how do engineers create new machines that couldn’t be done before? How do they discover or come up with new technologies?

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how do engineers create new machines that couldn’t be done before? How do they discover or come up with new technologies?

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18 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Short answer: Countless hours of relentless study.

They also build on each other’s work.
It took a bunch of hard work and genius for the steam engine to be invented, but once it existed a bunch of people created machines powered by a steam engine.

When electricity was discovered, people started working on ways to harness it’s power. Once they figured that out, they started working on ways to store it (batteries), and generate it. With electricity, computers became possible. With computers, more complex math became possible. With more complex math, better computers became possible. It keeps going.

It’s the same as a child learning math. They first need to learn to count before they can add, and they keep building on the skills.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Generally speaking, engineers operate by systematically describing a problem, the solutions’s requirements, and those requirements’ requirements until they get low enough level that they can identify a solution to a specific requirement, and then work back up to a solution.

Occasionally, an engineer will realize a better means of achieving some requirement or bypassing some problem and create a new solution based on their knowledge of science and math.

There can also be a large amount of Trial and Error involved as unexpected problems are revealed.

That’s as much as I can say without a specific example.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are basically two ways inventions are done. The first is that the engineer has a problem that he wants to solve, for example, he knows how to weave by hand, but could he make a machine to do it?

The second is noticing something while working on a completely different thing but noticing that something can be used to solve another problem, for instance he is working with radiation and discovers that if he sends radiation through his hand to a foto negative, his bones block most of the radiation and he can “see” through his hand

Anonymous 0 Comments

Generally speaking, engineers operate by systematically describing a problem, the solutions’s requirements, and those requirements’ requirements until they get low enough level that they can identify a solution to a specific requirement, and then work back up to a solution.

Occasionally, an engineer will realize a better means of achieving some requirement or bypassing some problem and create a new solution based on their knowledge of science and math.

There can also be a large amount of Trial and Error involved as unexpected problems are revealed.

That’s as much as I can say without a specific example.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Generally speaking, engineers operate by systematically describing a problem, the solutions’s requirements, and those requirements’ requirements until they get low enough level that they can identify a solution to a specific requirement, and then work back up to a solution.

Occasionally, an engineer will realize a better means of achieving some requirement or bypassing some problem and create a new solution based on their knowledge of science and math.

There can also be a large amount of Trial and Error involved as unexpected problems are revealed.

That’s as much as I can say without a specific example.

Anonymous 0 Comments

One factor is technologies are interdependent.

Horse riding wasn’t invented before horse breeding because riding a horse that is pony size into a battle was just ridiculous. And horse breeding was slown down by the low horse request of the era.

Wheelbarrows are pretty simple, but if you have no roads, they are useless. And to make a road you need road tech and so on, and a reason to make a road.

Civil drones are a very recent thing, not because sticking 4 fans to a light body was any difficult. Battery weight, electric motor digital control, and optical gyroscope weren’t there before. In year 2000 the same drone electronics would have been a good 5 kg in weight and 50k or more dollars worth. And good luck fly that with a lead battery. If you tried that back then you would have been described as a lunatic.

So the main duty of an engineer that invents something is basically do 2+2 when finally there are enough tech bits to make a concept work. He concept itself may be there and proved failed for a long time.

There are countless failed invention that re-emerged once the accessory tech bits were ready. Take DaVinci works, he basically wrote an enciclopedia of things that couldn’t ever work at that time but they were all pretty good ideas.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The short answer- We really don’t.

What seems like a giant leap is actually a collection of a lot of small steps by many different people taken towards a common goal.

99% of the work is the integration of many different ideas, not the ideas themselves. We don’t “come up” with new technology as much as we assemble it out of the amalgamation of small ideas we and the team we work with have picked up along the way.

Every once in a while you get a cool “A Ha!” moment, but those are a small cherry on top of a big Sundae.

Most of the cutting edge ideas come from academia and R&D. Our job is mostly to put them to good use.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are basically two ways inventions are done. The first is that the engineer has a problem that he wants to solve, for example, he knows how to weave by hand, but could he make a machine to do it?

The second is noticing something while working on a completely different thing but noticing that something can be used to solve another problem, for instance he is working with radiation and discovers that if he sends radiation through his hand to a foto negative, his bones block most of the radiation and he can “see” through his hand

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are basically two ways inventions are done. The first is that the engineer has a problem that he wants to solve, for example, he knows how to weave by hand, but could he make a machine to do it?

The second is noticing something while working on a completely different thing but noticing that something can be used to solve another problem, for instance he is working with radiation and discovers that if he sends radiation through his hand to a foto negative, his bones block most of the radiation and he can “see” through his hand

Anonymous 0 Comments

Short answer: Countless hours of relentless study.

They also build on each other’s work.
It took a bunch of hard work and genius for the steam engine to be invented, but once it existed a bunch of people created machines powered by a steam engine.

When electricity was discovered, people started working on ways to harness it’s power. Once they figured that out, they started working on ways to store it (batteries), and generate it. With electricity, computers became possible. With computers, more complex math became possible. With more complex math, better computers became possible. It keeps going.

It’s the same as a child learning math. They first need to learn to count before they can add, and they keep building on the skills.