Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Still searching for engineering and design problems

Ninety Ninth Post: Still searching for engineering and design problems

I recently bought a book, “Graphics for Engineers,” by James H. Earle. At first glance I was not impressed. It looked like a book on introductory drafting. The books description on Amazon had promised design problems. Some of which would take a semester to complete. So I eagerly turned to chapter 9, but didn’t find quite what I wanted.

Let me start by saying the book introduced the design projects early on, which is a good format. But, at first glance they weren’t described enough. I had hoped for more design problems, but I guess that because it tells more with the drawings that define ideas and not solving the problems themselves. But I must say, some of the latter chapters have I whole lot of interesting information on making drawings that I can still learn a lot from.

I guess the design problem I wanted has to be searched for in the real world and is very hard to put in book form. I saw a program once on PBS about engineers. In it a female engineer had to design a part that would fit onto an amusement park ride at Disney World. I don’t remember much, put the cameras followed her programs as she went from idea to finished part. It was quite an interesting documentary.

But I guess if you want an involved, real world design problem, you have to search in the problems in everyday life.


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