Product Design Shorts: Salaries are up rendering is hotter and more

Written by: Cat McClintock

A batch of fresh product design stories, just for you…

Mechanical Engineers 2016: More Money…and Years

Machine Design magazine published its annual salary and career report for mechanical engineers and found that the community (56.6% of you) expected their salary to go up in 2016. And, you’re getting older, while younger engineers are getting hard to find. In the past five years of the survey, the percentage of new engineers decreased, while ages 55 and older have increased from 45% in 2012 to 59% in 2016.

So, who are you exactly, and what do you do all day? According to the survey, the majority of respondents are white males and age 50 and older. A little more than half work as design and development engineers. And the average salary for engineers this year? Almost three figures at $99,933.

As for the future, survey participants noted that roles are changing with new technology. “The lines are currently blurring between mechanical and electrical engineer,” wrote one respondent. “It is becoming important to have a basic understanding of the limitations of control systems and their impact on the mechanical systems being designed.”

To download the report, go here.

3D Printing in the Fight Against…Snoring?

There’s nothing worse than lying wide awake at night while your partner deep sleeps and snores the night away. (OK, we can think of worse things, like Friday night design changes.) Anyhow, CPAP breathing masks can help alleviate the snoring and possibly save lives for those suffering from sleep apnea. The masks? Not super comfortable. But now, 3D printing is making it easy for sufferers to wear – because it’s tailor-made to match a wearer’s face.

3D printing helps create a three-dimensional object from a digital design, while “special machines use liquid silicone ink to create a physical object in layers to the precise dimensions of the image.”

The masks are being used as a trial at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, while “20 patients with sleep apnea will have 3D pictures taken of their faces using special cameras – a process that takes five minutes.” The pictures are sent to the 3D printer to make the mask that fits an individual’s facial contours. Though it’s a pilot program, we hope the research will make it personalized and more comfortable for those suffering. 3D printing for the win (again).

Creo 4.0 Advanced Rendering Powered by Keyshot

Luxion, a leading developer of advanced rendering and lighting technology and maker of KeyShot  announced that the advanced rendering capabilities within PTC’s Creo® 4.0 software will be powered by Luxion’s KeyShot render technology.

Through the real-time render view, users can now:

  • Apply physically accurate materials to parts and see the changes instantly.
  • Apply textures and labels to parts quickly and easily.
  • Apply environment lighting to view models in real-world lighting conditions.
  • Set up unlimited camera views to quickly create a range of product shots.
  • Continue design and geometry changes while viewing models with materials and lighting applied.
  • Continue working on designs at a later date with materials and environment already defined.
  • Transfer the scenes to KeyShot and continue working with advanced tools to create images for web, sales and marketing.

“PTC has an incredible focus on delivering the best design software with the strongest capabilities to their customers,” say Claus Wann Jensen, CEO and co-founder at Luxion. “With our longstanding collaboration, Luxion is proud to be part of this focus, providing new capabilities to PTC Creo users in elevating the quality of their product visuals.”

New visualization capabilities in Creo 4 ARX support KeyShot materials and direct import to KeyShot. (Image courtesy

Project of the Week: Jet Engine

Speaking of Creo and Keyshot, Prabhu Manickam captured our attention and imaginations recently with designs he’s been sharing on the Creo LinkedIn Group page, including unmanned aerial drones and this jet engine:

Jet engine rendering designed in Creo

Jet engine by Prabhu Manickam, Project Scientist at National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore,

designed using Creo and Keyshot.

If you’re not a member of the group yet, click here to join. It’s a good way to keep up with our latest articles and news. And we always love to hear your thoughts and see what you’re working on.

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Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.