Best of the Web: Best Engineering Twitter feeds

Jan. 7, 2014

Estimates are that there are now over 550 million Twitter users putting out an average of 58 million tweets daily. If you are one of the estimated 115 million active Twitter users every month, be assured that there are a lot of Twitter feeds devoted to engineering. Here are a few of the best ones we found last year.

3D printing on Twitter

On, search #3Dprinting and #additivemfg to catch the industry’s latest headlines. Also follow these leaders: MakieLab founder Alice Taylor @wonderlandblog; Celebrity Bre Pettis of MakerBot @bre; MakerBot’s community @Thingaverse; Manufacturer @3dsystemscorp; Online marketplace @3DPrintingModel; Analyst Emily Turrettini @3DPrintingBuzz; Reporter Dragos Bergkotte @3dprinting; Stratasys @3d_printers;
and Mcor Technologies

Mechanical design

@MechDesignForum bills itself as the number-one global online community of mechanical-design engineers. Its tweet count was a little over 5,100 when we checked. Typical topics include links to useful engineering resources and discussions of engineering problems among its followers.

@DIYEngineering goes into a lot of electronics-based home projects that incorporate Arduino and Raspberry Pi processors, open source hardware, and similar components. And discussions increasingly focus on 3D printing issues.

@Engineeringcom is the Twitter feed for which is a multidisciplinary engineering site. Focus of tweets tend to be on gee-whiz technological developments.

@Quora is the feed for the Quora site, which specializes in questions and answers. It doesn’t specialize in engineering questions but it’s clear from the site activity that engineers account for a lot of Quora community, so there are a fair number of engineering-related questions posted. One of the most recent we found interesting was, “Is mechanical engineering stagnating?”

@engineer4change is the feed from a site called Engineering for Change which covers sustainable-engineering themes in areas such as sanitation, agriculture, structures, and similar areas. There were about 4,800 tweets from this feed when we checked.

@designboom is the feed for an online magazine called Design Boom which focuses on architecture and design. Some of the 22,000 tweets from this feed we saw covered results of design contests and examples of neat architectural designs.

@knovelupdates is the feed for the Knovel technical information service which provides an engineering information database available by subscription. The feed tends to focus on interesting engineering developments.

@lteschler is the feed from Machine Design Editor Leland Teschler. He tweets out interesting links to engineering developments, commentaries, and other events in the engineering community.

@Indiegogo — Indiegogo is another heavily populated crowdfunding Web site but it doesn’t enforce as much red tape as competitor Kickstarter. The communication boards between the developer and funder are as insightful as those on Kickstarter. However, Indiegogo features flexible funding options that appeal to existing businesses.

@SkeptInquiry — The Skeptical Inquirer magazine promotes scientific inquiry and critical thinking. It tweets about debunking news and old theories and claims, a great way to stay current on the latest in ghost hunting, spiritual mediums, and other dubious pursuits.

@kickstarter — Kickstarter is one of the largest crowdfunding platforms with more and more consumer products being developed since the wearable technology “Pebble” raised over 10 million dollars. But Kickstarter is still learning a thing or two about how to harness product-development projects. For instance, photo renderings of products were once allowed as the only proof of concept but now there has to be a working prototype.

@quirky — Quirky is a product development firm on jet fuel. The difference between its operations and a normal product-development firm is the way it has automated the product-development cycle and incentivized the masses. There are still questions about intellectual property when a number of inventors post their ideas to a large crowd. But experience so far seems to indicate that the crowd acts as a check-and-balance, calling out inventors who post ideas resembling those of others.

@AltEmbedded — William Wong is a well-connected editor for Electronic Design. He tweets about digital technology, embedded hardware and concepts, systems engineering, and software, as well as robotics, programming, and gaming.

@KarlMathia — Karl Mathia is an engineer, roboticist, and author of the book Robots for Electronics Manufacturing. His tweets focus on robot technology and its impact on society, and engineering in general.

@ASM_Vicki_Burt — Victoria Burt is a technical writer deeply involved with the American Society of Materials.

@kelvinross68 — Kelvin Ross is a U. K.-based journalist who focuses on all aspects of international energy and power generation.

@optixwi — Gene Cross works as an optical engineer who designs and builds telescopes and other optical instruments. He is also passionate about astronomy, a frequent topic of his tweets.

@skilledpilots — Marc Hennes is a pilot hosts the Web site “The Skilled Pilots Show” and tweets on topics of interest to pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation fanatics.

@NickChivers — Nick Chivers works as a consultant on health and safety in the renewable-energy and construction industries and tweets about project risk and safety from concept to operation and green energy, specifically wind, wave, and tidal power.

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