A product design engineer is a creative problem solver who has enough skills to put his ideas on paper. Today, such a job entails knowing how to use computer software to create those designs. In some companies, the name has even taken on the general term, “product designer.”
But what does such a designer do for a company?
The roles of a product design engineer
Being a product design engineer is a critical job. It jumpstarts the creation of another product. Doing well at this job may decide whether a product will perform well in the market. Does it meet the needs of the target buyer? Is it innovative or at least competitive against the existing similar products in the market?
Here are some of the tasks that come with the job:
- Conduct continuous research on products associated with his company or client
- Be fully aware of past and recent developments in the type of product he designs
- Create functional products that address a current need
- Identify opportunities for a new product in the market
- Generate ideas and proceed to create a prototype of approved ones
- Follow the company’s product specifications and standards when creating the design
- Meet with the company stakeholders or clients to discuss the design brief
- Design with the company’s manufacturing requirements in mind
- Design by following the company’s brief or present his own recommendations
- Draft the products on computer software
- Consider materials that are appropriate to the product
- Present and describe the design product to the rest of the company
- Highlight the best features of the design
- Test the product if it meets the requirements of its task
- Create future updates to comply with the changing needs of the market
- Draft all designs with the cost, quality, and performance of the product in mind
- Work in a team with other professionals, such as industrial engineers
- Liaise with marketing on costs and commercial issues
As you can see, it involves more than just sketching a few product designs.The design engineer not only considers the aesthetics of the plan, but he/she also prioritizes the functionality and durability of the product.
What skills are required from a product design engineer?
- Knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software and 3D modeling software
- Experience with 2D design software, such as Adobe Illustrator
- Knowledge of mechanical design
- Ability to make blueprints
- Coding ability
- Listening to what the client requires
- Ability to work seamlessly with a team
- Troubleshooting skills
How about other characteristics?
- He/she must be creative and ready to tackle various variations of an idea.
- He/she must be detail-oriented.
- He/she must possess industry and tenacity (because product design may not come quickly)
- He/she must be cooperative and willing to work with various other professionals, with their own contributions and opinions
So, you can see that a product design engineer’s role is critical to creating necessary and well-functioning products. If the product is smoothed at the design stage, its chances for success improve significantly. Note that the design stage also takes into consideration selecting materials, testing, and manufacturing.