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Engineers of all types face new challenges daily, trying to keep up with rapidly changing technology, and accessing critical software when working in the field. Many engineers rely on a variety of mobile applications to perform their daily work functions.
Consider how troublesome it would be for an engineer to carry around his or her laptop. They would have to take it out, boot it, and launch the program required. It’s much easier to take out their iPhone and launch an app, which only takes a few seconds and has the programs they need.
According to Mike Barone, senior design engineer for Hamilton Sundstrand, a division of UTC Aerospace Systems, “A mobile app is in a broader sense, is a software program, but it’s more dedicated and task-oriented than an intensive app for a computer.”
Today, mobile apps are specifically designed for the tasks that engineers face on a daily basis. While there are several apps available for civil and electrical engineers, unfortunately there aren’t as many for mechanical engineers. Mike Barone says “the demand is there, but it’s unrecognized yet.”
The Top Mechanical Engineering Apps on the iPhone:
This parametric section and member calculator computes mechanical and geometric properties used in column and beam design and general mechanics for various materials.
This app contains over 300 mechanical engineering formulas with over 300 conversion formulas and 70 area formulas. Critical areas covered include: belts, bearings, brakes, clutches, heat transfer, metalworking, plumbs, power plants, shaft springs and vehicle drive.
This app contains the complete International Mechanical Code and 200 formulas for HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Sections covered include: air change, ductwork, heating design and requirements, temperature, area calculations, boilers and energy values.
This mobile app allows you to view, edit, and share DWG (DraWING) drawings. AutoCAD WS also has a variety of features that were previously only found in AutoCAD’s desktop design software.
This app contains a large selection of mechanics laws, tables, equations and reference materials.
An excellent reference for all things mechanical, offering drill and tap sizes, sheet metal gauge tables, fastener clearance holes and math/physics references.
These apps are free, free with ads, or available for a fee. On average, costs range from $0.99 – $19.99 for each app.
According to a report by TechCrunch, the mobile app market is expected to be worth about $25 billion by 2015. Hopefully, we’ll see more mechanical engineering apps developed in the coming years.
There’s great potential for app developers in the field of mechanical engineering, and a need for a robust notification system for updates.
“It’s extremely important that auto update info for critical issues that could affect the results of these apps should have a robust notification system to the user. We don’t want to be designing a space vehicle and get the wrong structure because of a flaw in an app,” Barone explained.
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