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Flashback 15 years ago, I didn’t even have my license yet and SOLIDWORKS was a newly budding CAD System that was shaking up the industry with it’s refreshing approach to Mechanical Design. It had been around for 7-8 years now and was gaining notoriety fast for its simple to use interface, paired with its powerful design capabilities. It was still the new kid on the block, going toe-to-toe with the industry mainstays such as Unigraphics, PTC, SolidEdge and Autodesk. Continue Reading →
This article’s argument for mechanical engineering involvement in PCB design is specific to the layout. The schematics and circuit design such as power, analog, and digital belong to the electrical engineering domain and this area requires classroom and lab experience which one would expect from a degreed electrical program. It is not to say that a mechanical engineer cannot do circuit design. More so, we envision a future in which academia offers degrees in mechatronic design. Under the current circumstances, this industry is notorious for making gross assumptions about an engineer’s capabilities and we wish not to propagate the belief that a mechanical engineer can do the whole PCB design based on their degree alone unless they have been exposed to circuit design during their undergraduate career. – Paul Taubman
In our last article, we made the bold statement that the PCB layout is just as much a mechanical effort as it is an electrical one. We can go so far as to say that the PCB is an excellent example of mechatronics, the simultaneous blending of electrical and mechanical design practices. In this article, we will make the argument that it may be the mechanical engineers who are more prepared to take on the PCB layout.
One would think that the title of this article should be a no-brainer. The fact of the matter is that the ownership of this vital aspect of electronic design is not only cloudy, but it will become murkier in the next 10 years. This murkiness is also an opportunity for mechanical engineers who aren’t afraid to expand their horizons.
Many years ago (actually 25 years, pre-Quicken), my wife was balancing our checkbook when the battery died in her calculator. She came into my home office and asked to borrow mine, I happily lent it to her.
As I expected, she was back a few minutes later with some choice words for me. I lent her my HP 15-C, a calculator that relies on reverse polish notation. If you are not familar with RPN, you essentially enter the numbers first and then the operation: 3+4= is typed in as 3 4 +. For balancing a checkbook every time you type a number and then click the add button you have the next value for your register.