How Has Technology Improved Engineering

November 14, 2022

Over the past few decades, engineering has experienced some of its greatest advancements due to the use of technology. From computer-aided design (CAD) software that allows you to create designs quickly and efficiently to robotics and automation systems that have reduced the need for human labor, engineers are learning how to apply these tools in their fields more frequently than ever before.

Technology has also allowed us to measure things with greater accuracy and precision. This is particularly important in the field of medicine, where professionals must be able to calculate precise measurements and ratios with ease if they want to ensure that everything from infusion sets to IV solutions is working properly.

Finally, technology has made our lives easier by creating easy ways to communicate, access information, and save time. Many professional positions require you to do some amount of research during the workday, so having a way to look up something quickly or share documents easily can make a big difference in how well you perform your job.

Overall, as engineers, we should feel good about ourselves because we play an integral part in helping people achieve their goals every day.

Computer-aided manufacturing

how has technology improved engineering

Over the past few decades, computer technology has been increasingly integrated into the production process of engineering. This field is called computer-aided design or CAD.

In CAD, computers are used to create three-dimensional (3D) models of various objects. These 3D models are then manipulated and designed on a computer screen, before being transferred onto the actual object via computer-controlled machines and equipment.

This can include using robots to manipulate the model or creating custom software that helps in the designing stage. For example, you may look up how to make an axle for a car, use computer software to test whether it will work, and then have a robot make the same one!

CAD also allows us to easily add features to the product, such as headlights, gull-wing doors, or even weapons! Weapons like nail guns that shoot plastic nails are powered by advanced technologies from engineering.

Modern robotics

Recent developments in robotic technology have brought to light how powerful they are as engineering tools. Robots that can think for themselves, create digital patterns, program robots to work together, and even self-driving cars!

Robots designed to think have been built at scale with deep-learning neural networks. These NNs use computer software and mathematics to perform tasks automatically. They learn from past experiences and create their own rules to solve new problems.

This is what makes them so interesting because they apply concepts learned to similar situations repeatedly. For example, if you give a robot a task like ‘lift this object’ it will figure out how to do it by itself!

The more examples it has, the better it gets at solving the problem. This ability to learn and adapt is why engineers use robots in manufacturing – they combine them with computers and math to make repeatable processes.

Chatbots and AI assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant all rely on algorithms to understand natural language. Computers now have access to almost limitless amounts of data too, making it possible to teach them about everything.

These advanced technologies come down to three main components: sensors, controllers, and actuators. Sensors gather information about our surroundings or the system being controlled, while the controller decides what actions need to be taken and where the machine should go next, and an actuator takes those commands and executes them.

Engineers take advantage of each component to achieve incredible results.

Programmable robotics

how has technology improved engineering

Recent developments in engineering are robots that can be designed, built, and programmed to perform tasks. These automatons function with their internal logic and can be modified or even replaced when needed.

Robots have been around for quite some time now. The term robot comes from the word rautobi which means “to do work” or “work animal.” Ancient Greeks used robotic devices to complete work for them. They would make war machines and other tools by using levers, pulleys, and springs.

These early robots were very simple and had only basic commands such as moving up or down, left or right or doing something else. It was not until the 20th century that more complex programs could be coded into these robots.

In 2004, Harvard University created what is known as an autonomous mobile robot. This robot has its onboard computer program and can navigate around objects and space independently without any help.

Since then, there have been many different types of robots developed. Some can pick things up, move at super speed, recognize and interact with humans, and even defend themselves! All of this ability is due to advanced programming.

Engineers use software to design and create robots. A programmer writes code that gives instructions to the robot on how to accomplish a task. Then, the engineer compiles this code onto the robot’s digital brain.

3D printing

how has technology improved engineering

Recent developments in technology have allowed engineers to produce three-dimensional (3D) objects using digital designs or other pre-existing shapes. These machines use a process called additive manufacturing, which happens quickly and efficiently as layers of material are added to an already finished product.

