Product designer, Industrial designers all would agree that designing a machine is the first and the most crucial stage of production. Designing is a complex process which includes
machine design research
machine design and drawing
machine design calculations
machine design testing
and much more.

Design of a machine decides whether the machine would be succesful or a failure. Designing a machine can be building a machine from scratch or upgrading the existing ones. So let's check out what it takes to design a succesful machine.

A machine is something which reduces human efforts. Due to rapid development in the industry machines too have to keep up with it. So, new machines are introduced or the existing ones are modified.

Designing a machine is not a child's play. It takes an engineer years to master his skills, so much so that he could say what size of part would be required for a given situation along with its specifications without any calculations. This is due to his experience.

Points to keep in mind while designing a machine

1. Purpose:

Before designing first you need to ask these questions to yourself , For what purpose are you going to create the machine? What is the need of the machine? What problem is the machine going to solve? After you have answered these questions then move forward to the second step. After all you must get the machine design basics right, isn't it?

2. Creating or upgrading :

Are you going to create a machine from scratch or would modify an existing machine? You must decide whether you must create a machine or modify an existing one and which method would be more efficient.

3. Rough view:

Now that you have decided your machine, draw a rough view of your machine with the parts required and materials, just to know that you are heading in the right direction and to get a rough idea of your machine.

4. Static calculations :

You need to find out how much load and stress your machine is subjected to, when it is at rest condition.

5. Dynamic calculations:

Now when your machine is in working condition what kind of forces would it be subjected to (Compression, tension, torsion or bending stresses.) you need to find out about these.

6. Kinematics :

Well done, you made it till here. Now learn about your machine ie. get to know about its kinematics. Learn about which member of the machine is subjected to what kind of motion. Whether is it linear, rotary, reciprocating, oscillating etc.

material selection

7. Materials :

So you have done the theoretical part. Now let's talk practical, shall we? After doing the calculations you would require to select the best available material for your machine. The material must be chosen only after confirming it's physical, chemical, electrical, production and economical aspects. This material must be capable to withstand the above calculated load. Commonly used materials in product designing are Steels, Cast Iron, Aluminium and its alloys etc.

8. Friction:

In engineering the friction is called as the "Necessary Evil" It is needed and also not. Do ensure that in your machine friction is optimum. Or else it would cost in the long run.

9. Components of machine :

You must decide whether you are going to use standard parts or specially made custom parts for your machine. The custom made parts are not easy to replace along with being expensive. On the other hand standard parts are freely available and are economical.


Your machine must be economical to produce, operate and maintain. An economical machine would increase sales thus making profit.


11. Proper design:

Now you can create a proper drawing of your machine with full details. Make use of softwares available to bring your design to life. Softwares such as Solid works, Auto cad illustrator, Ansys etc are very popular in the design field.

Check out the best engineering softwares list :

12. Type of production:

You must choose the way your machine should be porduced.Whether it must be casted, welded , handmade, extruded or made by a CNC. Also what type of tools are required? what process the parts must go through? All these questions must be answered. Also you must select the an economical method using tools which are readily available in the market.

13. Safety:

One of the most important aspect is safety. Ensure that your machine is safe to operate not only for humans but also for the environment.Also make sure your product is upto the industry standards.

14. Prototype :

Well done you have made this so far! So go on and build a prototype and start testing it extensively. If successful then go further or else go back to the desk and figure out a new way.

15. Manufacturing:

Decide whether you want to go for mass production or small scale and make the decision accordingly. This is how a machine is designed in simple words.

I hope this article would have given you an idea on how to design a machine.

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