Does every engineer have a right to a portfolio?

Some of you may be quite proud to display your engineering portfolio right here on GrabCAD. Portfolios serve as a valuable asset to your engineering career, increasing the reach of your design work, making you stand apart from peers in job interviews, and even helping land new clients. Given the obvious benefit, you would think that every engineer should have the right to do the same with their cumulative design work. While the natural reaction is to shout "Hell, yes!" It's not quite so simple depending on where and for whom you work for; the question reveals some subtle complexities. Read more

How to hand off a project without infuriating the next engineer

Handing off a project to another engineer can be daunting. Aside from the personal attachment (the project is your baby), it can be difficult to articulate where the project has been, and where it needs to go. My background is in design engineering for the retail fixture industry, so I have worked for companies that are project based, not product based. Read more

Engineering your own kick-ass CAD workstation build on a budget

An engineer is particular about his/her tools, and there's no more important or personal an engineering tool these days than the CAD workstation. While you could just fork over your hard-earned cash for a turnkey CAD configuration designed for corporate sensibilities, you want a PC engineered your way. You want serious CAD power, but at reasonable prices. We can build it. We have the technology. Read more

Industrial computed tomography – 3D printing’s biggest ally?

If you’ve been following 3D printing’s technological progression over the past several years, you’ll have noticed it has advanced from just making prototypes, to a technology that makes functional, end use parts. Question is, during this crucial time of technological advancement, who is 3D printing’s biggest supporter to validate these functional parts? Read more

3D printing file format cage match: AMF vs. 3MF

With 3D printers, applications, and distributed manufacturing speeding ahead, our beloved .STL file may soon be considered an honorable mention. While it will always have a place in our toolbox, it lacks the information package required to keep pace with the evolutionary trajectory of 3D printing. Read more

How to disagree with a more experienced engineer

In engineering workplaces across the country, a burgeoning workforce of new engineers is looking to assert itself. Along the way, they are learning how to work alongside, occasionally disagreeing, with an increasingly entrenched generation of more experienced and extremely knowledgeable engineers with decades of technical experience. Read more

Product innovation and Leatherman, the original pocket survival tool

Leatherman is well known for creating cool, portable, multipurpose tools. The founder, Tim Leatherman received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University. Time spent traveling abroad convinced him of the need for a pliers based, multipurpose tool. Now, more than 30 years later I was lucky enough to chat with Jeff Castro, Lead Engineer in Product Innovation at Leatherman about product development. Read more

Why now is the time for all CAD to be “free”

There was a time when trying new CAD software under a provisional license involved roving bands of surly sales engineers, dog-and-pony demos, and waiting for packages to arrive in the mail. It’s safe to say that most (but not all) CAD software is now more sensibly accessible. But in today’s rapidly changing software market, time-bombed and/or crippled downloadable trialware may not be enough. It’s high time for CAD to go cheap-as-free. Read more