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What are some resources I can utilize to teach myself the basics of engineering and mechanics? Answered

Being adept in this kind of thing certainly gives one an edge in innovation by a wider range of what is physically possible to create. I am currently a high school student with no intention of earning a formal degree in mechanical engineering in the future, however, I do take a keen interest in it and would love to become knowledgeable enough to successfully, safely, integrate it into my inventions. I'm wondering how many of you actually have a background in this field and if not, how did you manage to teach yourself?



6 years ago

check http://anengineersaspect.blogspot.com/search/label/Top%2025%20Lists and read section 15. It's a lot of free educational resources. I received AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor for free by being a student, and taught myself the programs. There are plenty of good books out there, but I find experimenting on your own or with somebody else works best. I have had the privilege of being around engineers for a large portion of my life, and I'm now an engineering student at my local vocational school.

Taking apart everything mechanical in sight is a pretty good start as well. It's best to know how to put them back together though.

Do you mean the theroretical basic of engineering, which is highly mathematical, or a sense of mechanism ? Most degrees don't seem to offer a sense of what's possible, or what has been achieved. Old engineerng books are a great resource - I picked up a lovely set of books on mechanisms from a remaindered book store in the USA on a visit a couple of years ago.

Or do you mean the practical basis ? Like hand skills ? These are MUCH easier to find if you can get to one of the hacker spaces that are springing up everywhere.


I think one would need to know varying amounts of all, but from my current vantage point and desired purposing I think mechanism and hand skills are my priorities with just enough theory to prevent setting my house on fire...


7 years ago

Follow this thread to observe and learn how a problem is resoled
in a technical group.


I believe that Im over 3 times your age one of my daughters is a  building stress engineer another a doctor.
For mechanics engineering and simple programing I recommend using
Lego mindstorm to model concepts as I do for clients and entertain my
grand children.
I built the picture robot to teach kids how sensors work on catching a ball.
Have Fun at whatever you do !



7 years ago

First you must learn to change a flat tire on a Ford at night.


Any Ford in particular?
Changing an exhaust with no ramps / jacks / other facilities can be a challenge...


I need to know if she uses her hands or looks ?

I knew a lovely girl who car pooled daily with her dad and two others to
Chicago back and forth, forth and back, until a.....   flat tire !
The men who could change the tire, retired to a coffee shack.  Soon a
young man would appear and change the flat for the lovely daughter.
Afterwards the car pool with good tires, finished in the suburb as always.

Then, I will endeavour to show her the tao of life she seeks.


Speaking only for myself:

I have no formal background in this area.

I have some extremely basic knowledge that I have picked up by learning it when I needed it -- mostly, enough to have a sense of what might be possible and what isn't, and enough to discuss what I need with someone who has the deeper knowledge when I need to ask for assistance.

Part of the art of inventing is knowing how to break a problem down into parts that someone else can make for you. Part of the business of inventing is figuring out how to hire them -- and in general how to do your experimenting without going broke. Among other things, the expert will generally find a way to do what you need better and less expensively (in production) than you would as a tinkerer.

Learn what you can of what you need -- but also learn when to say "this is something which I either need to learn properly or farm out to someone who has learned it properly."