Top 5 tools you need as an engineer

Written by LetsBuild

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What kind of tools do engineers use?

  1. 3D printers
  2. CAD
  3. Construction software
  4. Graphing calculator
  5. Calipax
  6. Basic toolbox
  7. Engineering pad
  8. Stainless steel ruler

In an increasingly digital world, engineers have access to an ever-widening set of tools that help them be more innovative and creative. To hope to succeed in the future as a successful engineer and fully push your career to the limits, you will need to master some of these essential tools. However, if you are not aware of the latest tools and technologies used in your industry, you won’t be able to taste success easily. In fact, you will have to struggle a lot to gain equal importance as your fellow colleagues, if you are not that comfortable in using all the commonly used tools.

So to help you get a head start and push your knowledge and skillset in the right direction, here are the top 5 tools you will need as an engineer.

3D printers

The introduction of 3D printers has brought a sea change in the engineering industry when it comes to simplifying the tasks performed by engineers. Their implementation has brought huge convenience to engineers, because of the simple fact that they can easily create a 3D design of an object they are planning to develop.

3D printers are one of the most innovative pieces of technology available and something that engineers of even 5 to 10 years ago have not had access to. Nowadays, however, they have reached a critical point whereby the technology is not just mesmerizing but is also very affordable and only a few hundred pounds for a top-of-the-range printer. These printers are a way that you, as an engineer, will be able to bring your ideas to life and showcase them to clients and investors. Within a matter of minutes, you can have a scaled-down model of exactly what you want to create, and at the very least they are an incredible amount of fun so will allow you to test your creativity.

However, when 3D printers were not in picture, engineers and engineering companies had to struggle a lot when it comes to convincing clients about the design of the product in question that they are planning to develop. So if you want to do really good as an engineer, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of how to use a 3D printer.


If you are pursuing the engineering industry, then no doubt you will have heard about CAD – or computer-aided design technology. In many ways, the precise 2D and 3D technical drawings that CAD enables you to create have become a staple for any good engineer. What is so great about CAD is the range and diversity of different programmes it entails. Deciding which ones to pursue isn’t necessarily a particularly straightforward answer and, instead, you should look to try out a number of different programmes and start to get a feel for what suits you best. With ever-increasing developments in technology, engineering as a profession is constantly changing and you should embrace that change by constantly upskilling.
CAD - Engineering tools
Whether you talk but mechanical engineering or civil engineering, you can’t accomplish your job without the help of 3D CAD drawings, which are generally created with the support of software like Wings 3D, Sketchup, TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, 3D Slash, K-3D, 3D Crafter, Art of Illusion, and OpenCascade etc.  And you do not know how to use them, you should start learning them as soon as possible. CAD is also used heavily by mechanical engineers to create technical drawings for automotive, aerospace and shipbuilding industries.

For example, if you talk about the manufacturing of machines, the first thing that is done by mechanical engineers is to create the rough design of the product in question. And then detailed CAD drawings are created by them after carrying out load calculations, which help in identifying which kinds of bearings will prove to be a perfect fit for the machine they are manufacturing.

On the other hand, if you talk about the civil engineers in the construction industry, technical CAD drawings are generally prepared by drafters, after which they are reviewed effectively by the architectural and structural engineers. If in case the drawings have certain flaws, they are marked by the engineers and then sent back to the drafters for the necessary corrections. This clearly indicates how frequently engineers have to make use of CAD software during the design development phase.

Read More: The future of construction – BIM

Construction software

A top performing construction software can take your work to the next level. The ability to make vital changes to your plans in real-time and in close collaboration with other project parties is a huge advantage. In that way, you can make sure that there will be no ground-breaking mistakes or unexpected delays that could hinder the overall progress of a project. In a nutshell, construction software can speed up your working procedure and simplify the communication and coordination between the various collaborators.

Graphing calculator

Many would claim that the day of graphing calculators has come and gone and that other tools, such as Excel, can run many of the same calculations. But they have been in place for years and can undoubtedly still add value to any budding engineer. Also, it depends largely on what route within engineering you pursue. However, one thing is for sure, taking the time to brush up on your skills with a graphing calculator will, at the very least, help put you ahead of others within your field.

Internet of things

Knowing how to successfully integrate varying objects and pieces of equipment within the IoT is an essential skill for any modern engineer. It allows you to properly understand and streamline manufacturing and operations processes and collect vast amounts of data quicker than years prior. The future is bright in this respect and getting ahead now will open up avenues that you never considered in years to come.

To be clear, being a successful engineer in the future is not likely to be easy and, instead, you will be expected to understand and utilize a wide range of tools and technologies. But the message here is to put in the time as much as you can to start getting ahead. If that means taking on some basic courses in Excel or CAD, then take the time to do it. Alternatively, if you are already an engineer and want to pursue other career moves and opportunities, then it’s time to brush up and master all of the above.

Author bio:
Ruby Daub is an experienced tech-blogger. Having an interest in new technologies, she has published many posts on latest technological trends in the industry.