Mechanical Engineering Blog

Best Websites for Mechanical Engineers

Best Websites for Mechanical Engineers

Mechanical engineers are supposed to work using only CAD programs and books, aren’t they? No, not really.

There are plenty of great resources available online. So we decided to list all the best websites for mechanical engineers in a single post.

Without further ado, here’s our selection. Enjoy exploring the sites!

Practical Websites for Mechanical Engineers

A list of online tools for mechanical engineers:

  • GrabCAD
  • Fractory
  • Traceparts
  • Engineering Toolbox
  • Engineers Edge
  • Matweb

GrabCAD

Grabcad website

This site has become one of the go-to places to find 3D models for complex assemblies as well as standard parts. Besides this, you can also go through a lot of tutorials which you help you learn features to put all the advantages of CAD software to work in your favour.

People upload their rendered images and different models to show their designs. Looking around the CAD library can give you lots of ideas and is a great way of seeing what is actually possible, using different CAD programs.

There is also a community section to exchange ideas with other engineers. Peeking into their portfolio may help you decide, if their advice is actually worth taking 🙂

Fractory

Comparing material costs on Fractory platform

Yes, this is our website. Including ourselves in the practical sites section comes down to our ability to provide instant manufacturing quotes.

So when you are between various designs, materials or thicknesses, just upload the 3D parts to our platform and check the price. There is no need to buy anything, you can just use the free quoting system.

This may make your selection process significantly easier, as the choice of material may result in a large difference in cost.

Traceparts

Another site for downloading CAD files. Here, the focus is more on standard parts, when comparing it to GrabCAD.

So if you need some shaft keys or bolts that are not in the stock library of you CAD program, get them here. Not adding them to the assembly altogether leaves room for easy mistakes.

Engineering Toolbox

The website looks horrendous. But mechanical engineers sure know that functionality comes first and foremost. And the functionality box has a check-mark in it.

A great resource for finding all kinds of basics and not-so-basics to aid you with your job as an engineers. From thread charts to force calculations and calculators, you can find them all.

The list of possibilities is too long to present here, so go and check it out for yourself.

Engineers Edge

Another site that does not warrant an image as that may scare you off. But similarly to The Engineering Toolbox, it does offer a lot of value.

A huge site for mechanical engineers that helps with engineering basics, materials and their application as well as design.

There are a lot of calculators available to perform analysis for load-bearing profiles, etc. I know, contemporary CAD software comes with FEA analysis features. Still, checking the results is necessary and here is one way of doing it with less effort.

The site also has a handful of videos, each of them explaining different manufacturing methods or working principles of machines. We would definitely recommend visiting this section.

Matweb

Cadmium copper properties
There is more info on thermal properties, etc.

As they call themselves, it is an online materials information source. What it means is that they have pretty much all the materials covered, from metals and plastics to lubricants.

You can search for different trade names as well as material grades to look at their properties. The information is available in different units and saves you the hassle of always using Google to find what you are looking for.

Besides the straightforward information in the form of numbers, you also get some example applications and extra description about the material.

Learn Mechanical Engineering

A range of websites that are great for mechanical engineering students. But is there an engineer who has not conceded that life-long learning is part of the vocation?

Best websites to learn mechanical engineering:

  • LearnMech
  • Coursera
  • MIT Online Courses
  • edX
  • Bookboon
  • ASME
  • Instructables
  • iMechanica
  • YouTube

LearnMech

The name of this site says it all. Just scroll through the menu to see the topics covered. The range of articles is pretty impressive and so are the contents.

They are straight to the point and give a good overview of the topic. There are also many articles keeping mechanical engineering students in mind. Which means the focus is on a straightforward FAQ that includes questions likely to appear on your exam paper.

Another section definitely worth looking through is the one called “projects”. You may find answers to questions regarding your own work-related stuff. Comes especially handy if you’re working on something you have never designed before.

Coursera

Whether you are looking to study something new, build your knowledge upon previous foundation or have a bad lecturer at the university, this site will come in handy.

Most of the courses are free to enrol. You can find them in different languages as well as skill levels – from beginner to advanced.

