With open source solution, yes, we can make real engineering ! From part design, computer analysis up to parametric/shape/material optimization.
Cloud-based solutions like my friends of Simscale are based on such products for the benefit of the whole engineering community.
Why using closed (costly) solutions for engineering ?
There is a lot of academic, research projects with mature level waiting to be used by the industry. We have also industry taking benefit of going open source (Thales, Apple, Microsoft, EDF…).
Source and documentation are complete, there are motivated people to help. And when it is time to make complicated things, nothing can stop you to create you own specialized solution.
Some of the open source projects we are using for our daily engineering duties:
- CAE Linux (2018): dedicated Linux Distribution for Scientist and Engineer.
- FreeCAD: CAD solution and pre/post processor
- OpenFoam: CFD solver
- Code ASTER: FEA solver
- GMSH: mesher
- Salome-Meca: pre/post processor, to be used with Code ASTER
- ELMER: FEA solver
- Helyx-OS: GUI for OpenFoam
- Libre Office: powerful replacement for Excel, Powerpoint, Word…
- ParaView: data analysis and visualization
- Dakota: parametric optimization
- Scilab / Xcos: replacement for Matlab/Simulink