Engineering has seen many advances due to the widespread availability of this technology. By producing your parts instead of having to find them, you can save money! And since it is digital, there is no need to store these materials after they are used up. If for some reason you run out, you just print more until you get enough to make another part.

Engineers use 3D printers to create everything from plastic toys to medical devices and gadgets. Some even use it to make food! While not always practical or cost-efficient, it is still important to know how to do it if you want to take advantage of all that it offers.

Nowadays, most people have access to a printer at home so learning how to use one isn’t too difficult. There are several ways to learn, and each method seems to work just fine.

Digital rendering

how has technology improved engineering

When you look at an engine car-lite or fully rendered, what’s happening behind the scenes is computer software that takes 3D geometry (such as the shapes of cars) and manipulates them to create photorealistic images. These programs are called rendering engines because they render graphics.

The most well-known example of this technology is probably your smartphone camera app. Many apps have these engines built in so all that beautiful detail you can see in pictures comes from software.

Engineers use those same rendering engines to produce high-quality imagery for things like vehicle designs. Rather than having engineers draw everything by hand, digital tools make it possible to do so quickly and easily.

This has helped reduce design time dramatically! Before, creating a model would take hours and hours of work. Now, people have access to powerful software that does some of the heavy liftings for them.

Finite element analysis

how has technology improved engineering

In engineering, we are constantly looking at how forces in a structure can be minimized or eliminated. For example, as you know, gravity is a very powerful force that comes from our Earth. When designing a building, engineers consider where gravity will pull on the structure and they factor this into their design.

They may also look at what types of floors and roofs the structure has and determine whether it would work well with gravity or not. With enough research, they could even create software to simulate how much weight the roof would bear before failing due to strength.

Another major component of an engineer’s job is calculating how much stress each part of a product will experience while under load. They do this by using finite element analysis (FEA).

With FEA, they place your material within another program that calculates how much strain each piece experiences when stressed. By doing this for every possible angle and position, you get more precise results than just assuming a square bar moves up evenly.

This applies particularly to products that have moving parts such as machinery or vehicles. Since these have angles, computers calculate how hard they must be pressed together and how much pressure there is between them.

Engineers use these calculators to ensure the safety and reliability of machines and equipment.

Cost-benefit analysis

how has technology improved engineering

The field of engineering has seen many advancements due to the implementation of cost-benefit analysis (CBA). Engineers can now perform quantitative analyses to determine if an idea or project is worth putting into action.

A CBA looks at both the direct and indirect costs of an initiative as well as its potential benefits. This allows us to identify whether investing in a product, service, or concept makes sense financially!

With CBAs being used more frequently, engineers have access to powerful tools that help them make informed decisions about projects.

Costs are typically focused on material resources such as equipment and supplies needed to implement an idea while indirect costs refer to time spent developing ideas that were rejected because they did not meet the requirements of the job.

Benefits are also analyzed, looking at how much impact your proposal will have and what return it will bring you. An example of this would be proposing to change a company’s internal process so it is more efficient.

There is no one right way to do a CBA, but using cost-benefits when making business decisions can always help push through successful initiatives.

Marketing strategies

how has technology improved engineering

A significant part of engineering is marketing, making sure that your products are appealing to others. This can mean anything from designing an aesthetically pleasing product to developing effective marketing strategies to promoting them.

Engineering departments often have to deal with limited resources or budgets, which makes it hard to market their products effectively. That’s where engineers come in!

By doing some research and talking to colleagues, you may be able to find out how other companies marketed their products and learn something new. You can also check out online tutorials and videos to get helpful tips and tricks.

Another way to improve engineering marketing is by taking courses related to marketing. There are many free courses available via educational websites and apps such as Udemy and Skillshare.

Engineers could also start-up social media pages or use existing ones to advertise their field and what they do. By putting in time into these activities, they will pay off in the long run.

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