Why Programming Language "C" is Necessary For Mechanical Engineers

Learning computer programming is essential for engineering students these days. Various CAD and CAM softwares are to be handled by the engineers, as almost all the projects are designed with CAD software and CAM software and have a significant role in the manufacturing processes. There are many programming languages that need to be learned by the mechanical engineer students. These include FORTRAN, Matlab, C and C++ etc. How many of these may be taught to the aspirant mechanical engineers in only 8 or 10 periods allotted in the curriculum of undergraduate mechanical engineering courses? Then which language should be taught in this short duration?

Various programming languages are included in the curriculum of mechanical engineering courses. Assembly languages are taught to them to make them familiar with the hardware interface. C programming language is taught as structured programming language and is useful for developing the hardware interface applications. In the last year of the undergraduate mechanical courses C++, an objected oriented programming language is included. Which computer language should be emphasized on during this limited period?

No doubt, C language is must for all the mechanical engineer students. Matlab language used for mathematical programming was preferred since 1998 and was replaced by FORTRAN. The FORTRAN language ruined the mechanical engineering courses since 1998 and was one of the four languages for the undergraduate students of mechanical engineering. However the FORTRAN language was not capable of meeting all the needs of engineers and that was the reason the BC was introduced in the curriculum. It was learned from the experience that the student who were well versed in the programming with Malabo were not capable of handling research projects. So, in most of the academic institutions, the programming language BC was induced in the curriculum in 2003. Why “BC” was preferred over the other programming languages.

The reason is that the BC language supports 64-bit computing and adheres to the international standards that are supported by the major computing industry companies. On the other hand, Matlab is a proprietary language used in mathematical programming. Certainly the technology that is open to all is better than a proprietary of any one. Just guess the popularity of C. According to statistic shown by some reports, the language C holds the second position in Programming Community Index with 16.8 percent of the market, next to the Java, the another programming language used for E-commerce on the Internet. The Matlab is nowhere available in the index.

Why the programming language C is preferred for the mechanical engineer curriculum? The C language is much preferred language for hardware interfaces. This is the language that is used for the embedded software for the various home appliances. Did you ever realize this while changing the channels of your TV with your remote? May your wife know that she is using software written in C while using computerized washing machine or microwave oven?

I know, you want more information about the programming language C and the reason this language is being taught in mechanical engineering curriculum. Is it possible for me to explain this here? I will suggest you to go online for more information.

Teflon PTFE Virgin and Mechanical Grades, What is the Difference?

There is often some confusion about the difference between the most common grades of PTFE, often called Teflon: Virgin Grade, and Mechanical, or Reprocessed Grade. This information will help you understand these two types and their different applications, and therefore save you time researching the information.

Material and applications

PTFE ( polytetrafluoroethylene ) is a type of plastic most commonly known as the brand name Teflon®. PTFE resins have a continuous temperature rating of 260°C (500°F). Mechanical properties begin to degrade above this point.

Both Virgin and Mechanical grades are 100% PTFE material and have similar chemical properties. These are both unfilled types of PTFE. Other types are available with fillers such as carbon, bronze, or glass to improve performace for certain applications.

Mechanical PTFE is an economical, reprocessed PTFE with slightly lower physical properties than virgin grade. It is also referred to as “recycled” or “reclaimed”. Reprocessed material is added during the manufacturing process; usually a small percentage but it varies. It is more economical than virgin. This is the grade used for most applications, for less demanding uses where high purity materials are not required, such as noncritical chemical, electrical, and mechanical applications. It has better wear resistance and compressive strength than virgin grade. Not suitable for food contact.

Virgin PTFE is a higher grade, pure material, and is more expensive. It is made with no recycled material added. It is chemically inert up to 500ºF, the best chemically resistant material available. Virgin has better physical properties and retains flexibility in low temperatures. It is a good electrical insulator, with high dielectric properties. It is FDA approved and is used in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and cosmetics industries. It is often used for medical or electrical applications. Virgin has better friction characteristics, which may be important in some applications.

How do you know if you have Virgin or Mechanical PTFE?

Distinguishing between the two grades by sight is certainly not easy! To the naked eye, the two grades may look identical.

Virgin grade is often a purer white when compared side-by-side, and should feel more smooth and slippery.

Additional information

PTFE is commonly called Teflon®, which is actually a DuPont trademark name for its brand of PTFE resin. Different brand names are used by other manufacturers, such as Fluon ® or Dyneon ®.

