Is Industrial Design the Same as Mechanical Engineering?

Industrial design and mechanical engineering are often confused for one another due to the fact that they are both involved in the process of designing and manufacturing products. However, there are some important differences between these two disciplines.

Industrial Design

Industrial designers focus on the aesthetics and user experience of a product, working with other engineers to create a product that is both attractive and functional. They use their knowledge of materials, manufacturing processes, and ergonomics to design products that people can interact with safely and effectively. Industrial designers use a variety of tools such as sketches, models, computer-aided design software (CAD), 3D printing, among others to create prototypes of their designs.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers focus on the mechanical aspects of the product’s operation.

They use their knowledge of mathematics, physics, materials science, and engineering principles to develop designs for components or systems that will help a product operate effectively and efficiently. Mechanical engineers often work in teams with other engineers and technicians to develop prototypes and test them for safety and performance. They also analyze data from tests in order to make necessary changes or improvements to the designs before manufacturing begins.


In conclusion, industrial design focuses on creating products that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional while mechanical engineering focuses on developing components or systems that will help a product operate effectively and efficiently. Therefore, while they may share some similarities they are two distinct disciplines with different goals.