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Rookie Design Engineer Common Mistakes (How to Avoid It)

Some rookie mistakes are just unforgivable to the point that the higherups have to pull their hairs out in frustration once they notice.

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Rookie Engineer


It’s agreed that not everything about your engineering course is taught in college. An engineering diploma is only a ticket to the real engineering experience, and what really counts is what the engineers develop, design and produce while working in the field.

That being said, it’s only normal that the newbies are most likely to commit mistakes in their first few jobs. Especially those involved in design, there will always be room for correction and improvement.

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However, some rookie mistakes are just unforgivable to the point that the higherups have to pull their hairs out in frustration once they notice. Because these design blunders are supposed to be must-know don’ts. Here’s a list of such so you could never commit them.

Bad Dimensioning or Drawing Standards

You can tell who are inexperienced in computer-aided design (CAD) when you see in the plans they produce some sloppy dimensions included. If English majors have bad grammar or spelling, engineers have this as an equivalent.

 Source: AutoDesk
Source: AutoDesk

I’m talking about awful engineering drawing with too many decimal places, missing dimensions, over-dimensioning or conflicting tolerances, overlapping dimensions and notes, and arrows being the wrong way around.

Not only does these design errors look unprofessional on print, having a messy drawing standard in CAD could cause severe misinterpretations and manufacturing errors.

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Lack of Counterchecking

Done with your design? Double check everything. Triple check just to be sure. Perhaps check one more time.

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It pays to have an error-proof design before it gets to the table of your boss or the PowerPoint presentation. It’s really terrible when you’re overly confident about your first try only to find out, as pointed out by others, that some parts are missing or there is a miscalculation or a value was overlooked. It could be avoidable: just check, check, and check.

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Just because it looks okay it doesn’t mean it will work. Look for loopholes by breaking down the design into functional elements. Best if you religiously make a proof of concept model every time you finish a design.

Having a colleague – the last person to ask is your boss – to give it a look at least once will also help.

Wrong Material Specifications

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Novice engineering designers should be wary about the several factors that affect their design. One of them is material specifications.

Designers will find it hard to do this especially that the job does not cover procurement of materials. What they do is design. But my advice to rookies is to have the materials familiarized with the office or procurement engineer.

Make sure that the material choices fit with the design, because there are many considerations when it comes to this like regulations and technical standards.

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