Entertainment engineering: Wikis

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Entertainment engineering is an engineering discipline that involves the application of traditional engineering programs such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and structural engineering to create the highly technical designs that the entertainment industry has come to demand.

It involves the use of equipment from many industries to create highly specialized devices for the entertainment industry.

Contents

Education

Currently, the only university offering a degree specifically in Entertainment Engineering and Design (EED) is the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Because UNLV's program is in its infancy, current entertainment engineers come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, the most prevalent of which are theater and mechanical engineering. Several other institutions of higher education offer similar programs for entertainment related ventures.

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License

Engineers may seek license by a state, provincial, or national government. The purpose of this process is to ensure that engineers possess the necessary technical knowledge, real-world experience, and knowledge of the local legal system to practice engineering at a professional level. Once certified, the engineer is given the title of Professional Engineer (in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh and South Africa), Chartered Engineer (in the UK, Ireland, India and Zimbabwe), Chartered Professional Engineer (in Australia and New Zealand) or European Engineer (much of the European Union). Not all mechanical engineers choose to become licensed; those that do can be distinguished as Chartered or Professional Engineers by the post-nominal title P.E., P. Eng., or C.Eng., as in: John Doe, P.Eng.

In the U.S., to become a licensed Professional Engineer, an engineer must pass the comprehensive FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam, work a given number of years as an Engineering Intern (EI) or Engineer-in-Training (EIT), and finally pass the "Principles and Practice" or PE (Practicing Engineer or Professional Engineer) exams.

In the United States, the requirements and steps of this process are set forth by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), a national non-profit representing all states. In the UK, current graduates require a BEng plus an appropriate masters degree or an integrated MEng degree plus a minimum of 4 years post graduate on the job competency development in order to become chartered through the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

In most modern countries, certain engineering tasks, such as the design of bridges, electric power plants, and chemical plants, must be approved by a Professional Engineer or a Chartered Engineer. "Only a licensed engineer, for instance, may prepare, sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or to seal engineering work for public and private clients."[1] This requirement can be written into state and provincial legislation, such as Quebec's Engineer Act.[2] In other countries, such as Australia, no such legislation exists; however, practically all certifying bodies maintain a code of ethics independent of legislation that they expect all members to abide by or risk expulsion.[3]

Modern tools

Many mechanical engineering companies, especially those in industrialized nations, have begun to incorporate computer-aided engineering (CAE) programs into their existing design and analysis processes, including 2D and 3D solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD). This method has many benefits, including easier and more exhaustive visualization of products, the ability to create virtual assemblies of parts, and the ease of use in designing mating interfaces and tolerances.

Other CAE programs commonly used by mechanical engineers include product lifecycle management (PLM) tools and analysis tools used to perform complex simulations. Analysis tools may be used to predict product response to expected loads, including fatigue life and manufacturability. These tools include finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).

Using CAE programs, a mechanical design team can quickly and cheaply iterate the design process to develop a product that better meets cost, performance, and other constraints. No physical prototype need be created until the design nears completion, allowing hundreds or thousands of designs to be evaluated, instead of a relative few. In addition, CAE analysis programs can model complicated physical phenomena which cannot be solved by hand, such as viscoelasticity, complex contact between mating parts, or non-Newtonian flows

As mechanical engineering begins to merge with other disciplines, as seen in mechatronics, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) is being used with other CAE programs to automate and improve the iterative design process. MDO tools wrap around existing CAE processes, allowing product evaluation to continue even after the analyst goes home for the day. They also utilize sophisticated optimization algorithms to more intelligently explore possible designs, often finding better, innovative solutions to difficult multidisciplinary design problems.

Mechanics

Mohr's circle, a common tool to study stresses in a mechanical element

Mechanics is, in the most general sense, the study of forces and their effect upon matter. Typically, engineering mechanics is used to analyze and predict the acceleration and deformation (both elastic and plastic) of objects under known forces (also called loads) or stresses. Subdisciplines of mechanics include

Mechanical engineers typically use mechanics in the design or analysis phases of engineering. If the engineering project were the design of a vehicle, statics might be employed to design the frame of the vehicle, in order to evaluate where the stresses will be most intense. Dynamics might be used when designing the car's engine, to evaluate the forces in the pistons and cams as the engine cycles. Mechanics of materials might be used to choose appropriate materials for the frame and engine. Fluid mechanics might be used to design a ventilation system for the vehicle (see HVAC), or to design the intake system for the engine.