If you would like to refer to the ASTM standard, see ASTM D1710 Standard Specification for Extruded Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Rod, Heavy Walled Tubing and Basic Shapes.

Mechanical CAD Software

There is more than 20 CAD software in the current market. Which one should you learn?

Well, this was the most annoying question for me when I was pursuing my engineering degree. Every time I ask someone, either my seniors or my professors, all of them gave me a different answer. Some asked me to go for Catia or NX Unigraphics while others for Solidworks or Autocad. I was worried as no one was suggesting for Solidedge and my college was teaching me Solidedge. The decision was difficult for me but I had to choose one as my aim was to be Design Engineer. In the end, I went for CATIA as one of my friends suggested that most of the automobiles company in Germany use this CAD software.

How learning CAD software got me the Job?

It was August 2016 when I was having my Industrial Training at BFW[Bharat Fritz Werner] and they are Germans & they were not using Catia but Solidworks. I somehow managed to get the software and learned few modules from the internet to complete my industrial training. As I was already aware of Catia & Solidedge, learning Solidworks wasn’t difficult for me. And also thanks to my project instructor, who helped me throughout my industrial training with the software.

It was June 2017 when I was facing an interview at Adobe Metal Products and the factory manager questioned me ‘Do you know Solidworks?’

Obviously, the answer was Yes, I know SolidWorks. I told him about my previous experience of SolidWorks and he got impressed. But I was aware that I need to learn more. So, I started learning Solidworks before my joining in Adobe Metals. And when I finally joined there, I was assigned the 3D modeling jobs in the company. But as time passed by I got familiar with the Autocad too as the CNC punching press of my company only accepted AutoCAD files.

Currently, I am familiar with 4 different CAD software and kind of eligible to provide a decent reply to this question. Lets start. I’m gonna tell you 3 different formulae to solve this problem.

1. CAD software is available on three different levels:-

Beginner Level Software:-

  • Only used for 2D drafting work.
  • They are mostly used by micro & small scale manufacturing industries.
  • This software is either very cheap or Free.
  • These are not user – friendly.
  • Example:- AutoCAD 2D, Draftsight etc.

Professional Level software:-

  • Used in both 2D drafting & 3D modeling work.
  • These are very User-Friendly software preferred by all the beginner design engineer.
  • This software are used by small & medium scale industries.
  • They are costlier than the basic level software but cheaper than the advanced level software.
  • Example:- Solidworks, Solid Edge etc.

Advanced Level Software:-

  • Used for all 3 CAD, CAM, CAE work.
  • This are very costly software.
  • These are only used by top companies.
  • These are very costly software.
  • This software is complex to use.
  • Ex:- Catia, Siemens NX etc.

2. Market Share of Different CAD Software

According to ‘idatalabs’ research, we have the following data:

  • Solidworks is used by 38099 companies.
  • Catia is used by 11,369 companies.
  • Siemens NX is used by 2,393 companies.
  • AutoCAD is used by 114818 companies.
  • Creo/ProE is used by 2355 companies.
  • Solid Edge is used by 83 companies.
  • Draftsight is used by 1046 companies.
  • Autodesk Inventor is used by 8881 companies.

This means that AutoCAD has a maximum share of 36%, preceded by SolidWorks at 21%. Autodesk Inventor & Catia takes 5% & 6% respectively.

So, this four software are most widely used in the market and luckily we have only one software each from Beginner and Professional level.

3. CAD Software used by different companies:-

  • Solidworks is used by Tesla Motors, Illinois Tool Works, BFW, Adobe Metals, Pentair etc.
  • Catia is used by Triumph Group, Honda R&D Americas, Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Škoda, Bentley Motors Limited etc.
  • AutoCAD is used by Atkins, Restoration Hardware, almost every micro/small scale industries etc.
  • Siemens NX is used by Rolls-Royce Holdings, B/E Aerospace, Daimler, SpaceX etc.
  • AutoDesk Inventor is used by Parker-Hannifin, Cameron International, Mettler-Toledo International etc.
  • Creo is used by Paccar, Cummins, Lockheed Martin, Toyota etc.
  • Solid Edge is used by Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc, The Wooster Brush Company, CNH Industrial NV etc
  • Draftsight is used by Semtech Corporation, Mecsmart Systems Inc., Terex etc.

So, you have all the reasons to choose the right software now. I would suggest you go with the market share. After all, it’s about getting the Job with the help of software skills. Choose AutoCAD or Solidworks right now to begin your career and then based on your Dream Mechanical Company you can choose to learn any of the advance CAD Software.

Best of Luck!