What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

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False Prophet
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What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by False Prophet » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:06 am

I wonder what kind of discipline are taught to a mecha engineer in college if that thing ever exist? I even have no idea what my car mechanic has learnt before he could work on my car, or what kind of qualification you needs to be able to maintain a tank or jet fighter. It really put into perspective how good with machine were Amuro and Kamille.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:05 am

False Prophet wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:06 am
I wonder what kind of discipline are taught to a mecha engineer in college if that thing ever exist? I even have no idea what my car mechanic has learnt before he could work on my car, or what kind of qualification you needs to be able to maintain a tank or jet fighter. It really put into perspective how good with machine were Amuro and Kamille.
Likely multiple discipline can enter the job with training.
Taking current aeroplane industry as an example, Mechanical engineers and Aerospace engineers can get into the job without much trouble.(Considering Aerospace engineering isn't even available in some places, for example Universities in Hong Kong does not offer such course but they still need many people who can fix planes)
If you are talking about designing a mecha, then you need lots of disciplines of engineers to do so, I was involved in building a satellite when I was studying Mechanical engineering and the team including people from Aerospace, Material, Computer, Electrical, Chemical, etc. And that is only a $20~40k project with a Micro satellite.(a launch size smaller or equal to a 45cm cube)

For designing a mecha for mass production, you'd always want at least one Mechanical engineer in the team with so many moving parts involved, Material engineer is required with all those material science, Electrical engineer is required for all those electrical systems, Computer engineer for the control systems. You may get away with just an EE and ditch the Comp.E, but I doubt you can have just one. You may also want a Civil Engineer as the project is getting quite big and even the building to hold the mecha will require one. Aerospace engineer if it will ever fly or maybe just dropped from a plane.(seriously) Chemical engineer if you have some sort of Chemical exchange in your mecha like fuel battery or rockets. Software engineer for the control interface.
However, since the main fields of engineering consists of many overlapping topics, you can always make do with less of them, to a certain point. Say, If you point a gun at me and force me to work as a Mechanical engineer to design a mecha without any other engineers in the team and give me enough of a budget and time to do it, I can plausibly(but unlikely) deliver something that works, but the control system will be minimalist and likely everything will be a mess and very inefficient, and you won't be able to have a lot of say in it because I do not know the more advance methods of doing things out of my field.(i.e. I can only buy an off the shelf camera instead of designing my own) You may get lucky if you forced someone in the Robotics field to do so, but once it gets big and complicated, you'd want more people in the team.
Both Amuro and Kamille isn't doing everything by themselves, they have a large team of engineers to support them off screen(working in Anaheim Electronics) they basically just worked on the overall design concept instead of the details. Kamille basically just worked on the transformation method for Zeta and Amuro almost only gave basic orders for Nu. Kamille's Junior MS is likely built from shelf parts instead of from scratch.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:27 am

False Prophet wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:06 am
I wonder what kind of discipline are taught to a mecha engineer in college if that thing ever exist? I even have no idea what my car mechanic has learnt before he could work on my car, or what kind of qualification you needs to be able to maintain a tank or jet fighter. It really put into perspective how good with machine were Amuro and Kamille.
Really, I think that's another one of those questions where the answer varies heavily depending on the series.

Five Star Stories, for instance, had technology so advanced that being a designer or maintenance engineer in high technology fields like mecha or bio-androids was considered a level of academic achievement far exceeding all conventional academic standing and bordering on being an omnidisciplinary scientist (and was implied to require an ancestry involving individuals genetically engineered for super-intelligence).

Star Trek, for another, is one where even the guy whose job it is to repair the toilets has the technical training and expertise to work on everything from children's toys to weapons of mass destruction. (There's a literal instance of that in DS9, where a technician who literally worked on toilets for a living designed a self-replicating minefield to foil an alien invasion.)

More typically in anime, the maintenance crews working on giant robots are depicted as ordinary mechanics. Being trained and certified as a mechanic to work on aircraft or heavy machinery can take anywhere from 2-5 years, with specialty areas outside of general maintenance adding more time. As complex as giant robots are, I suspect a lot of the mechanics seen onscreen are general maintenance personnel and that a lot of what they actually do is done in a similar manner to auto mechanics. Namely, that they're rated to do standard maintenance and parts replacements, but any module-level fault results in the wholesale replacement of the module rather than an attempt to repair it, and any particularly complex repairs (e.g. anything that'd require disassembling the engine, transmission, or other high-complexity system) are farmed out to an in-house specialist.
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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:57 pm

