A lot of the discussions once found on engineering forums have migrated onto other social-media platforms such as LinkedIn. Still, there are interesting exchanges on the engineering forums we uncovered in our browsing this year.

Automation users forum

This customer forum, sponsored by AutomationDirect, Cumming, Ga., lets users share information and ideas and get help from their peers on general automation applications. Among the topics covered: networks and communications, operator interfaces, drives, steppers and servos, and programming.

Eng-tips forum

A lot of back-and-forth among working engineers. The mechanical-engineering board, for example, has discussions going about topics such as heat transfer, fluid power, gears and pulleys, valves, pumps, acoustics, seals, and bearings.

Engineers edge

Lots of active threads here on mechanical and electrical-engineering topics. A few examples: engineering training, vehicle lifts, manufacturing processes, Faraday cage issues, stresses in members, finite-element analysis, and many more.

Physics forums, engineering subforum

Another very active technical forum on subjects ranging from general engineering and engineering systems to mechanical, electrical, and materials engineering.

Engineerboards.com

This forum emphasizes PE exam and exam-prep issues but also has active areas in mechanical, electrical, civil, and general engineering.

Instrumentation and control engineering

Mainly covers industrial instrumentation topics and control engineering. Other discussion areas include engineering software, engineering standards, and engineering calculation tools.

Mechanical-engineering forum

An active forum with discussion areas that include ideas, Q&A, emerging fields, computer applications in mechanical engineering, engineering materials, thermal sciences, production technology, and more.

Defence Talk

An international forum with almost 33,000 members discuss topics that include global security, war on terror, Army, land forces, Air Force, military aviation, naval forces, and nuclear and missile forces of the world. It’s not strictly engineering, but members ask and answer questions about fighters, bomber and aircraft, UAVs, armored vehicles, tanks, artillery, warships, aircraft carriers, submarines, and other weapon platforms. There’s also hundreds of images and videos (or links to them) of weapons, current and past military operations, and some incredibly detailed scale models built by forum members

For skeptics: James Randi Educational Foundation

Have doubts about the existence of Bigfoot or Amazon’s recent drone delivery plans? Do you disbelieve the claims for a handheld consumer spectrometer or that wind turbines cause headaches? Here’s the place to discuss such topics and discover hundreds of other claims and devices that most likely will never live up to their hype.

Guru engineers

Active discussions in areas that include automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering codes, standards, and certifications, and engineering software. There is also a download area that contains guidelines and handbooks in various engineering areas.

Engineer forum

A comprehensive engineering forum of over 2,500 engineers commenting on over 1,200 topics under categories that include biomedical, civil & structural, computer, geotechnical & chemical, electrical, mechanical, industrial, and environmental engineering.

Biomedtalk.com

This site caters to the biomedical community and its topics cover medical devices, different suppliers, and a host of biomedical technologies, as well as the profession and career outlook. Links to other medical forums deal with materials (mostly nanoparticles), dentistry, pharmacology, genetically modified foods, and several other medical subjects.

AnandTech Forums

This active forum covers computer technology, as well as consumer electronics and social media. There’s even a section that lists hot deals on a wide variety electronic goods and software. It has over 2 million threads and topics with almost 36 million posts, and gets 12 million unique visitors each month.

Model engineer

This forum is maintained by a U. K. magazine called Model Engineer, but contains a lot of general engineering discussions as well as threads pertaining to hobbyist topics such as home CNC machines and CAD drawings.