Kinematics

Kinematics is the study of the motion of bodies (objects) and systems (groups of objects), while ignoring the forces that cause the motion. The movement of a crane and the oscillations of a piston in an engine are both simple kinematic systems. The crane is a type of open kinematic chain, while the piston is part of a closed four-bar linkage.

Mechanical engineers typically use kinematics in the design and analysis of mechanisms. Kinematics can be used to find the possible range of motion for a given mechanism, or, working in reverse, can be used to design a mechanism that has a desired range of motion.

Mechatronics and robotics

Training FMS with learning robot SCORBOT-ER 4u, workbench CNC Mill and CNC Lathe

Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary branch of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and software engineering that is concerned with integrating electrical and mechanical engineering to create hybrid systems. In this way, machines can be automated through the use of electric motors, servo-mechanisms, and other electrical systems in conjunction with special software. A common example of a mechatronics system is a CD-ROM drive. Mechanical systems open and close the drive, spin the CD and move the laser, while an optical system reads the data on the CD and converts it to bits. Integrated software controls the process and communicates the contents of the CD to the computer.

Robotics is the application of mechatronics to create robots, which are often used in industry to perform tasks that are dangerous, unpleasant, or repetitive. These robots may be of any shape and size, but all are preprogrammed and interact physically with the world. To create a robot, an engineer typically employs kinematics (to determine the robot's range of motion) and mechanics (to determine the stresses within the robot).

Robots are used extensively in industrial engineering. They allow businesses to save money on labor, perform tasks that are either too dangerous or too precise for humans to perform them economically, and to insure better quality. Many companies employ assembly lines of robots, and some factories are so robotized that they can run by themselves. Outside the factory, robots have been employed in bomb disposal, space exploration, and many other fields. Robots are also sold for various residential applications.

Structural analysis

Structural analysis is the branch of mechanical engineering (and also civil engineering) devoted to examining why and how objects fail. Structural failures occur in two general modes: static failure, and fatigue failure. Static structural failure occurs when, upon being loaded (having a force applied) the object being analyzed either breaks or is deformed plastically, depending on the criterion for failure. Fatigue failure occurs when an object fails after a number of repeated loading and unloading cycles. Fatigue failure occurs because of imperfections in the object: a microscopic crack on the surface of the object, for instance, will grow slightly with each cycle (propagation) until the crack is large enough to cause ultimate failure.

Failure is not simply defined as when a part breaks, however; it is defined as when a part does not operate as intended. Some systems, such as the perforated top sections of some plastic bags, are designed to break. If these systems do not break, failure analysis might be employed to determine the cause.

Structural analysis is often used by mechanical engineers after a failure has occurred, or when designing to prevent failure. Engineers often use online documents and books such as those published by ASM[5] to aid them in determining the type of failure and possible causes.

Structural analysis may be used in the office when designing parts, in the field to analyze failed parts, or in laboratories where parts might undergo controlled failure tests.

Related fields

Like manufacturing engineering and aerospace engineering, entertainment engineering and design are typically grouped with mechanical engineering. A bachelor's degree in these areas will typically have a difference of only a few specialized classes.

External links

http://www.entertainmentengineering.com

  1. ^ "Why Get Licensed?". National Society of Professional Engineers. http://www.nspe.org/Licensure/WhyGetLicensed/index.html. Retrieved May 6, 2008.  
  2. ^ "Engineers Act". Quebec Statutes and Regulations (CanLII). http://www.canlii.org/qc/laws/sta/i-9/20050616/whole.html. Retrieved July 24, 2005.  
  3. ^ "Codes of Ethics and Conduct". Online Ethics Center. http://onlineethics.org/codes/. Retrieved July 24, 2005.  
  4. ^ Note: fluid mechanics can be further split into fluid statics and fluid dynamics, and is itself a subdiscipline of continuum mechanics. The application of fluid mechanics in engineering is called hydraulics and pneumatics.
  5. ^ ASM International's site containing more than 20,000 searchable documents, including articles from the ASM Handbook series and Advanced Materials & Processes

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