3D CAD software to provide specifications for individual components and product assemblies. The types of information included are geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), component level materials, assembly level bills of materials, engineering configurations, design intent, etc. By contrast, other methodologies have historically required accompanying use of 2D drawings to provide such details.


[edit] Use of the 3D digital data set

Modern 3D CAD applications allow for the insertion of engineering information such as dimensions, GD&T, notes and other product details within the 3D digital data set for components and assemblies. MBD uses such capabilities to establish the 3D digital data set as the source of these specifications and design authority for the product. The 3D digital data set may contain enough information to manufacture and inspect product without the need for engineering drawings. Engineering drawings have traditionally contained such information.

In many instances, use of some information from 3D digital data set (e.g., the solid model) allows for rapid prototyping of product via various processes, such as 3D printing. A manufacturer may be able to feed 3D digital data directly to manufacturing devices such as CNC machines to manufacture final product.

[edit] Standardization

In 2003, ASME published the ASME Y14.41-2003 Digital Product Definition Data Practices. The standard provides for the use of some MBD aspects, such as GD&T within the solid model. Other standards, such as ISO 1101:2004 and of AS9100 also make use of MBD.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article model-based definition, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

pad printing

Example of pad printing on a keyboard.

Pad printing is a printing process that can transfer a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This is accomplished using an indirect offset (gravure) printing process that involves an image being transferred from the cliché via a silicone pad onto a substrate. Pad printing is used for printing on otherwise impossible products in many industries including medical, automotive, promotional, apparel, and electronic objects, as well as appliances, sports equipment and toys. It can also be used to deposit functional materials such as conductive inks, adhesives, dyes and lubricants.

Physical changes within the ink film both on the cliché and on the pad allow it to leave the etched image area in favor of adhering to the pad, and to subsequently release from the pad in favor of adhering to the substrate.

The unique properties of the silicone pad enable it to pick the image up from a flat plane and transfer it to a variety of surfaces, such as flat, cylindrical, spherical, compound angles, textures, concave, or convex surfaces.


[edit] History

While crude forms of pad printing have existed for centuries, it was not until the twentieth century that the technology became suitable for widespread use. First gaining a foothold in the watch-making industry following World War II, developments in the late 60s and early 70s, such as silicone pads and more advanced equipment, made the printing method far more practical. The ability to print on formerly unprintable surfaces caught the imaginations of engineers and designers, and as a result pad printing exploded into the mass production marketplace.

Today, pad printing is a well established technology covering a wide spectrum of industries and applications.

[edit] Process

[edit] Pad printing cycle

  1. From the home position, the sealed ink cup (an inverted cup containing ink) sits over the etched artwork area of the printing plate, covering the image and filling it with ink.
  2. The sealed ink cup moves away from the etched artwork area, taking all excess ink and exposing the etched image, which is filled with ink. The top layer of ink becomes tacky as soon as it is exposed to the air; that is how the ink adheres to the transfer pad and later to the substrate.
  3. The transfer pad presses down onto the printing plate momentarily. As the pad is compressed, it pushes air outward and causes the ink to lift (transfer) from the etched artwork area onto the pad.
  4. As the transfer pad lifts away, the tacky ink film inside the etched artwork area is picked up on the pad. A small amount of ink remains in the printing plate.
  5. As the transfer pad moves forward, the ink cup also moves to cover the etched artwork area on the printing plate. The ink cup again fills the etched artwork image on the plate with ink in preparation for the next cycle.
  6. The transfer pad compresses down onto the substrate, transferring the ink layer picked up from the printing plate to the substrate surface. Then, it lifts off the substrate and returns to the home position, thus completing one print cycle.

[edit] Plate and ink interface technologies

[edit] Open inkwell system

Open ink well systems, the older method of pad printing, used an ink trough for the ink supply, which was located behind the printing plate. A flood bar pushed a pool of ink over the plate, and a doctor blade removes the ink from the plate surface, leaving ink on the etched artwork area ready for the pad to pick up.

[edit] Sealed ink cup system

Sealed ink cup systems employ a sealed container which acts as the ink supply, flood bar and doctor blade all at the same time. A ceramic ring with a highly polished working edge provides the seal against the printing plate.

