Mechanical designs may appear to function on paper, but they may not function in reality due to temperature fluctuations or because of harsh compounds in the environment. As such, engineers are required to carefully consider not only the function of their design but the environment in which that design will operate and how that design will be put together.

Generally speaking, thermal management in electronic products is disregarded, while other concerns such as ability, price, power usage, and weight take priority. However, a design that does not consider thermal management can quickly fall into problems if left unchecked, as many electronic products of the past have faced.