Who is behind the courses? The sources are different. There are universities as well as companies. For example, Autodesk has contributed quite widely.

They will teach you how to use their tools, so in the future, you will stick to their software. As we all know, CAD programs are quite similar in functionality. So learning the process in one software still gives you a good starting point for using the same methods in another.

You can also earn certificates and take tests but this feature requires some payments.

MIT Online Courses

Free online courses at MIT
The list is a LOT longer

So, when speaking of a good reputation in the realm of engineering studies, MIT is a front-runner. And now you can access an impressive range of video lectures and other study materials on this site.

Though some of the courses seem from a long time ago, it often matters little in mechanical engineering. Using books from the 60s in your design phase is often more than good enough, as much of the information is more about physics than contemporary materials.

Dig in and find an interesting course with a world-class lecturer to follow.

edX

Another website that offers online courses on a huge variety of topics. Cornell, Harvard, etc. are all present with different topics.

Some examples include:

  • A hands-on introduction to engineering simulations by Cornell
  • Analysing data with Python by IBM
  • The iterative innovation process by MIT

Many of the classes are free to attend and you can do it at your own pace. Getting a certificate costs money, though.

Bookboon

Free engineering textbooks

A site that lets you access a large variety of engineering textbooks for free. Just take a look at the library and you will definitely find something interesting for yourself.

You only need to sign up and a free access to the reading material is yours. Pretty convenient.

ASME

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME, has a website with plenty of information on various topics.

Listing all the possibilities here would take way too much room but we definitely recommend you to check it out for yourself.

The resources section includes many practical posts about mechanical engineering but also other closely related subjects. Another great part is the editorial section. There are plenty of articles discussing the future of the manufacturing industry which are really well written.

Instructables

This is the place where all the hobbyists and engineering enthusiasts gather to share their designs. A little similar to GrabCAD in that sense, but instead of CAD models, it focuses on real-life projects.

A great resource if you want to learn something new and try your hand at different projects.

Besides just uploading a picture of two of a cool concept, the posters include step-by-step instructions for you to emulate what they have done.

The projects vary in a really wide range, from gardening to mechanical and electrical engineering. The amount of projects for any given topic is pretty much insane. So, dig in and find something that interests you.

There are also some classes and courses available, if you want to really start by learning something from the very beginning before going on to apply the knowledge on an actual project.

iMechanica

A place where you can really delve into the latest developments in the field of engineering. Users can post their research papers on different subjects for everyone to read.

Probably not suitable for beginners but can definitely come in handy if you are looking for some deep insights on specific topics.

Mechanical engineering lecture notes

Besides research papers, you can find course notes from the top universities in the world.

YouTube

We cannot leave YouTube out of this list. The platform gives everybody a place to share their knowledge. And amongst the many pet and music videos, you can find channels that are excellent for learning engineering.

As it often happens to many engineering sites, over time, these channels tend to deviate from the original idea. The focus switches from engineering to car and mobile phone testing. But these channels often include many gems in the “oldest” section of the uploaded videos.

When it comes to active engineering channels, we would suggest to take a look at these:

News Sites

Some of the outlets in this list are more entertaining, others stick to actual engineering news. Still, all of them are worth taking a look at.

Best engineering news sites:

  • The Manufacturer
  • MEMUK
  • Engineering Clicks
  • Interesting Engineering
  • All3DP

The Manufacturer

Probably one of the best news sites dedicated to the manufacturing industry in the UK.

Their list of contacts is pretty impressive and everybody wants to get free coverage. So the articles often include comments from industry leaders to add insights and show different angles of the same topic.

The Manufacturer is also known for its advocacy of smart manufacturing. They organise different conferences and expos with just that being the central theme. Therefore, if you are looking to advance your knowledge in the field, this is the place to check out.

While staying on top of the news is usually a good thing, it can also sometimes make for too much of similar information. The news website is definitely trying to cater to the readers’ curiosity but we know what that can result in – a homepage full of Coronavirus, significant closures, etc.

This can sometimes overshadow the more interesting and insightful articles. But dig around, they are there.

