Custom Machines Blog

10 Traits of a Custom Machine Engineer

Custom-machine-blog-picMany people have great ideas, few take the necessary steps to put them into action. What if the person with the great idea doesn’t have the resources to make it a reality?? Should they just give up on their idea?  No! They should find a prototype machine developer to help make it a reality. Experienced design/build engineers are the “inventors” of the engineering world and they love to partner with people who have great ideas to produce tangible proof-of-concept machines.

Inventors Digest postulates that there are 10 common traits all inventors share. How do these traits apply to prototype machine engineers?

  1. 1. Persistence: custom machines go through many different conceptual ideas. Throughout the project constant tweaks and adjustments are necessary to achieve success.
  2. 2. Passion and intellectual curiosity:  A prototype engineer who is only there for the paycheck is not the right fit for your project. You want someone who will pour themselves into the project and take ownership of it. Great design/build engineers are not satisfied with the status-quo.
  3. 3. Independent minded, willingness to go against the grain: A custom machine developer needs to ask challenging questions to vet out all possible scenarios. The experience they bring to the table should allow them to respectfully challenge assumptions and determine the best course of action.
  4. 4. Ability to recognize and combine patterns into new ideas: Machines are invented to solve common problems in a new way. Machine designers must draw on their experience of mechanism and automation and combine it with your perspective on the problem that needs to be solved. In combination, a new solution will come to fruition.  
  5. 5. Intuitive yet analytical with an ability to understand and interpret business data: Not only does the machine have to make sense from a technical standpoint, it has to make sense financially. Good custom prototype developers can understand the financial implications of a project.
  6. 6. Ability to ‘sell’ ideas and concepts: Many times, these concept machines need investor backing. Custom machine engineers should have the ability to clearly communicate the value proposition of their design and be willing to help you win that investment
  7. 7. Focused on the future: Understanding the end-game and the future potential of an idea is critical to staying motivated throughout the life of the project. “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” –Nikola Tesla
  8. 8. Ability to draw on wide networks for perspective, advice and accomplishing tasks: The moment you think you have it “all figured out” you have failed. The best machine designers treat their clients like partners, and seek to find knowledge through both networks.
  9. 9. Tolerance for risk and ambiguity: There is no place for fear of the unknown when you are trying to make something out of nothing. Designing a custom machine from scratch is a calculated risk that is attempting to replace ambiguity with a tangible solution.
  10. thomas-edison10. Willingness to fail and learn from failure: Machine development is a process that will go through much iteration and a few false starts. Machine builders know this and good ones will use the process to constantly improve the machine design.  The greatest inventor of all time said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  -Thomas Edison


To learn more about custom prototype machine design visit EPIC’s custom machine engineers are leading the way in prototype design, taking your idea to a fully operational machine.

3 Responses to 10 Traits of a Custom Machine Engineer

  1. Ashley Mensing August 29, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    This is a great list, and I can see how each trait plays a roll. Taking an idea and turning it into reality is not an easy feat.

  2. Amy Rannebarger October 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Great quote from Mr Edison! He would certainly know all about giving “it” one more try. This list is impressive, and examples of what I have seen in the talented engineers here at EPIC. They make that inventor philosophy look easy…

  3. Brandon Roberts May 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    I am looking to hire a custom machining engineer, but I do not know exactly what make someone good in this profession. These 10 tips, like having a tolerance for risk, and being focused on the future, are really important to me. So thanks for talking about this. It was a big help.

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