The symbol of human beings becoming “modern people” is manufacturing tools. The various stone axes, stone hammers, and simple and rough wooden and leather tools of the Stone Age were the pioneers of machinery that appeared later. The evolution from manufacturing simple tools to manufacturing modern machinery consisting of multiple parts and components has gone through a long process.
Before the 15th to 16th centuries, the development of mechanical engineering was slow. However, in the practice of thousands of years, considerable experience and technical knowledge have been accumulated in mechanical development, which has become an important potential for the development of mechanical engineering.
After the 17th century, capitalism emerged in Britain, France, and Western European countries, and commodity production began to become the central issue of society.
In the late 18th century, the application of steam engines was extended from mining to textile, flour, metallurgy, and other industries. The main material for making machinery has gradually changed from wood to metal that is tougher but difficult to process by hand. The machinery manufacturing industry began to take shape and became an important industry in decades.
The internal combustion engine invented in the late 19th century has been improved year by year and has become the prime mover that is light, small, efficient, easy to manipulate, and can be started at any time. It was first used to drive land-based working machinery that had no power supply. Later, it was used in automobiles, mobile machinery, and ships, and it was used in railway locomotives in the mid-20th century. The steam engine is no longer an important power machine due to the displacement of the steam turbine and internal combustion engine. The development of the internal combustion engine and the gas turbine and jet engine invented later is one of the basic technical factors for the successful development of aircraft and spacecraft.
In the second half of the 20th century, the wide application of finite element methods and electronic computers made it possible to analyze and calculate the forces, moments, and stresses of complex machinery and its parts and components. For machinery or its components that have sufficient practical or experimental data, statistical techniques can be used to scientifically design a machinery in accordance with the required reliability.