[edit] Printing pad

Pads are three dimensional objects typically moulded of silicone rubber. They function as a transfer vehicle, picking up ink from the printing plate, and transferring it to the part (substrate). They vary in shape and diameter depending on the application.

There are two main shape groups: “round pads” and long narrow pads called “bar pads”. Pads are also made in other shapes, called “loaf pads”. Within each group there are three size categories: small, medium, and large size pads. It is also possible to engineer custom-shaped pads to meet special application requirements.

[edit] Image plate

Image plates are used to contain the desired artwork “image” etched in its surface. Their function is to hold ink in this etched cavity, allowing the pad to pick up this ink as a film in the shape of the artwork, which is then transferred to the substrate.

There are two main types of printing plate materials: photopolymer and steel. Photopolymer plates are the most popular, as they are easy to use. These are typically used in short to medium production runs. Steel plates come in two forms: thin steel for medium to long runs, and thick steel for very long runs. Both steel plate types are generally processed by the plate supplier as it involves the use of specialized equipment.

[edit] Printing ink

Ink is used to mark or decorate parts. It comes in different chemical families to match the type of material to be printed (please consult the substrate compatibility chart for selection).

Pad printing inks are “solvent-based” and require mixing with additives before use. They typically seem dry to the touch within seconds although complete drying (cure) might take a substantially longer period of time. There are many more options. Inks that cure via the use of Ultra Violet light are convenient for certain applications. UV inks will not fully cure until UV light hits the ink. UV curable ink can be wiped off many substrates when mistakes are made. They can be cured with UV light in as fast as 1 second of light exposure. This depends on the ink, substrate and the light power and spectrum. UV inks can be reused as the pot life can be high as long as the ink stays clean, blocked from UV light and hasn’t broken down from sitting. This same feature makes it easier to clean than some solvent and epoxy like two part component inks. Also there are heat curable inks, which work in much the same way as UV in the sense that there is a “trigger” that cures the ink when pulled. Two part inks usually have a pot life of only a few hours or so. They must be disposed of when they cannot be revived (by means of retarders etc.)

Climatic conditions will significantly affect the performance of any pad printing ink, especially the open ink well style printers. Too dry conditions can lead to faster evaporation of solvents causing the ink to thicken prematurely and too much moisture can lead to ink issues of “clumping” or something alike. Also the climate can affect other aspects of the printing process such as ink pick up and release from the plate to the pad to the substrate, as well as polymer plate to blade chattering or binding due to humidity.

[edit] Substrate

Substrate is the technical term used to address any parts or materials to be printed. Fixtures vary in materials and complexity depending on the application. Substrates need to be clean and free from surface contamination to allow proper ink adhesion.

[edit] Making of printing plates

There are two main techniques used to create a printing plate. The traditional technique requires a UV exposure unit and involves photo exposure with film positives and chemical etching of a photopolymer plate. A second technique known as “computer to plate” requires a laser engraver and involves laser etching of a specialized polymer plate. Although the latter technique is convenient for short run printing it does have several disadvantages over the former.

Laser plate making is a process that requires the use of a very soft, low quality polymer coated plate. Thus, the standard cycle life that can be expected out of a laser etched plate is quite low (10,000 impressions on the high end). By comparison, a hardened steel plate can easily last for over 1 million impressions.

[edit] Printing application examples

  • Medical devices (surgical instruments, etc.)
  • Implantable & in body medical items (catheter tubes, contact lenses, etc.)
  • Golf ball logos/graphics
  • Hockey Pucks[1]
  • Decorative designs/graphics appearing on Hot Wheels or Matchbox toy cars
  • Automotive parts (turn signal indicators, panel controls, etc.)
  • Letters on computer keyboards and calculator keys
  • TV and computer monitors
  • Identification labels and serial numbers for many applications

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Custom Logo Hockey Pucks”. NYCO Sports. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article pad printing, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

three-dimensional space

Three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system with the x-axis pointing towards the observer

Three-dimensional space is a geometric 3-parameters model of the physical universe (without considering time) in which we exist. These three dimensions can be labeled by a combination of three chosen from the terms length, width, height, depth, and breadth. Any three directions can be chosen, provided that they do not all lie in the same plane.

