Reverse engineering is as old as engineering itself, and remains an important part of the product development process in the digital era. Numerous methods and systems have been developed over the years to move physical data into design. Today the goal is to quickly and accurately move physical data into the 3D digital environment, so that the virtual model is the reference design. Those designs can then be used for future innovations and after-market product development.
Reverse engineering involved many tasks. It can be CAD digital reconstruction of existing objects using 3D scanning metrology and probing; design modification; and alignment of imported data with existing model data. Sometimes it is to analyze manufacturability. The common element is data import and preparation from physical sources for digital design, engineering, and simulation applications.
Available software tools provides a variety of 2D- and 3D-specific computational methods for working with point clouds and meshes for reverse engineering. Specific tools provide for working with sub-areas, and such editing tasks as removing, cleaning, filtering, smoothing, hole filling, shape improvement, and mesh re-segmentation. The goal is a watertight mesh to be used directly in CAD for further design, for rendering, or other downstream applications. Models created in the reverse engineering system can also be used directly to print to a 3D printer.
Reverse engineering is all about the geometry. Wireframes, curve networks, and surfaces created from digitized shape data can be created from physical objects. There are tools for recovering virtual sharp edges, for sweeping to create lofts, and automatic surface creation from a mesh according to a given accuracy.
Using numerous point tools for reverse engineering is complex and causes unnecessary delays due to file sharing/management, and interoperability issues. Talk to your Adaptive Corp. advisor about updating your reverse engineering workflow with modern software tools and processes, to streamline your design workflow, increase engineering productivity, and improve manufacturability.