This book is a study of the decision-making process which mechanical engineers use in the formulation of plans for the physical realization of machines, devices, and systems. These decision-making processes are applicable to the entire field of engineering design -- not just to mechanical engineering design. To understand them, to apply them to practical situations, and to make them pay off, however, require a set of circumstances, a particular situation, or a vehickle, so to speak. In this book we have therefore chosen the field of mechanical engineering as the vehicle for the application of these decision-making processes.
Mechanical Design means the design of things and systems of a mechanical nature -- machines, products, structures, devices, and instruments. For the most part mechanical design utilizes mathematics, the materials sciences, and the engineering-machanics sciences.
Mechanical Engineering design includes all mechanical design, but it is a broader study because it includes all the disciplines of mechanical engineering, such as the thermal-fluids sciences, too. Aside from the fundamental sciences which are required, the first studies in mechanical engineering design are in mechanical design, and hence this is the approach taken in this book.
The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 is concerned with the fundamentals of decision making, the mathematical and analytical tools we will require, and the actual subject matter to be employed in using these tools. Occasionally you may encounter a familiar subject. This is included so that you can review it, if necessary, but more importantly, to establish the nomenclature for use in the more advanced portions fo the book, for continuity, and as a reference source.
In Part 2 (which is not included in this ebook at this time) the fundamentals are applied to many typical design situations which arise in the design or selection of the elements of mechanical systems. An attempt has been made to arrange Part 2 so that the basic or more common elements are studied first. In this manner, as you become familiar with the design of single elements, you can begin to put them together to form complete machines or systems. Thus, with respect to a whole system, Part 2 becomes progressively more comprehensive. The intent, therefore, is that Part 2 should be studied chapter by chapter in the order in which it is presented.