In physics and mathematics, a sequence of n numbers can be understood as a location in n-dimensional space. When n = 3, the set of all such locations is called 3-dimensional Euclidean space. It is commonly represented by the symbol scriptstyle{mathbb{R}}^3. This space is only one example of a great variety of spaces in three dimensions called 3-manifolds.


[edit] Details

In mathematics, analytic geometry (also called Cartesian geometry) describes every point in three-dimensional space by means of three coordinates. Three coordinate axes are given, usually each perpendicular to the other two at the origin, the point at which they cross. They are usually labeled x, y, and z. Relative to these axes, the position of any point in three-dimensional space is given by an ordered triple of real numbers, each number giving the distance of that point from the origin measured along the given axis, which is equal to the distance of that point from the plane determined by the other two axes.

Other popular methods of describing the location of a point in three-dimensional space include cylindrical coordinates and spherical coordinates, though there is an infinite number of possible methods. See Euclidean space.

Another mathematical way of viewing three-dimensional space is found in linear algebra, where the idea of independence is crucial. Space has three dimensions because the length of a box is independent of its width or breadth. In the technical language of linear algebra, space is three-dimensional because every point in space can be described by a linear combination of three independent vectors. In this view, space-time is four-dimensional because the location of a point in time is independent of its location in space.

Three-dimensional space has a number of properties that distinguish it from spaces of other dimension numbers. For example, at least three dimensions are required to tie a knot in a piece of string.[1] Many of the laws of physics, such as the various inverse square laws, depend on dimension three.[2]

The understanding of three-dimensional space in humans is thought to be learned during infancy using unconscious inference, and is closely related to hand-eye coordination. The visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions is called depth perception.

With the space scriptstyle{mathbb{R}}^3, the topologists locally model all other 3-manifolds.

In physics, our three-dimensional space is viewed as embedded in four-dimensional space-time, called Minkowski space (see special relativity). The idea behind space-time is that time is hyperbolic-orthogonal to each of the three spatial dimensions.

[edit] Geometry

[edit] Polytopes

In three dimensions, there are nine regular polytopes: the five convex Platonic solids and the four nonconvex Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra.

Regular polytopes in three dimensions
Class Platonic solids Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra
Symmetry Td Oh Ih
Coxeter group A3 BC3 H3
Order 24 48 120

[edit] Hypersphere

A two-dimensional perspective projection of a sphere

A hypersphere in 3-space (also called a 2-sphere because its surface is 2-dimensional) consists of the set of all points in 3-space at a fixed distance r from a central point P. The volume enclosed by this surface is:

V = frac{4}{3}pi r^{3}

Another hypersphere, but having three dimensions is the 3-sphere: points equidistant to the origin of the euclidean space mathbb{R}^4 at distance one. If any position is P=(x,y,z,t), then x^2+y^2+z^2+t^2=1 characterize a point in the 3-sphere.

[edit] Orthogonality

In the familiar 3-dimensional space that we live in, there are three pairs of cardinal directions: up/down (altitude), north/south (latitude), and east/west (longitude). These pairs of directions are mutually orthogonal: They are at right angles to each other. In mathematical terms, they lie on three coordinate axes, usually labelled x, y, and z. The z-buffer in computer graphics refers to this z-axis, representing depth in the 2-dimensional imagery displayed on the computer screen.

[edit] Coordinate systems

In mathematics, analytic geometry (also called Cartesian geometry) describes every point in three-dimensional space by means of three coordinates. Three coordinate axes are given, each perpendicular to the other two at the origin, the point at which they cross. They are usually labeled x, y, and z. Relative to these axes, the position of any point in three-dimensional space is given by an ordered triple of real numbers, each number giving the distance of that point from the origin measured along the given axis, which is equal to the distance of that point from the plane determined by the other two 2 axes.

Other popular methods of describing the location of a point in three-dimensional space include cylindrical coordinates and spherical coordinates, though there is an infinite number of possible methods. See Euclidean space.

Below are images of the above-mentioned systems.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Dale Rolfsen, Knots and Links, Publish or Perish, Berkeley, 1976, ISBN 0-914098-16-0
  2. ^ Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, Random House, New York, 2003, ISBN 0-375-72720-5

[edit] External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article three-dimensional space, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.