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:27 am
More typically in anime, the maintenance crews working on giant robots are depicted as ordinary mechanics. Being trained and certified as a mechanic to work on aircraft or heavy machinery can take anywhere from 2-5 years, with specialty areas outside of general maintenance adding more time. As complex as giant robots are, I suspect a lot of the mechanics seen onscreen are general maintenance personnel and that a lot of what they actually do is done in a similar manner to auto mechanics. Namely, that they're rated to do standard maintenance and parts replacements, but any module-level fault results in the wholesale replacement of the module rather than an attempt to repair it, and any particularly complex repairs (e.g. anything that'd require disassembling the engine, transmission, or other high-complexity system) are farmed out to an in-house specialist.
I'd imagine at their tech level, given raw material, most of the motherships should be able to chuck out parts for repairs to a certain degree, at least for the simple parts like armour platings. However, multiple instances and variants showed that they likely cannot, thus we see Zaku with GM shields and Gundam with Zaku armour plating strapped to its chest.(The Ez8's breast plate is supposed to be a repurposed enemy armour plating picked from the fields cut to fit, I guess this is as close to chucking out parts as it can get in OYW?)

For regular mechanics on screen, it seems like they can handle most of the mechanical parts sans the generator and beam weapons. For special engineering teams, like in 0083, the AE engineers seems to be able to handle almost everything unless they run out of material or someone designed new upgrades.

Also, as explosive as the generators and thrusters get in UC, I guess they really don't need to have any requirement for repairing them from war damage, a slight damage means the MS won't be coming back.(Burning's GM Custom?) But at least they should be able to do basic maintenance on those things, like disassembling them for cleaning and change of parts, which I'd imagine modern Aircraft carrier mechanics can do to the fighters onboard?

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:04 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:57 pm
I'd imagine at their tech level, given raw material, most of the motherships should be able to chuck out parts for repairs to a certain degree, at least for the simple parts like armour platings.
All but the smallest real world warships have machine shops that allow them to fabricate parts for basic repair and battle damage mitigation, but it's nothing complex. They're not set up to manufacture aircraft parts or anything of that sort. It's mostly for the little, incidental stuff like repairing or replacing broken fixtures and cutting plates for patching over minor damage. Anything major, it's going to come from stocks of replacement parts carried as cargo aboard ship or aboard one of the ship's support tenders.

I'd expect that warships in Gundam to have support facilities along similar lines... meant to rig running repair or handle incidental damages, but not manufacture replacement parts for mecha on any kind of scale.

It's fairly rare for a ship in a mecha anime to explicitly have the kind of manufacturing capacity needed to custom fabricate complex replacement parts for mecha like that. Macross is one of the few where that capability is established to exist, though only on the largest ships like the Macross-class, Battle-class, and emigrant ships meant to spend decades out in interstellar space away from port. (The SDF-1 Macross built at least 61 Destroids from spare parts and custom-fabricated parts in its onboard factory during the First Space War, and in a few of its alternate story variants it did a lot more than that like creating new VF-1 variants or building alternate FAST Pack designs.)


MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:57 pm
However, multiple instances and variants showed that they likely cannot, thus we see Zaku with GM shields and Gundam with Zaku armour plating strapped to its chest.(The Ez8's breast plate is supposed to be a repurposed enemy armour plating picked from the fields cut to fit, I guess this is as close to chucking out parts as it can get in OYW?)
Yeah, with UC Gundam's "15 minutes into the future" sort of tech level, it's unsurprising that they don't have the manufacturing capacity to build replacement mecha parts on ship. The kind of repairs we see on the Ez8 and Karen's GM Head RX-79G are exactly the sort of improvised battlefield repairs you'd expect to see realistically.


MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:57 pm
For regular mechanics on screen, it seems like they can handle most of the mechanical parts sans the generator and beam weapons. For special engineering teams, like in 0083, the AE engineers seems to be able to handle almost everything unless they run out of material or someone designed new upgrades.
Realistically, I'd expect the regular mechanics seen onscreen to be qualified for basic repairs and maintenance and not much else. Y'know, your standard mechanic triage of reading trouble codes from the diagnostic tool, handling parts swaps in the powertrain, flashing fresh software, and refueling, but not much else. Stuff like reactor repair and maintenance, sensor repair and maintenance, and weapons repair and maintenance would likely be given to a specialist team.


MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:57 pm
Also, as explosive as the generators and thrusters get in UC, I guess they really don't need to have any requirement for repairing them from war damage, a slight damage means the MS won't be coming back.(Burning's GM Custom?) But at least they should be able to do basic maintenance on those things, like disassembling them for cleaning and change of parts, which I'd imagine modern Aircraft carrier mechanics can do to the fighters onboard?
From what I've read, Minovsky reactors are sealed systems that are treated a lot like jet engines... you use it until it breaks down and then throw it away.
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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by False Prophet » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:17 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:05 am
Both Amuro and Kamille isn't doing everything by themselves, they have a large team of engineers to support them off screen(working in Anaheim Electronics) they basically just worked on the overall design concept instead of the details. Kamille basically just worked on the transformation method for Zeta and Amuro almost only gave basic orders for Nu. Kamille's Junior MS is likely built from shelf parts instead of from scratch.
Just the fact that Amuro could even survive his first fight right after reading a manual, or that Kamille knew the principles behind MS transformation at that age was impressive enough. I know that young people like these do exist and sometimes showed up in some kind international competitions, but finding them is kind seeking needle in the haystack.

That begs the question though: How much in common do the original Gundam and Gundam Mk-II's control interface have to your normal worker MS, so that a normal person with some experience could actually control a military vehicle? I suppose that there wasn't that much of a difference until the Zaku I.
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:04 pm
All but the smallest real world warships have machine shops that allow them to fabricate parts for basic repair and battle damage mitigation, but it's nothing complex. They're not set up to manufacture aircraft parts or anything of that sort. It's mostly for the little, incidental stuff like repairing or replacing broken fixtures and cutting plates for patching over minor damage. Anything major, it's going to come from stocks of replacement parts carried as cargo aboard ship or aboard one of the ship's support tenders.
You can actually find on-site repair shops pretty easy. Even the printing factory in my place have one. They used to work at melting down the lead to make letters, but nowadays the blacksmith just worked the forge a few times a year to keep a few old school drum-type printing press in action.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:04 pm
All but the smallest real world warships have machine shops that allow them to fabricate parts for basic repair and battle damage mitigation, but it's nothing complex. They're not set up to manufacture aircraft parts or anything of that sort. It's mostly for the little, incidental stuff like repairing or replacing broken fixtures and cutting plates for patching over minor damage. Anything major, it's going to come from stocks of replacement parts carried as cargo aboard ship or aboard one of the ship's support tenders.

I'd expect that warships in Gundam to have support facilities along similar lines... meant to rig running repair or handle incidental damages, but not manufacture replacement parts for mecha on any kind of scale.

It's fairly rare for a ship in a mecha anime to explicitly have the kind of manufacturing capacity needed to custom fabricate complex replacement parts for mecha like that. Macross is one of the few where that capability is established to exist, though only on the largest ships like the Macross-class, Battle-class, and emigrant ships meant to spend decades out in interstellar space away from port. (The SDF-1 Macross built at least 61 Destroids from spare parts and custom-fabricated parts in its onboard factory during the First Space War, and in a few of its alternate story variants it did a lot more than that like creating new VF-1 variants or building alternate FAST Pack designs.)
The only Gundam series that came to mind(which I completely forgot in the last post and only remembered it now) is Gundam AGE.
The ship has the ability not just chuck out repair parts, but create new parts like a 3D printer in the most unrealistic way.

What I had in mind, is more in line with modern CNCs, where you put in a chunk of metal(raw material) and it cuts out a part according to the blue print. Since the ships are so huge in most Gundam series, while carrying only a very small number of MS compared to modern Aircraft carriers, I'd imagine they can carry really big machines to manufacture parts out of it. Maybe not really complicated parts like the generator and beam weapons which likely required a lot of wiring, but at least for armour plating and basic frames, cutting of metal chunks should be relatively simple in their tech level. But it seems like they don't even have that kind of machining capability.

Yeah, with UC Gundam's "15 minutes into the future" sort of tech level, it's unsurprising that they don't have the manufacturing capacity to build replacement mecha parts on ship. The kind of repairs we see on the Ez8 and Karen's GM Head RX-79G are exactly the sort of improvised battlefield repairs you'd expect to see realistically.
Surprisingly, this "15 mins into the future" also have almost completely automated space colony building machines, which makes the level of automation at a really high level and these kind of repairs so primitive.
Realistically, I'd expect the regular mechanics seen onscreen to be qualified for basic repairs and maintenance and not much else. Y'know, your standard mechanic triage of reading trouble codes from the diagnostic tool, handling parts swaps in the powertrain, flashing fresh software, and refueling, but not much else. Stuff like reactor repair and maintenance, sensor repair and maintenance, and weapons repair and maintenance would likely be given to a specialist team.
Yes, that is what I expect as well. Though some of them are just strangely amazingly adaptive, especially when a prototype is involved.(Astonaige?)
From what I've read, Minovsky reactors are sealed systems that are treated a lot like jet engines... you use it until it breaks down and then throw it away.
They surely did.
Almost unmaintained Zaku's generators can still work all the way in UC0153, at least 74 years after its construction. (The Zaku themselves are kinda maintained semi-regularly)
False Prophet wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:17 pm
Just the fact that Amuro could even survive his first fight right after reading a manual, or that Kamille knew the principles behind MS transformation at that age was impressive enough. I know that young people like these do exist and sometimes showed up in some kind international competitions, but finding them is kind seeking needle in the haystack.

