3D Scanning Reverse Engineering

There are numerous applications for reverse engineering of mechanical components. One common scenario includes established companies with intellectual property far predating the digital age. Blueprints or other 2D drawings may have become lost through the years, destroyed in a fire or natural disaster while parts or tooling survived.

The engineers at Carolina Metrology have extensive experience in reverse engineering and understand what is required to create a usable final product.

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Our Reverse Engineering Process

Reverse engineering is often thought of as an almost magical process in which an object is quickly scanned in one pass and a few moments later a complete 3D CAD model is produced and ready to use. In reality, the reverse engineering process requires more attention to detail and engineering knowledge than a simple 3D scan to CAD to produce the desired outcome.

Depending on the configuration of the part and your CAD requirements, multiple pieces of metrology equipment may need to be used. While a 3D Laser Scanner is the tool of choice, a CMM may also be used to gather information in areas that the 3D Scanner cannot reach. Multiple passes of scanning devices may be required to gather enough data to accurately model a dynamic surface. Those multiple passes will contain some extraneous duplicate data that will have to be removed before proceeding.

The gathered information is generally a point cloud. Our engineers then clean up the point cloud by removing any extraneous data, polygonizing the point cloud and finally creating either a NURBS, solid, parametric or hybrid model in virtually any native format.

Tooling is reverse engineered in the Carolina Metrology labA part from a Lamborghini Countach is scanned and reverse engineeredA mechanical component is scanned and reverse engineered using PolyworksA car piston rod is reverse engineeredA usable 3D CAD model is being created from a 3D scanA historical artifact is reverse engineered in Polyworks after a 3D scanPolyworks modeler used in the reverse-engineering processA CMM operator uses a Faro Laser scanner to inspect a mechanical componentA 3D scan is analyzed in Polyworks

Reverse engineering can be an operator-intensive process based on the complexity of the part being reverse engineered. A great deal of experience is required from gathering data all the way to creating a functional 3D model.

Carolina Metrology has the 3D scanning equipment, software and experience to reverse engineer anything from historical artifacts to production tooling. Remember, we’re engineers ourselves.