Discover the disciplines that use the various methods of reverse engineering.
- It may not be obvious, but reverse engineering is used all around you. From your local checkout counter, to large industrial corporations. As an example, in the automotive world, reverse engineering tools are often used in the initial concept phases of vehicle design. The basic workflow goes something like this, a stylist draws the images of the vehicle that they want, then a clay modeler takes those images and lays out the vehicle. And in the very beginning, this may be a quarter scale clay model.
Once the styling direction has been determined, they then model the full sized vehicle. Once the full size clay model has been completed and styling and engineering agree on the final design, it is then at this time scanned, then input into their CAD tool of choice. That is where the CAD modelers begin to overlay surfaces and recreate the clay in digital space. All the while referencing the clay scan to get the good understanding of the aesthetics of the vehicle. Also, the automotive aftermarket is a huge consumer reverse engineering.
If you're making a spoiler or truck bed cap, et cetera, you need to know how things fit together. And a 3D scan can help you do that. In the aerospace world the process is similar, but the needs are a little different. Oftentimes, parts are obsolete and need to be recreated for an old aircraft. Unlike the automotive world, where parts exist on a shelf, the aerospace world does not have this luxury. Let's say you have an old airplane that has no engineering drawings, or any parts on a shelf sitting around anywhere.
You're going to need to recreate those parts. The same can be said for airplanes that are still currently commissioned by the armed services. Oftentimes, these aircraft are designed 40 to 50, even 60 years ago. There definitely were no CAD models back then. And the old Mylar drawings just rotted away. Oftentimes, orthodontists use these tools to help get their patients' jaws aligned as quickly and as efficiently as possible. With the advent of 3D printing, these tools and techniques are now being used by the everyday person.
Maybe you're restoring an old car, or you have various projects around the house, such as fixing up a piece of furniture. I'm sure that if you sit down and give it a think you can come up with something you may want to restore or repair yourself.
- Where is reverse engineering applied?
- Using standard hand tools
- Nondestructive ways to create highly accurate representations of parts
- Getting accurate measurements with calipers and micrometers
- Setting up, capturing, and cleaning up scans
- Importing and parsing the STL
- Importing CAD data as STL
- 3D printing