Where is Mechanical Engineering Headed? – An Overview
Mechanical engineering is a branch of engineering that is primarily concerned with the industrial application of mechanics with the production of tools, machinery, and their products. Mechanical engineering plays a critical role in manufactured technologies, and it has shaped society by enabling us to do many daily activities with ease, such as the invention of cars to airplanes to refrigerators. Mechanical engineers design and build solutions to a range of problems in healthcare, making life- saving medical equipment, such as artificial limbs, and pacemakers.
At a high level, medical device design and engineering can be broken down into three main categories: electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. Mechanical engineering plays a large part in medical device design and development. Many of the most common types of medical devices are purely mechanical. Equipment such as vial adapters, scalpels, IV tubing, crutches, needles, and so many more have no electrical or software components.
What is Mechanical Engineering?
This is an engineering branch that combines engineering physics and mathematics principles with materials science to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers analyze their work using the principles of motion, energy, and force to make sure that their designs function safely, efficiently, and reliably. Mechanical engineers design all types of products, from medical devices to automotive parts to consumer goods and more.
Trending Mechanical Engineering Inventions
- Nanotechnology- Refers to the study and use of structures between 1 nanometer and 100 nanometers. Mechanical engineers use nanotechnology for synthesis and characterization of nanoscale materials (nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, graphene) for durability, damage sensing, and structural health monitoring. Flexible electronics and digital displays, along with battery and sensor applications are implemented and created through nanotechnology. Today, nanotechnology sits at the front of many mechanical engineering projects; fluid mechanics, robotics, combustion, bio-medicine, measurements, heat transfer and many more.
- 3D Printing- 3D printing is a complex process where an object’s mode is created using CAD software. The object is saved in a STL (Standard Triangular Language) which allows for the design’s object to be “sliced” in ultra- thin layers. These layers are then printed in a formation of fine plastic layers, each layer bonded to the layer preceding it to create precise shapes. In healthcare, 3D bioprinting is used to create living human cells or tissue for use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Also, 3D printing is used for the development of new surgical cutting and drill guides, prosthetics as well as the creation of patient-specific replicas of bones, organs, and blood vessels. Recent advances of 3D printing in healthcare have led to lighter, stronger and safer products, reduced lead times and lower costs.
- IoT (Internet of Things)- The IoT describes physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks. This allows for data to be transferred and shared over a network without requiring human-to human or human-to-computer interaction.
- Electric Vehicles (EVs)- One of the most popular mechanical inventions includes the movement from internal combustion engines to a cleaner battery-based power system for cars, and other modes of transportation. Electrical vehicles have a battery instead of a gasoline tank and the rise of EVs has led to consumers being able to save money on gas, as well as them being more beneficial to the environment than the standard car.
What Are Gilero’s Mechanical Engineering Capabilities?
Gilero has a broad range of in-house engineering talent, including mechanical engineers. Gilero engineers have a proven track record of success building everything from consumable medical devices to complex electromechanical drug delivery systems. Our expansive service offerings enable us to provide holistic engineering solutions for medical and drug delivery device design. A few of our capabilities include:
- Mechanical design and testing of components, assemblies, and packaging
- Plastics, elastomers, and metal components
- User-centered design and human factors expertise
- Early concept development
- Detailed 3D CAD and modeling of components
- 2D drawings and drafting
- Engineering analysis using FEA, CFD, and other simulation methods
- Prototyping and pilot builds
- Housings and enclosures for electronic medical devices
- Assembly equipment, fixtures, and process development
- Additive manufacturing, machining fabrication, and assembly
What to Expect for the Future of Mechanical Engineering?
The mechanical engineering industry is projected to grow at 4% annually between now and 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for mechanical engineers is expected to increase, due to the field’s overlap with other areas of study, such as civil, chemical, and industrial engineering. As a result, mechanical engineers can be found in numerous industries working on a wide range of projects. Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow around 7% from 2020 to 2030. The future of mechanical engineering involves advances in electrical vehicles, nanoengineering, biomechatronics, and many more fields. With these fields growing, more technology will be integrated into our modern society to make our lives easier, as well as advances in the healthcare industry for better patient care and life- saving equipment.
Gilero offers end-to-end contract design and development, and manufacturing services for medtech customers around the world. If you need help with your next medical device or combination product, contact our engineering experts today.
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