Mechanisms & Mentorship Video Series: From Laid Off Engineer to Owner

Ever wondered what it would be like to be mentored one-on-one by a senior engineer that’s using SOLIDWORKS to successfully deliver solutions to industry clients? My name is Rafael Testai, and in this video series “Mechanisms & Mentorship” we’ll take a look behind the scenes to see how a hand-picked engineer has designed one of their mechanisms in granular detail. We’ll “open the hood” to analyze their CAD design and thought process behind the solution. I’ll ask them questions about the project, roadblocks, challenges, specific insights they learned, and how they’re using SOLIDWORKS to solve real world problems.

You’ll learn a mixture of soft skills and hard skills. This series is perfect for viewers who are already proficient in SOLIDWORKS (CSWA, CSWP, CSWE) and want to take the next step in their careers.

In this episode of Mechanisms & Mentorship, I’ll interview Aaron Moncur, Mechanical Engineer & Owner of We’ll focus on his journey from getting laid off, to successfully starting his own mechanical engineering and product development firm that’s going on 13 years strong.


1. What’s the Story of Your Company, (Min 0:29)  Aaron leads the interview with honesty, one of his core values. He explains how the story of Pipeline, the company he owns, begins with failure, and how he was fired from his previous position. He accredits his former employer as being absolutely correct for firing him. Listen to the segment to gain an understanding of how Aaron turned a negative into a positive.

More about Pipeline: Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find more here:

2. Why is the Company Called “Pipeline” if you Don’t do Pipelines? (Min 4:45)  Aaron grew up surfing in Hawaii. “Pipeline” happens to be the name of the beach in Hawaii that had the best waves and where all the top surfers would go. The company was named Pipeline because it’s an ideal for the best projects, engineers, and work.

3. How Were You Able to Scale the Company During COVID? (6:45)  The company doubled down on its niche of custom equipment and automation. The timing was impeccable, because while the pandemic was forcing workers from other industries to work from home, the manufacturing industry couldn’t be done remotely. Hence, there were a lot of companies looking to automate manufacturing. Preparation met opportunity, and Pipeline scaled.

4. The Importance of Business Coaches (Min 8:35)  A quote that inspired Moncur was when his business coach shared with him that a company in the 2008-09 recessions stated: “We refuse to participate in the economic downturn.” Aaron mentions how he borrowed that metaility and applied it during COVID.

5. What are Your God Given Talents? (Min 9:55)  Aaron explains his strengths, and his philosophy that technical skill can only take you so far.

6. Free Mechanical Design Engineering Academy (Min 11:40)  Aaron launched the “Pipeline Academy,” a faster, less expensive, and more effective process to train mechanical design engineers than the traditional college route. You can watch the video playlists below for free:

Top used hardware by mechanical design engineers

MFG Processes



Rafael Testai also helped him create the content. The initiative was discontinued due to lack of funds, but the videos remain on YouTube. The idea behind monetizing the academy was to sell the packaged training to mechanical engineering firms so they could train their staff quicker. If you’re interested in contributing and/or helping finance this mechanical design engineering academy, please reach out to Aaron Moncure here and tell him you read this blog. The world needs this academy!

To learn more about Aaron Moncur, visit his LinkedIn.

If you read until the very end, I greatly appreciate it. I would encourage you to follow me on Linkedin so that we can stay in touch and you can be notified when more articles like this one get published. I lead with value and my writing style is direct and to the point.


Any recommendations on who you think I should interview next? Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin or Instagram. I read all correspondence.





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