That begs the question though: How much in common do the original Gundam and Gundam Mk-II's control interface have to your normal worker MS, so that a normal person with some experience could actually control a military vehicle? I suppose that there wasn't that much of a difference until the Zaku I.
Amuro surviving his first battle mainly because of Gundam's armour specifically designed against Zaku's machine gun and the Zaku pilots don't really have weapons available to destroy Gundam with. Even Char is so frustrated at that and released it by kicking Gundam to show his frustrations.(The heat hawk should work but with Gundam swinging its beam sabre around, that wouldn't be an easy hit)

About the cockpit and controls, at least the AE machines are said to be almost the same as their worker models, I'd imagine Zeon also shorten their training by making their MS as close to worker machines as possible.(Though Zeonic, Zimmad and MIP likely built their MS around their own worker model cockpits before the UMP even for licensed production like the Zaku thus you get many different cockpits)
You can actually find on-site repair shops pretty easy. Even the printing factory in my place have one. They used to work at melting down the lead to make letters, but nowadays the blacksmith just worked the forge a few times a year to keep a few old school drum-type printing press in action.
The required precision is just totally different by at least a factor of 10~100.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by False Prophet » Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:41 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am
What I had in mind, is more in line with modern CNCs, where you put in a chunk of metal(raw material) and it cuts out a part according to the blue print. Since the ships are so huge in most Gundam series, while carrying only a very small number of MS compared to modern Aircraft carriers, I'd imagine they can carry really big machines to manufacture parts out of it. Maybe not really complicated parts like the generator and beam weapons which likely required a lot of wiring, but at least for armour plating and basic frames, cutting of metal chunks should be relatively simple in their tech level. But it seems like they don't even have that kind of machining capability.

Surprisingly, this "15 mins into the future" also have almost completely automated space colony building machines, which makes the level of automation at a really high level and these kind of repairs so primitive.
U.C. has automatic colony building machines? I don't know that. I thought I remember a scene in one of the manga about some worker using Balls to rebuild a colony after OYW.

Also, regarding the fabrication of armor plates, do we have any idea how hard is it to actually work on Luna Titanium, other Gundarium variants, and Gundamrium alloy+ceramic composite? We know how much resources goes into making pure Luna Titanium, but what about the process of shaping it into armor plates? Didn't it say somewhere that during OYW, there were few places that had the machinery to repair the Gundam?

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:03 pm

False Prophet wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:41 am
U.C. has automatic colony building machines? I don't know that. I thought I remember a scene in one of the manga about some worker using Balls to rebuild a colony after OYW.
The Magallanica

Granted, it is not completely automated, but at the same time the description in the novel is automated enough that you don't see human moving huge parts at all and it was just building the colony in a spiral by placing plates automatically.
Also, regarding the fabrication of armor plates, do we have any idea how hard is it to actually work on Luna Titanium, other Gundarium variants, and Gundamrium alloy+ceramic composite? We know how much resources goes into making pure Luna Titanium, but what about the process of shaping it into armor plates? Didn't it say somewhere that during OYW, there were few places that had the machinery to repair the Gundam?
We have machining methods for ultra hard material now.
Precision cutting of whatever hard metal can be done by laser, water jets, diamond dusted string and you can even cut it with the same material(i.e. Lunar Titanium), while machining it down won't be too hard since diamond dust isn't really hard to come by.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Seto Kaiba » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:09 pm

MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am
The only Gundam series that came to mind(which I completely forgot in the last post and only remembered it now) is Gundam AGE.
The ship has the ability not just chuck out repair parts, but create new parts like a 3D printer in the most unrealistic way.
Wasn't weirdly advanced 3D printing technology basically Gundam AGE's whole schtick, though? It's not really out of character there if it's the setting's principal macguffin.


MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am
What I had in mind, is more in line with modern CNCs, where you put in a chunk of metal(raw material) and it cuts out a part according to the blue print. Since the ships are so huge in most Gundam series, while carrying only a very small number of MS compared to modern Aircraft carriers, I'd imagine they can carry really big machines to manufacture parts out of it. Maybe not really complicated parts like the generator and beam weapons which likely required a lot of wiring, but at least for armour plating and basic frames, cutting of metal chunks should be relatively simple in their tech level. But it seems like they don't even have that kind of machining capability.
So... most warships in Gundam's Universal Century aren't actually much bigger than their modern seagoing equivalents, and have a lot less internal space to work with. For most purposes, White Base is around the same size as an Iowa-class battleship from World War II (262m long), though its odd shape gives it more to work with in certain areas in terms of internal volume. Its corridors and such are a LOT roomier than corridors aboard the Iowa-class, and that's going to cut into compartment space. I've been aboard USS Iowa a couple times on tours (she's permanently moored in San Francisco Bay as a museum ship), and she has a couple workshops but even the biggest is only about 800 square feet. Most of them are closer in size to a modest walk-in closet or a large-ish bathroom.


MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am
Surprisingly, this "15 mins into the future" also have almost completely automated space colony building machines, which makes the level of automation at a really high level and these kind of repairs so primitive.
I don't quite buy that Magellanica is an autonomous colony builder... it has a residential district FFS. There's probably a LOT of manpower working that thing.


MythSearcher wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:57 am
Yes, that is what I expect as well. Though some of them are just strangely amazingly adaptive, especially when a prototype is involved.(Astonaige?)
Yeah, we've seen a few from organizations like Anaheim Electronics who seem to be qualified in multiple sets of engineering disciplines... which isn't entirely unreasonable if they've been involved in the development of a full complex system like a mobile suit or a ship.
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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Kuruni » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:22 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:27 am
Really, I think that's another one of those questions where the answer varies heavily depending on the series.
Just to illustrate, the first three Braves Series (as well as the unmade ninth, although that one use toy robot instead) have mundane vehicles changed into transformable/combinable ones after the energy beings choose them as their bodies . In fact, it baffle Prof. Amano in Fighbird so much since he certainly designed them as mundane crafts.

In other words, no special science need :P .
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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:41 am

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:09 pm
Wasn't weirdly advanced 3D printing technology basically Gundam AGE's whole schtick, though? It's not really out of character there if it's the setting's principal macguffin.
Kinda, just that it ignores internal structure and somehow gives out rounded/sharpened edges when the original mould(?) is a lot more like a series of cuboids lumped together gets on my nerve.
Also whatever things it chucks out can simply be pre-made and stored is another.
I mean, if you can print out a more powerful beam rifle in such a short time, why not have a more powerful beam rifle to begin with? It is not something like other plots where you need to first find the enemies natural resonance frequency and create a weapon that matches it type of thing.(Argent Soma for example)

So... most warships in Gundam's Universal Century aren't actually much bigger than their modern seagoing equivalents, and have a lot less internal space to work with. For most purposes, White Base is around the same size as an Iowa-class battleship from World War II (262m long), though its odd shape gives it more to work with in certain areas in terms of internal volume. Its corridors and such are a LOT roomier than corridors aboard the Iowa-class, and that's going to cut into compartment space. I've been aboard USS Iowa a couple times on tours (she's permanently moored in San Francisco Bay as a museum ship), and she has a couple workshops but even the biggest is only about 800 square feet. Most of them are closer in size to a modest walk-in closet or a large-ish bathroom.
WB as an example, the two arms(legs?) aren't terribly small as well.
If you look at the actual dimensions, holding 6 MSs inside them isn't taking up a major portion of space, you definitely have space for a machine or two that is about twice the volume of a MS. The Gunperry bay is also much larger than required, a lot of space is not really utilized.
Later Pegasus classes are even better(worst as an offender?). They seems to have relatively better designs that give you larger and more cuboid arms(so you get more volume to surface area/armour ratio)(The Gray Phatom and Blanc Rival lots), ditched the Gunperry,(The Thoroughbred lot) or maybe even just simply bigger overall.(Albion)
Speculation on the later models removing the ability to get into sub-orbital or even orbital velocities like the WB are also more room for putting in stuff.

A single OYW MS takes up something at least around 20m(H)X8m(W)X5m(D)=800m^3, where a 2.5mX2.5mX2.5m room for each officer or 2¬4 enlist(we know they have bulk beds and pilots, even with enlist ranks, are being treated better than others in show), takes up 15.625m^2, so a single MS, just standing there takes up about 51 rooms worth of space, for WB, lets assume doubling the rooms and giving the same volume for the corridors and the luxury bathrooms, that is 3 MS worth of space, which can already carry all crew and the civilians onboard with spare.
If we stack these sideways in the middle section of the ship, you get something like 20m(L)X8m(W)X15m(H) for a 6 layer configuration, or spreading it out into an even more luxurious 5m thick 2 layered 10m radius gravity ring you get ¬10mX64m per layer, which still only used 3141m^3, the middle 5m radius 785m^3 can also be used for other purposes.(Like storing of spare parts)

