General First-Time Inventor Question

I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. I am most interested in designing things in 3D in the computer. I have a bunch of experience in Pro/Engineer from schooling and a project I worked on last summer, and I'm looking to use SolidWorks really soon. Here's where I am: I'm actually a year out of school, and I haven't found any entry level engineering positions yet. I think it's because I have no official engineering experience, having gotten no internship directly related to engineering.

Right now I am considering developing an invention I have and helping others develop theirs. I want to design it in SolidWorks, and go about prototyping it at typical prototyping facilities. This way I can gain real-world design experience so when I get an interview, I can say "yeah I've done this before". However, I'm curious: how far can I go legally with outputting technical drawings and commissioning prototypes or production models if I'm not a certified Mechanical Engineer? I am an Engineer-in-Training (I passed the FE Exam and got my certificate). At what point must I consult an certified engineer? I assume I could prototype it on my own (proof of concept), then if I want to sell it, I'd need someone to certify it for safety and regulations? I know it's a general question but any kind of guidance would help.

Thanks for your help!

P.S. This is a great site, and I'm excited to explore and contribute to it!

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1 Answer

Hi there Glenn,

You don't need to be a certified mechanical engineer to create a prototype. Creating a prototype is something that anyone can do even a 6 years old child. If a company is interested in buying your prototype it's up to them to take that prototype to the next level and if they want to consult a certified engineer or agency it's up to them. Therefore you don't need to consult someone who's certified in mechanical engineering.

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