Introduction from a Mechanical Engineer

Hey everyone,

I’m new here. I’ve been lurking as a guest for a little while and decided to register. I’ve finished school and have been working as a mechanical engineer for a while (couple years). I’m still trying to “find my place” and I’ve been doing some design on my own for a little while.

Any other engineers that do lots of design work? I’m strong in engineering and the software related design but my sketches suck. I think my fashion design sister got all that talent. Any way to get better, books or classes perhaps?

Thank for reading,

P.S. Before anyone asks, Pivvay is the name of my racecar and I often go by that name online. Fabricating and designing parts for my car is what pushed me to explore other areas.

theres a few dual ID-eng types here. and drawing can be learned. so dont believe all the hype. best way to get better is to draw. alot. forget books. take a Life Drawing class instead.

draw tons of boxes…yes it sounds easy, but then draw then in 10 different perspectivees, up, down, below, side, close, faraway…it sounds simple, but all basic designs are based on cubes…then through in some curves, radius, cuts, slits, …just draw everything…life drawing is great…the drawing boosk just show fancy tricks…find your own style…its not about the fancy drawings, it purely communicating the ideas, though if you are drawing to make something sexy, you gotsta make it looks sexy(forced perspective, fake shadows, contours, softness, line weights, etc./

study physics of nature and physical dynamics of natural structures and see if you can immitate those concepts in a new light. it’s a bit of art combined with engineering. don’t be affraid to experiment with awkward solutions to a mechanical problem. often you’ll sense that some part is either too rigid or out of context but eventually you’ll be able to manage designing it in a way that looks sorta radical compared to some part that has been designed by someone who doesn’t observe nature as a mechanism or even a system, just plain material form.

good luck racing.


The words>>>

The work>>>

You decide.

Good to see so many IDers being so kind and welcoming to engs, definitely not what’s happening the other way around. Engineers I worked with deeply resented designers treading on their turf even a little. Insecurity, envy or both.

Many designers already do pretty straightforward engineering work everywhere. If you’re an unhappy engineer you need more than drawing classes, you need to understand first of all what attracts you to design other than the easy surface stuff most people are stuck on. Techniques can be learned but that specific attitude to designing for people first takes many years to perfect. Good luck to you, at least you always have a Mech Eng degree to always fall back on. Some here may wonder how honest to yourself you really are.


Work will serve you better than worry on the drawing side. The idea of sketching ability being a talent is an old myth, it’s all skill. Just like learning proE, it takes time and there are few shortcuts that won’t just hurt you later. I would recomend just sitting down, putting in the hours, and realizing you are going to do hundreds of bad sketches before you can consistantly do good ones. It’s like golf, you’ll hit that good sketch every once in awhile, and then be back to duffing them into the rough for the next hundred. Its a process.

That said drawing is the easy part. Work with your sis’.

The hard part is the thinking side. If you are the kind of mech-eng that is always pushing the limits to do things in new ways, you might allready be in the right mind space. It does take a lot of time and focus to think of the consumer firts, you second.

Best of luck and welcome, see you around.