MEMUK

The Manufacturing and Engineering Magazine is another UK-based engineering news outlet that covers a variety of topics. From transportation to manufacturing and healthcare, all the articles are related to production.

A nice and clean website helps to minimise distractions and find interesting pieces to read. Worth mentioning that they have not (at least yet) turned to phone and car reviews for a larger audience, keeping true to the original intent of providing worthwhile reading to engineers.

Engineering Clicks

This news website has a sole purpose of serving engineers with relevant updates from the industry.

The posting frequency is not that high but there is a lot of material here that is interesting to a mechanical engineer. Topics range from new manufacturing methods, explanations of scientific ideas to updates in our favourite CAD software.

The latter, especially, can come handy in keeping up to date with all the possibilities CAD offers us. The features are pretty much endless and someone’s help can not be discarded in pinpointing the most useful additions in functionality.

Interesting Engineering

One of the most popular engineering websites out there. Their Facebook page has over 10.5M followers. So what’s the buzz about?

Interesting Engineering shares a lot of content which makes for a great mix of serious engineering news, speculative pieces about the future of technology and just captivating and funny videos.

Although the topics vary quite widely and sometimes step outside the technology territory, all the pieces here are suitable for the engineering mind in one way or another.

All3DP

All3DP website

So here’s a news site that has its focus on 3D printing. Mechanical engineers should all be aware by now that 3D printing is not only for prototyping but a way to produce machinery parts.

Getting up to speed with the technology and possibilities is made easier by websites like this.

From endless possibilities of 3D printing to actual guides, you can find anything there. Just take your time to look around and avoid getting overwhelmed by the massive amount of information.

As you can probably notice, there is also a “get it 3D printed” button on the upper right corner. This directs you to a similar system to Fractory’s online metal fabrication platform, only for 3D printing. So get learning and you may well bring your ideas to life with their help.

Forums

Here we present you the different hubs or online meeting places for engineers.

Best online forums for mechanical engineers:

  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Eng-Tips

Quora

Mechanical Engineering at Quora

Everybody can create a user for free and start asking questions. The platform is really popular and includes various topics, including mechanical engineering.

One of the beautiful features of it is the possibility to ask a question and request an answer from people with a relevant background. Quora users include many high-profile engineers from all sides of the industry. From CEOs to workshop engineers, the list is endless.

This also brings about a variety of answers that can aid you without the needless filter of too strictly formulated answers. A simple and straightforward answer is often times better than a deep analysis, even though the latter probably lies beneath it.

Reddit

They call themselves as the front page of the Internet. And that’s even not that unsubstantiated. The forum has a huge followership, divided into a plethora of sub-reddits. One of them being Mechanical Engineer.

People share their projects and thoughts on different matters regarding engineering. Asking questions is welcome. And whenever you manage to pose your question in an interesting way, it will get an answer.

The difference between Quora and Reddit is that the latter is totally anonymous, with everyone able to choose a user name to their own liking. This may open up the doors to share a little more insights that they might not be able to do under their own name. But also a little more memes and jokes.

Eng-Tips

Eng-tips forum

If you are Googling a question related to any engineering topic, there is a good chance that this old-school forum pops up.

The reason lies with the vast amount of topics covered in the forum. And as you can see from the image above, it is still active.

Engineers from various fields come together to discuss the many problems one could face in the discipline. Whether it is fluid dynamics, HVAC systems or material science you have a question about, this place is worth a try.

And just going through the different sections could be a great way to spend your evening, if you want to learn more. These are all real-life problems people are looking solutions to. Even if you won’t meet the same problem (although the chances are good for this happening), having extensive knowledge about different workarounds and solutions can often come in handy in a totally different situation.

Conclusion

The online sources for engineers are seemingly endless. There are many more sites that offer free courses, tutorials and news. Still, many of these sites do not have a narrow focus on engineering but rather cover all technology-related topics.

This can become a little overwhelming, so we decided to keep to the point. If we missed a really good source, please bring our attention to it, so we can add it to the list!

Let us ease your workload! Online sheet metal fabrication gives you an instant price. Order your parts from a network of certified manufacturers across the UK. No user fees.
Get an instant quote