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Mechanical Engineering


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HKS last won the day on July 8

HKS had the most liked content!

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  1. HKS

    New Help Site

    Thanks professor. I'll be visiting your website. I wonder if besides of what you generously offered us you would be interested in reviewing our approach in the desgin of machinary for solving problems of real life in developing countries. What I like the most of your posts are the solid base and well formed criterion from where you solve mechanical problems. For that reason I'd love your judgement on the work some of us are doing. I'll be recommending your site to anyone I see could benefit from it. Best regards.
  2. HKS

    What Makes A Ship Move?

    DrD, first, I want to apologize for the lack of response my colleagues and I have shown to your great content, is just a sad behavior of recent generations, to show indifference even to things that interest us. One can argue that in a greater extent is due to the massive distractions we are exposed (primarily social media) in current times and I don't see a practical solution to that problem in the near future. In any case, I'm not better than anyone in that regard, just happened that I don't want to continue wasting time in trivial things and that's the reason why I decided to take the time to respond to your post this Sunday. Second, I thank you, all of your posted content is enriching, especially from a professional growth point of view. I will do as you say, starting with the modeling of simple everyday systems while I develop my analytical skills. If it isn't a burden I will be pleased if you can review the models I'll do. I don't want you to waste time so I will take the time to produce something worth reviewing. Lastly, I can relate to your experience with the team of EEs and I could not agree more. Two years ago I was looking for design a centrifugal separator but I didn't want to use a motor and multiplier (neither gear or pulley) but directly design (and build) an electric motor capable of high rpm (I know that they already exist but I was looking for built it specifically for the work at hand), so I seek for an EE to help me and to my surprise he just relates to a lecture where they "learn" the principles of electric motor design and that was the limit of his help. Certainly, I could have done that by myself in the library. It appears that specialization along with a lack of knowledge in the basics and the general perspective of things is not exclusive to mechanical engineering. I only remain to say that I just want to be a better engineer and your content help me (and others that are silent) in that direction. Best Regards, HKS.
  3. HKS

    What Makes A Ship Move?

    I agree that the description of large interconnected systems is difficult for most of us. In my opinion, this lack of skill responds to two main factors: First, the mechanical engineering curriculum usually devotes more time to the teaching and evaluation of very specific topics and less time to the analysis of large interconnected systems. Second, the industry, for the most part, demands specialized personnel either to solve problems or to make small improvements in subsystems in order to obtain a small but continuous improvement that allows them to remain competitive at the lowest possible cost. Regarding the issue of education, I do not have any complaints, after all, whoever wants to learn has all the resources and tools at their disposal to do so. Similarly, regarding the behavior of the industry, I do not complain, it is a behavior that responds to more factors (economic, social and political) which I do not intend to mention here. It is known that one can succeed in the exercise of the profession in different ways and one of them is to become an expert in a specific area. So if the educational system, neither the industry nor the economic incentive are of interest for the analysis of large interconnected systems, I suppose that only people who have a desire to understand and describe these systems will do so. I believe that we all have the ability to describe those systems and if so, we would surely notice an incredible advance in the technological development since great advances are a consequence not of the improvement of very specific things but of the proposition of new approaches for the solution of a problem. The main idea that I take away after reading your article is to try to describe through equations a complete system and in doing so identify which areas I lack knowledge or skill. One point that caught my attention is the fact that all the thrust generated by the turbine reaches a single point (the seat of the thrust bearing) that although it was obvious I had not stopped to think about it and its importance in the structural design of the ship's hull. Finally, I have a question, if one wanted to develop the ability to describe systems at that level, is it enough to take systems at random and try to describe them with equations or are there books that teach methods of analyzing those systems that would be worth studying? If so, I would appreciate a recommendation. Best regards, HKS.
  4. HKS

    A Calculus Challenge

    Hi Professor, As far as the title goes it is to my understanding this is a pure calculus problem, which implies the solution should be strictly by integrals. Being honest, the way I'd solve it we'll be by decomposing of areas and the use of area moments of inertia for common shapes. I can't speak for everybody here but in my case knowing that the problem could be solved it by easy means different to calculus discourages me a little, however I think it's fine to practice some integral calculus. Having said that, I will submit a solution (using integral calculus) after new year's eve festivities. Happy New Year!
  5. HKS

    A Question for Readers

    Hi DrD, For #1: I'm gonna tell you what I did when I got my first job, it was while I was interviewed, indeed. When the questions ended I ask them about what 3D CAD, CAE softwares they had and they asked me "what software you recommend us" (I think they were still tested me) and I showed them all the capabilities Autodesk Inventor (since they were using Autocad which is from Autodesk) have. They were impressed, hired me and bought the software. The first three months I was doing 3D models, renders and drawings of all the equipments they had built for presentation at an exhibition in which they sold $2'500.000 USD in equipments. The following months I was doing design optimization for several machines and structures and later deploying a good manufacturing system, all of that was possible due to the use of the acquired product design suite of Autodesk. So I think if a company could benefit using certain software (CAD or CAE) they would consider purchasing those software and it depends on one as engineer and end user prove to them the value of investment. For #2: My school taught Solidworks for 3D modeling, CAD and CAE. EES and Matlab for solving a wide range of engineering problems. In addition to that we learn to program in Java in order of not relying on third-party softwares. For #3 I have an interesting experience related to that question. After year and a half I quit and started to work as independent. One thing I noticed was the time spent on each project and after a while I realized I was overestimating the need for programs to design everything. Then, I started to rely more in mathematical-logical reasoning and common sense and now find that 80% of the projects I can perform by hand perhaps with the help of excel macros and the remaining 20% requires the use of specialized softwares. And I'm more productive now! I note that many colleagues have become so dependent on the use of CAE that in return they're losing their capacity of analysis, deduction and troubleshooting. And it's something that as I read, it has been observed in other professions where technology increasingly plays a predominant role. So in response to your question, first I would verify whether the extensive use of such tools is justified, and if so I would recommend the company to acquire those tools as long as the investment is guaranteed. Another thought that I would add is that these softwares should not make one feel more confident but only more productive. For the last question, I will continue to work as an independent until to get sufficient funds to acquire certain softwares and use them to do things that are entirely on another level. Regards.
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