Similar volume can be assigned to modern jet fighters while modern aircraft carriers carry up to something like 80 of those. Even if you count the folded wings and very compact packing methods that can reduce the volume by say, a 4th of that, you should still have the volume of 20 MS.
Taking the CV-6 and F4F, capacity of 96 and each F4F takes up about 10m(L)X4m(H)X5m(W)=200m^3 when wings are folded. Even if WB is strangely shaped, with seafaring ships having more curves for fluid dynamics, it is not really that much smaller in volume.(Imagine stacking the two arms in front of the main body and considering that as one long ship, it still has more internal volume than the CV-6) It is true that IRL CVs can have planes maintained outside the hangar, but you still needed space for the elevator, and store space of 24 MS reduced to 6 is just another 1/4 of the volume used. Also, they have a much smaller crew, about only 1/10 of the CV-6's. They should have a lot of volume to spare on the WB.

I don't quite buy that Magellanica is an autonomous colony builder... it has a residential district FFS. There's probably a LOT of manpower working that thing.
From the novel's description, that thing is at least stacking plates for the colony without any human support thus letting the characters have some privacy when meeting close to the location.
Operating the thing might require humans in a control room, but the actual building part is automated enough without human on site, so it is more like giving it a blueprint and materials, and it will stick the parts together kind of thing. The humans are also there for the thing also has to move like a ship, and the moving part likely cannot be fully automated.
Yeah, we've seen a few from organizations like Anaheim Electronics who seem to be qualified in multiple sets of engineering disciplines... which isn't entirely unreasonable if they've been involved in the development of a full complex system like a mobile suit or a ship.
The fun thing is Astonaige seems to be performing better(with more knowledge about the MSs that he wouldn't have designed like the ZZ) than Nina in plot, who actually designed the Gundams herself.(Or at least very heavily involved in the project)

I also like how they make it sound like in MSV-R Return of JR, the engineers are just picking parts from previous designs and the computers will do the rest for them. So the design engineer might actually have less knowledge than the mechanics who actually have to put the thing together while cursing the engineers for they irresponsible use of design software.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Mafty » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:24 pm

In the case of Amuro (and the other pilots) surviving their first sortie , it seems that Newtype powers may be behind it. Pretty much every Newtype becomes a decent pilot in the course of only a few hours or even days, even when pilots study the manuel (ie Amuro and Elle) they adapt much quicker than could be realistically expected, and Quess needs only a few days training before harnessing her power. Conversely everybody who isn't a Newtype grows with expirence over the course of a years long war by necessity of survival.

As for the mechanics, as has been said previously most of the mechanics on ships seem to do more minor repairs and servicing of the units. In most timelines the units appear to be built elsewhere and shipped to the front. Depending on the series we see that the mechanics are more limited in the resources of field repairs. (SPOILERS) In 08th MS Team the units are modified after being damaged; in ZZ we get the infamous Zeta Zaku,many Zeon remnants modify old units for repairs( ie the Dra-C), and Elpeo's Quebely MK2 sits in the hanger because nobody can repair it..

However in Gundam X Kid (who is 15 btw) manages to upgrade the Gundam X near single handedly, and this is in a time and place where resources were pretty limited. There is also the case in Gundam Seed where who ever steals a top secret military unit manages to magically get replacement parts in the field to a unit they didn't build. for example Yzak's unit is damaged in battle several times before being modified , and the Freedom is trashed by the biological CPU's and both managed to be repaired.

As for the colony builder it seems to vary on the series. Unicorn has the colony builder , yet all of the main characters are engineers who want to work for Anahiem, so it seems as though people are used in some capacity, even if a lot is automated. Likewise in F91 Mr Arno is trained as a welder and appears to work on colony repairs; a pilot unit repaints Frontire IV, and in Victory Gundam the Sandhog is a piloted unit used to repair Ameila (though they do have robotic security guards).

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:03 pm

Mafty wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:24 pm
In the case of Amuro (and the other pilots) surviving their first sortie , it seems that Newtype powers may be behind it. Pretty much every Newtype becomes a decent pilot in the course of only a few hours or even days, even when pilots study the manuel (ie Amuro and Elle) they adapt much quicker than could be realistically expected, and Quess needs only a few days training before harnessing her power. Conversely everybody who isn't a Newtype grows with expirence over the course of a years long war by necessity of survival.
NT powers are quite conflicting in official sources.
They discovered NTs back in Battle of Loum where Zeon(Mainly Kycillia) felt that the survivial rate of the MS pilots are significantly more than simulated. Thus they had labs analysing it and found out people are emitting and detecting Psycommu waves.
If the numbers survived Loum is statistically significant, there are a lot of NTs, much more than any other depiction.
Think about it, the death rate is about 40%, nobody is going to think that a simulated 45% death rate is worth building a lab to investigate, or at least the lab isn't going to get a lot of funding. Probably you can push the number towards the 50% level before people will think it is worth looking into and not just pure luck, I'd say you'd probably need 60% in the simulation.

