The Best Gifts for Engineers on Father's Day
With the advent of online shopping and next-day delivery, your gift-buying troubles can be somewhat alleviated knowing it’s never been easier to cop a cool present over the internet and even have it wrapped for you before it arrives, saving you the trouble of doing, well, anything, really. Luckily, this logic still stands when you’re buying for an engineer - even when the engineer’s your dad, and you’re buying something for Father’s Day (which in the English speaking world, lands on the third Sunday in June). Whether a mechanical, automotive, or civil engineer, you’ll be able to find him something wicked from Amazon which will distract him just long enough that you can carry on playing video games or gallivanting around with your pals without fear you might have to - gasp! - spend some time together. So read on for our list of the top gifts for your engineer father (though, truth be told, these gifts are more than appropriate for an engineer mother, too).
1. A drone
A classic gift for hours of spying fun, a drone is surely a near-perfect gift for any engineer. True, you haven’t got to put it together yourself, but for anyone really interested in the inner workings, you could always take it apart and put it back together again, or even reverse engineer it to start building your own drones if you’re that dedicated to the craft. If all that’s a bit too much for your dad, though, you can just have fun watching him crash it into trees and annoy the neighbours while taking mediocre HD pictures of the local estate. This one can fly for 15 minutes at full throttle, reaches a thousand feet in just seconds, is able to fly against high speed winds, and even does flips.
Musk - the legend, the enigma, the pot smoker; engineer of solar energy, online email-based payment services, futuristic-looking cars, and of course, big drills. The Tony Stark of the real world, Musk has achieved things many didn’t think possible, including creating reusable rockets for space exploration, and dreams bigger than perhaps anyone else in the business world. He’s the engineer’s favourite poster boy, and this biography of him, written by business columnist Ashlee Vance, features hours’ worth of interviews with him and biographies of all of the friends and enemies he’s made along the way. Enemies of Musk, you say incredulously? Well, if you’re gonna make an omelette (read: rocket)...
3. A DIY robot
Who hasn’t wanted to build their own robot at some point? Sure, the ‘bots we have aren’t quite at the I, Robot level, but you can still do some pretty cool things with them, or better said, your dad can. This robot from Yahboom works using Raspberry Pi technology (sold separately, obviously), meaning you’ll need some knowledge of computer science to get it up and running. It links up to an HD camera using 5G, meaning while it’s rolling around your pa can actually see from the robot truck’s perspective. It uses both C and Python programming languages, which he can use to make it follow lights or tracks, and it has ultrasonic obstacle avoidance, meaning it shouldn’t bump into the kitchen table, assuming pops sets it up properly. But of course he will - he's an engineer!
Bridges! Better than boats! For going across water (and other tricky terrain)! Judith Dupre's New York Times bestselling classic history of the architecture of bridges has been recently updated with colour photographs and revisions. First published over a quarter of a century ago, the most recent edition features bridges from all over the world (with some focus on ‘Murica), and includes commentaries on their architectural and historical significance as well as plans and original drawings. Like traversing rivers? Or your dad, at least? He’ll love this book.
5. A 3D printer
The engineers dream: a 3D printer, for all of Dad's production needs. There are many types of 3D printer, with varying levels of production quality (and more importantly, varying prices), but this is one of the most reasonable that will give you good quality. With two different sizes of touchscreen, a safety power supply, and even a resume printing function if you run out of power (wow!), your dad will be able to make plenty of little figurines and toys and whatever else he wants, as long as he can find the CAD designs. Who knows, maybe he’ll even make you a little red boat you can play with together.
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