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Although James and Luke are both product marketing managers for Autodesk, Inc. their views do not represent those of Autodesk.  

What Engineers REALLY Want for Christmas

December 14, 2016

Are you finding that Christmas shopping for that special engineer in your life is a little overwhelming? Or maybe your kid would rather stay inside and build a robot instead of going outside to play with real people. Don’t worry, we have you covered! Here are some great stocking stuffers and big kid gifts that any engineer would love. 

 

OWI Robotic Arm Edge

 

For under 50 bucks you can score this great robotic arm! Remote controlled to move an all the joints with a robotic arm gripper that opens and closes so that you never have to use your hands again. Well, except for the remote control. Get it on Prime and it will be to your house in time for Santa!  Important note, no soldering required. So important that it’s listed twice in the description.

 

 

Engino Mechanical Science: Cams & Cranks Construction Kit

 

We all love Legos, but eventually the really ambitious want to take things to the next level. That’s where the cams and cranks play set comes in. Build virtually any mechanism you can think of and watch it function. Perfect to introduce young engineers and physicists how cams and cranks are used to convert reciprocal motion into linear motion, or to remind old engineers what they have forgotten over the years.

 

 

 

 

Parrot Bebop 2 + Black Skycontroller

 

Drones are all the rage this year, and why wouldn’t they be?! The possibilities are endless! Small enough to fly around the house and harass the dog, yet equipped with a camera so you can fly around the neighborhood and record everything that is going on. EVERYTHING. Well, I guess that’s about all you can do with it, but they look really fun, and for JUST $500 how can you go wrong?

 

R2-D2 USB Car Charger

 

It is a well know fact that all engineers love Star Wars. Even those that say they don’t are just embarrassed and secretly wish they lived on Naboo. Well, now you can bring a little bit of that magic home to them! This R2-D2 USB car charger can charge anything that would normally be charged by USB. So really, it’s just taking up extra space, but it fits in a cars coffee cup holder, so it’s not THAT much space. And at $30 it will be a great stalking stuffer!

 

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci Catapult Kit

 

This wooden catapult comes precut (with the glue included!) and ready to assemble. A great learning toy for beginning model makers, and an equally great desk toy for the bored engineer in his cubical. It looks well worth the $20 price tag, even if it helps your special engineer expand his social circle when they accidently launch something into the neighboring cube and have to go awkwardly ask for it back.

 


 

Printrbot Simple

 

If you’ve listened to our podcast, you know that we’re 3d printing fans. I’ve personally used the Printrbot Simple and have nothing but good things to say about it. Easy to use, nice print quality, and a great price point ($999) for someone new to 3d printing. A growing name in the industry and reasonably responsive tech support as needed. Guaranteed to provide hours of alone time for you, for young and old alike!

 

 

 

Hackerboxes

 

What a great idea! With everything else moving to a subscription plan, why wouldn’t our design technology do the same thing? Subscribe to receive a monthly project to put together at $44 a pop! With the maker movement in full force, this has to be a hit! If you like it, you can step up to their next level of bigger, more complex projects. I’m in.

 

 

Final Fantasy XV

 Just like all engineers love Star Wars, the same number love video games (that’s 100% for those non-engineers reading). Nothing says epic game play like the Final Fantasy series, and this 10 year project promises nothing short of amazing graphics and tens to hundreds of hours of game play. I’m 8 hours in and still just scratching the surface while having skipped a handful of side quests. $60 sounds like a steal for this one, even with a few bugs along the way.

 

NES Classic Edition

 

 

This one is such a good idea that you basically have no chance of getting one unless you win it in some sort of contest. Yeah, sorry about even listing it… but with the list of great games coming preloaded and the sleek retro design, it’s a can’t miss! Even if you give an IOU and deliver it later, it will be the best gift of the year! $60 gets you the base unit and controller, and $10 to be able to play 2 player.

 


 

Thames & Kosmos Remote Control Machines

 

Engineers love remote control cars, they love to assemble the same parts in multiple ways, and they love machines. How could this not be a hit? Sure, it might be a little simple for older kids (read, anyone over 12), but aren’t we all kids at heart? I’d probably put this together in 10 different ways Christmas day, and then start to experiment over the rest of my time off…and I’m 34…

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any great engineering Christmas gift ideas that you think need added to the list, let us know! The easiest way is finding us on Facebook or Twitter, but email works too!

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