4 Fun Gifts for Mechanical Engineers
Mechanical engineers are tough to shop for, they have pride in their work and pride in their tools. If you purchase a tool for an engineer that is not exactly what he/she wanted, it will sit and collect dust. Below are some fun DIY (do it yourself) kits and projects that fit most mechanical engineering interests. Figure out a little bit about what he/she is interested in and then buy a kit – you may ignite an interest that had never been realized.
Looking for a gift for a welder? He/she may like these reference cards.
An ROV is a remotely operated vehicle. The term can be attributed to any land, air, or sea vehicle that is remotely controlled by a human operator or a remote computer.
The OpenROV project was started simply with the intention of exploring the ocean and finding likeminded hobbyists interested in building their own vehicles. The DIY OpenROV kit comes with all of the components needed to build a complete underwater ROV including the software package. Because it is open sourced, complete specifications of all components and software are available along with a community interested in helping people and learning from people interested in what they are interested in.
The product is expensive but may open a door for him/her to develop upon new skills and interests.
2. Electronic Prototyping Boards
As product development moves more towards electronic and software development, a general understanding of electronic prototyping should be in every engineer’s wheelhouse. An electronic prototyping board is a microprocessor board that can be used to build and control digital devices.
Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBoard are the 3 most popular open source or educational platforms. Each of the platforms offer similar products and have similar communities, but the individual boards vary widely. Some companies offer starter kits that include the board, an introductory book, and electronic components that can be used to create.
3. Model Rocket Kit
DIY model rocket kits have become more popular over the years. Building a rocket, calculating it’s trajectory, sending up payloads, designing for different solid fuel engines – it can be very exciting. Careful to not choose a children’s toy, and actually purchase a hobby rocket kit.
4. Drone/Quadcopter DIY Kit
Every popular interest with a community behind it has a DIY kit behind it and quadcopter drones are no different. Any engineer will find hours of fun with a flying quadcopter and even more with a DIY fully customizable drone.