Engineering

Engineering is the application of science to design products or inventions that meet human needs. Engineering is very creative. A remarkable new product, such as a cellphone, has to be created in the mind of the engineer before it can be built of metal and plastic. Engineers invent technology that could make the future cleaner, safer, healthier, and more productive. Engineering also has a dark side because weapons are created by engineers, and some technologies have harmful side effects. Read the text aloud
It is in our common human interest for everyone to understand the basic engineering design principles and trade-offs inherent in all technologies. This book features many case studies that show you how aspects of physics directly affect the design of technology. Read the text aloud Show Physics is applied through engineering
An engineering problem typically involves designing a device that must perform a function. The design has constraints such as cost, energy consumption, reliability, or longevity. Engineering problems are fundamentally different from textbook problems because there is no single right answer. There may be many designs that achieve the goals. For example, more than a dozen different kinds of wind turbines are being tried as alternative energy sources. Different designs may best fit different constraints. Read the text aloud
Engineering design cycle
The engineering method typically starts with a design concept. Complicated goals are broken down into smaller goals that can each be solved with a subsystem. The design is made real with a prototype, a functional model that can be used to test and see how well things work. The results of tests are used to revise the design and make it better. The cycle of prototype–test–evaluate–revise is repeated many times before the final product is ready. Often the final product looks nothing like the initial concept! Much like the scientific method, the engineering method is a process of envisioning, testing, and improving a design until, after many iterations, it best solves the initial problem. Read the text aloud Show Similar engineering methods
Before a product such as a Smart Cart can be sold, it must be manufactured. Designing for manufacture is another interesting area of engineering. The manufacturing engineer creatively juggles aspects such as shape and color with processes such as molding or machining, and materials such as plastics or metals. A good design is durable, meets the need, and is attractive and practical to manufacture. Read the text aloud Show Additive and subtractive manufacturing processes
Which of the following technologies were invented through the engineering design cycle?
  1. water pump
  2. spinning wheel
  3. light bulb
  4. race car
  5. all of the above
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