This is the problem here. The number of pilots sortied in BoL is in the thousands(2920 to be specific), and even just 5% of them will be in the hundreds(146 for 5%).

Another problem about other depictions, in most of them, NTs needed to be "awakened" before they actually get NT powers.
Amuro isn't a NT in his first battle because he didn't awaken at the time.

Of course we also get the Tomino stating "All kids are NTs" comment in an interview during ZZ, so...
As for the mechanics, as has been said previously most of the mechanics on ships seem to do more minor repairs and servicing of the units. In most timelines the units appear to be built elsewhere and shipped to the front. Depending on the series we see that the mechanics are more limited in the resources of field repairs. (SPOILERS) In 08th MS Team the units are modified after being damaged; in ZZ we get the infamous Zeta Zaku,many Zeon remnants modify old units for repairs( ie the Dra-C), and Elpeo's Quebely MK2 sits in the hanger because nobody can repair it..

However in Gundam X Kid (who is 15 btw) manages to upgrade the Gundam X near single handedly, and this is in a time and place where resources were pretty limited. There is also the case in Gundam Seed where who ever steals a top secret military unit manages to magically get replacement parts in the field to a unit they didn't build. for example Yzak's unit is damaged in battle several times before being modified , and the Freedom is trashed by the biological CPU's and both managed to be repaired.
You might also want to think about how some of those mechanics can field upgrade the MSs into something not within its design, samples include Plan 303E, Unicorn Full Armour, etc.

Also adapting to vastly different MS very quickly. For example, the pure Titans built Gundam Mk-II can simply be maintained by dissembling 2 units, and then the mechanics seems to have no problem getting the remaining unit to go into many battles. It'd be very time consuming even if you get the manual for it(and you likely cannot find a copy online) While some side stories like to retcon it to be more reasonable(Ecole du Ciel having the Titans sent a Mk-II to an AE factory for testing before being Gundamjacked by Kamille), some other stories like to make it more realistic and tell you how hard it would be even with the manuals(MSV-R Johnny Ridden's Return tells you how the manuals can be outdated)
As for the colony builder it seems to vary on the series. Unicorn has the colony builder , yet all of the main characters are engineers who want to work for Anahiem, so it seems as though people are used in some capacity, even if a lot is automated. Likewise in F91 Mr Arno is trained as a welder and appears to work on colony repairs; a pilot unit repaints Frontire IV, and in Victory Gundam the Sandhog is a piloted unit used to repair Ameila (though they do have robotic security guards).
Don't forget building and repairing are two different things. An automated colony builder is highly not likely to be used for repairs because the process are totally different.
For example, you don't put your smartphone into the manufacture plant for repairs, you only need to change a part, not rebuilt the whole thing. The automated builder is designed to build the whole thing from scratch, placing plates for the outer cylinder one by one while acting as a wall at the end of the cylinder, you can't just move it next to a colony and have it repair one damaged plate.

We also get the OOPARTs Big-Rang in Igloo, where it gets a fully functional automated resupply and simple repair factory for the Oggos.(with a lot of welding that seems to have no purpose other than make the scene spectacular)

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by Deathzealot » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:06 am

Hmmmm... speaking of Luna Titanium and trying to repair it. If I remember correctly there was only a handful of places that had the needed machines and such to repair Luna Titanium according to something I read somewhere. The White Base, the Factory Facility at Side Seven, and Jaburo that is about it. Though I do think Luna II is in there somewhere as well. I do not remember where I read that but it does make some sense at least during the One Year War anyways. Since by the time of Zeta Anaheim now has the ability to create and repair Gundam armor.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by bilbros » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:14 am

Maybe this is already known, but if somebody is intrested in an official real world attempt to manufacture the Gundarium alloy with modern technologies, please take a look at the related Premium Bandai pages:
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/
and especially:
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_02.html
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_03.html
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_04.html

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:58 am

bilbros wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:14 am
Maybe this is already known, but if somebody is intrested in an official real world attempt to manufacture the Gundarium alloy with modern technologies, please take a look at the related Premium Bandai pages:
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/
and especially:
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_02.html
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_03.html
https://en.gundam.info/gundarium/article_04.html
Just bluff trying to boost the sales of the extremely expensive model with obvious defects.

