The Department of Mechanical Engineering has a site licence for all the academic software that you will need as part of your degree, most of which you will be able to download to your own PC. Note that it is now certain that elements of the course will need to be delivered remotely; the department CAD labs have been repurposed to take into account social distancing requirements and will not be available - you will therefore need to purchase your own laptop. Please be aware that there are several key pieces of engineering software which are Windows only. Mac OS users will need a budget to include a virtual machine e.g. Parallels and a copy of Windows 10 (64-bit). A compatible tablet device with a stylus would also be useful but not essential. Note: A Chromebook will not be able to run the software required.
The following minimum laptop specifications should be borne in mind:
• Intel laptop i5 or i7 • 8Gb of RAM, preferably 16Gb • Hard Drive minimum 500 Gigabyte, preferably SSD • If possible; a dedicated graphics card for AutoCAD and Inventor Pro. • HDMI / DisplayPort adapter to connect to external monitors. • Mouse with central wheel.
Engineering Design underpins all our undergraduate engineering programmes and starts with a focus on visual communication through formal engineering drawings, isometric views and design concept sketches. Whilst not compulsory, you would be well advised to invest in the following:
• An A4 or A3 sketch pad – preferably A3 with a stiff back board; this can double as a design log book. • Pencil(s): Mechanical pencils of two different thicknesses; 0.5mm and 0.9mm and a softer lead (HB and 2B are useful). • Ruler: 300mm ruler (transparent). • Set squares and a Protractor: Both 30˚ and 45˚ will be needed (those found in school maths sets are generally too small – 200mm is ample). • Eraser and Erasing Shield: this will be very useful in helping you to modify areas of a detailed drawing by covering the lines you wish to retain so that you can easily erase only those you do not. • Compass / Circle / Ellipse templates: A proper technical drawing compass with a thumb wheel for circles (>25mm <150mm); Circle template for smaller circles (<25mm); and a 300 ellipse template for Isometrics will save a good deal of work.