Being an engineering consultant is a job that many of us perform with passion. We do it because we like the new challenges and problems that every project brings. As engineers, we thrive on the constant process of learning and improving, and we pride ourselves on bringing excellent results to our customers.
Part of this continuous improvement is the search for the best tools to get the job done and deliver professional engineering consulting services. We always need to be getting faster, more productive, and more precise—and our tools play a central role in the fulfillment of this goal. Just take a look at the overall history of engineering; it is clear to see how advancements in technology have impacted the development of the discipline.
In the past, engineering was carried out by hand: hand calculations, handmade drawings, and hand-built prototypes to test and develop products. Those were the best tools available at that time, and engineers had to make the most of them. And they certainly did, as many great technological advancements were achieved with what we would now consider primitive tools
However, with the advent of the computer age, engineering tools have been revolutionized. Engineers can run complex and extensive calculations in a fast and reliable manner. Numerical methods for analysis and simulation suddenly became much more practical. Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) unleashed a whole new way of planning, sketching, and testing for product development: computer drawings, three-dimensional models, movement simulation, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and dynamical systems simulations opened up a whole new set of capabilities for engineering consultants.
Now we are witnessing the next step in this process of software evolution: cloud computing. Software tools for engineering are beginning to operate online. It began with the Google Docs suite of reports and spreadsheets. Sharing, concurrent collaboration, and instant, omnipresent access to our files have all changed the way many of us work. The same benefits are being inherited by more specialized tools. For example, Onshape for 3D CAD and drawings, and SimScale for numerical simulations.
SimScale offers many benefits over desktop-based simulation software: larger computing power, no installation and configuration hassles, access from everywhere, data storage security, continuous updates without additional costs, and much more. But what are the benefits of cloud-based tools such as SimScale for an engineering consultant?