In the settings it has always been a special manufacturing process that can is first used in Lunar II, hence Lunar Titanium.
The gravity conditions are not like the Moon and the reason such process was used in the original anime is because at the time people thought that metal in space can crystallize without defects, which can obtain around 6 times the strength compared to casting in Earth's gravity well. Which isn't true because the defects aren't entirely caused by gravity but more by chance.(do I want to bond with this atom next to me? nah, the other one looks better.)
It was also partly due to being in the space age, everything sounded better if made in the new frontier because no one knows if it will be.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by SonicSP » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:48 am

This discussion line is in regards to Gundam AGE.
MythSearcher wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:41 am
Kinda, just that it ignores internal structure and somehow gives out rounded/sharpened edges when the original mould(?) is a lot more like a series of cuboids lumped together gets on my nerve.
Also whatever things it chucks out can simply be pre-made and stored is another.
I mean, if you can print out a more powerful beam rifle in such a short time, why not have a more powerful beam rifle to begin with? It is not something like other plots where you need to first find the enemies natural resonance frequency and create a weapon that matches it type of thing.(Argent Soma for example)
At the beginning, the EF army tech was pretty weak because they got rid of most of it and store it in that remote storage place for the Silver Chalice Treaty and didnt have an army for centuries. The army had to start from scratch, and hell even the Genoace was made from the Desperados and 3D contruction MS frame.

For the DODS Rifle, we have to remember that AGE System computer was deployed for the first time as Flit was battling the Vagans when they surprise attacked the colony. It analyzed the Vagan units from data of the previous battle and came up with a good countermeasure that can damage it with the available energy the AGE-1 MS was able to provide.

There couldn't pre-made a better rifle because they don't have the tech till AGE System made it - and after it did it became the basic EF beam rifle tech of choice across the whole army for decades.

It probably also helped that EF military was new and hastily thrown together on relatively quick notice after centuries of disbandentment and peace which will affect it from a wartech development industry point of view, so it probably was a low hanging fruit for the AGE System. Solution lasted awhile too, a better MS-class beam tech didnt even come until the AGE-2's Hyper DODS decades later, and the Ship-class Photon Blaster Cannon (which it also made) was miniaturized as Sigmaxxxis in AGE-3 decades further after that. And during those times, DODS was still the go to tech as attempts to mass produced Hyper DODS didnt go well.

Besides, the innovation of the DODS Rifle isnt necessarily raw power but the type of piercing mechanism. The EF's beams and other weapons can't penetrate Vagan physical armor, and the AGE System just came up with a piercing mechanism that did work againts it after using the collected data on the that did not use up much more raw energy supplied on the part of the MS (as opposed to "beam ammunition" stored on the weapon, which we know is a thing cos the guns run out just like UC). We can surmise this because the Gen 1 mass produced DODS Gun can be used by the Genoaces to kill Vagan MS, whereas their pre-DODS ones did little to no damage, almost like convention MS vs GN MS in Gundam 00.

The short turnover analysis and development time for the AGE System has proven useful for not only the Nora colony battle but also for the appearance of the Baqto on Fardain colony. The Baqto was equipped with a new tech called the Electromagnetic Armor, which is an energy barrier system created by the Vagans specifically to counter the new DODS Rifle (and became standard equipment for Vagan MS later in Gen 2 era). The AGE-1 Titus Wear was developed in response to counter Baqto's new defense system but also to minimize damage to Fardain colony which was an important plot element in that arc. Flit didnt forget this later on either as an adult commander, when he deployed two Adeles with Titus Wears while fighting in another colony. Later examples include AGE-1 Spallow as a counter to Zedas, which was giving the EF a lot of trouble at the time. Both are very peaky units designed for a particular enemy. The AGE-2 Double Bullet was developed to further suit Asemu's piloting style and double sided preferences (and possibly his inferior stats as a non X-Rounder unlike his dad), all with a relatively fast turnover time.

I presume the AGE Builder stuff is expensive to make though as it appears very hard to scale up, given that it took a long time to scale them to anything resembling army level mass production and in the case of Hyper DODS, never as it unstable when made cheaply.

While I never played them, I presume the full concept of AGE Builder-AGE System-AGE Core is taken more full advantage in the game, where they are a lot more Wears and player choice and preference would presumably feel more natural. It is easy for us to forget that Gundam AGE is a cooperative project with Level 5 and not just made as an anime-merchandise centric project like most other Gundam shows so some of the concepts are designed to work for both formats.

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Re: What kind of education does a mecha engineer need?

Post by False Prophet » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:03 pm

Just curious, as fans do knowing more about engineers make you question more about engineering makes you ask more questions about mecha? I mean, coming from a non-engineering background, I feel going into the design of mobile suits, variable fighters, etc. are like a good mental exercise for those who know these stuffs.

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