A few days ago we were discussing _Precision Machine Design_,
which is an
excellent book for people interested in machine tool and other machine
design, but which costs $100. It was written by Alexander Slocum of MIT.
Slocum teaches (among other courses) a basic mechanical engineering design
course called "Design and Manufacturing 1." To support the course he's
written a stripped-down version of _PMD_
and made it available free, online.
If you want to know about basic design engineering ideas, this is it. It
looks like it's written for Freshmen or Sophomores -- simple language,
excellent introduction of concepts, lots of first-semester calculus. But you
don't need the calculus to understand it.
You can get it here:
The book is under revision so the online PDF version is down. But you can
get the last version in the form of a *.zip file that expands to a bunch of
PDFs. Look in the left column under "Resources" for the *
.zip, plus some
other ones that look interesting but that I haven't checked.