Online manufacturing platform Fictiv released its second-annual State of Hardware report. The report is a snapshot of the goals and challenges engineers face in product design and development. The 2017 report surveyed more than 340 engineers and designers.
Most respondents were white males between the ages of 21 and 29. Mechanical Engineers made up the majority at 28%, with engineers collectively representing 80% of all responders. Most respondents live in the U.S., with some living in Canada and Germany. The major markets the responders design for are the consumer electronics market, medical, and industrial automation.
The responses show that in addition to CNC machining, SLA 3D printing and laser cutting make the top 3 prototyping tools used by the respondents.
For software tools, Solidworks is the most popular CAD program.
Nearly one-quarter of all respondents earn from $50,000 – $75,000. Mechanical Engineers, R&D Engineers, Electrical Engineers, and Product Designers gravitate towards the top of the income bracket, while Manufacturing Engineers, Project Engineers, and Industrial Designers largely make less than $75k. The results showed that having a Graduate Degree provides a higher ceiling of income; it is possible to only complete some college and still get paid more than having a Bachelor’s or Associate degree.
When it comes to working with a contract manufacturing partner, the following qualities are deemed most important:
1. quality standards
3. relevant/quality on previous projects
4. core capabilities.
Of course, one of the major challenges for the respondents was time management, particularly completing projects in the time allotted.
The 20-page report is available as a downloadable PDF on the Fictiv blog .