It’s that time of year again everyone. With Christmas just around the corner, once again our minds turn to gift ideas for our friends and family. Engineers are notoriously difficult to buy for. We are quite a minimalist, unexcitable bunch, lots of themed gift ideas often turn the clichés of novelty mugs with ‘world’s best engineer’ written on them. If you are struggling for last minute Christmas gifts for engineers, below is a list I think hit the mark, coming under the category of being both ‘cool and useful’.
Who doesn’t love Lego? And what engineer doesn’t love designing equipment, processes and machinery? Just think of all the designs you could try out first with Lego. You could build conceptual models in your spare time, think about ways of modifying your production line or investigate structural analysis of new ideas for building. The possibilities are endless!
2. A Drone
Number 2 on the list of Christmas gifts for engineers is the drone. Perhaps on the expensive side depending on what you are after, but there is no denying drones are cool. And just think of all the things you could do with them: delivering parcels, taking photos or videos, or mapping your local neighbourhood.
3. Rocket Skates
I can’t be the only engineer who has seen a pair of roller skates and thought ‘you know what those skates need, rocket propulsion!’. The commercial items may be a bit less powerful than what I had in mind, only going up to 12 mph, but they are certainly an improvement. And the best thing about them is, as engineers we don’t care how weird we look using them!
4. VR headset
Virtual reality is here – well, it’s emerged at the very least. Despite not being fully realised yet, the VR headset is certainly a cool gadget which can keep you entertained for hours. I don’t suggest playing any horror games on them though, unless you are planning to be too scared to sleep for the next 3 days.
5. 3D printer
Again, this gift may be a bit on the expensive side, but there’s no denying its charm. 3D printing has really taken off in the last few years. There are plenty of things you can print with 3D printers, from bookmarks, pen holders to mug holders. You can even print food!
6. Engineering Jewellery
I know we all love engineering. I mean really love it. Why not show others your interest in engineering with cool jewellery!
7. Cat with Buttered Bread on its Back
Also known as the holy grail of clean, sustainable energy. To understand the concept of a cat with buttered bread on its back you have to think about the individual parts. Cats always land on their feet. Equally if you drop a slice of buttered bread it will always land on the buttered side. Put them together and you get a fully continuous, cyclic system. A cat dropped from height with a piece of buttered bread on its back will never land, but will remain in mid-air rotating back and forth between both the cat’s legs and the buttered bread. If only engineers could find out how to use this system as energy, the human races energy worries would be behind them. In all seriousness though cats are great and you should get one. Bread is optional.
8. Build your own Technology Kit
Engineers sure love building. There’s a whole range of packs out there containing easy to build, cool technology, including but not limited to robotic arms and rockets. Have a search yourself to see what is out there to add to your list of Christmas gifts for engineers.
9. Puzzles and Mind Games
Engineers also love to think, making puzzle games great for Christmas gifts for engineers. There’s nothing which wets our appetite more than a good problem to solve. Luckily there’s a range of mind and puzzle games you can buy of varying difficulty.