3D Scanning & Reverse Engineering

Solutions for a Fast, Accurate Reverse-engineering Process

What do you do when you lack a CAD file or design blueprint for an existing part, tool, or object, but you need to produce or build a replacement? And what if the blueprints on file are of poor quality and don’t match the finished product?

In both cases, reverse engineering is the answer. 

3D data capture revolutionizes the reverse-engineering process, allowing operators to digitize complex geometries in minutes and create digital models as future design files. The varied applications are the development of mesh or CAD models of automotive interiors, rapid prototyping in plastics manufacturing, and component part design changes or retrofits in aerospace assemblies. Once created, the digital files can aid in aftermarket parts production, 3D printing, machining, mold and pattern making, tool creation, and part inspection. 
Count on our expertise in 3D scanning, reverse engineering if you need to generate 3D CAD models from existing objects (as-built), whether to determine the original design intent, modernize manufacturing processes, or design a new part to fit a legacy part, for instance.
 
We help our customers at any stage of the product development process to deliver 3D CAD models and STL files with the proper reverse engineering tools.

  • 3D modeling of objects of all sizes
  • Parametric 3D modeling in generic or native file formats
  • Reconstruction from 3D scanning data, 2D drawings, sketches, etc.
  • Hybrid modeling (design intent and as-built)
  • Design modification from existing objects
  • Data preparation for simulation
  • Advanced Class-A surface modeling and Class-B surfacing
  • Part design for injection molding (e.g. draft angle analysis, shrinkage ratio)
Example of Reverse Engineering

 

Features of Industrial 3D Scanning 

  • Reverse Engineering                          
  • Enhanced Precision for large objects
  • Part Inspection                                    
  • Scan to 3D files in less than 1Day
  • Mass Inspection                                  
  • Intuitive data capture
  • 3D Printing                                           
  • Complex Metrological Measurements

Use of 3D Scanner in R&D

1. Reverse Engineering & CAD Creation
A very common challenge in the world of engineering and product design is reverse-engineering a physical product for which you do not have a CAD file. Using a 3D scanner that will capture the complex geometric characteristics of a given part is a great way to develop a CAD file when one is not available. Creating or sourcing high-quality CAD files early on in the reverse engineering process can greatly improve the results of the project by minimizing wasted time and guesswork based on inaccurate data. Time and time again RA Global has found that our reverse engineering solutions have minimized CAD creation time and led to more successful reverse engineering projects.

2. CFD/FEA
Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation is commonly used for flight and wind tunnel testing. Finite Element Analysis is often leveraged to predict how a given part or product will react when exposed to forces like heat, fluid, vibration, etc. As these simulations and analyses are used to simulate conditions for industries like aerospace where safety is of the utmost importance, precise digital models are a must, and this is where 3D scanners come in. The more accurate the 3D models, the more reliable the simulations.

3. Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing 
Prototyping and 3D printing is another frequent use case for 3D scanning and reverse engineering. 3D scanners enable you to take a physical product, scan it into a digital format (e.g. the STL file format), and work with the digitized model to create prototypes that are then printed by 3D printers. The high level of precision enabled by quality 3D scanners significantly streamlines this process because increasing the granularity of scan data greatly reduces the manual time required to create a solid model.

4. Quality Control
One of the most common 3d scanning applications for scanners is quality control. In today’s highly competitive markets where each company is striving to produce the most accurate parts in the fastest amount of time, quality control is of the utmost importance. High-quality manufacturing processes can distinguish a business from its competitors, and this makes precise, accurate, and repeatable quality control processes a vital part of any manufacturing plant. 3D scanning can help firms improve the quality and speed of their inspections by creating detailed 3D models of manufactured parts and offering workflows optimized for specific industries. Each part can be scanned and the digital model can be evaluated to make sure every area on the part is within the specified tolerances.


As 3D scanning advances, new fields are finding applications for the technology, from more traditional metrology to product development, digital museum archiving, and even design for the architecture engineering and construction industry. Reverse engineering, in particular, has been completely revolutionized by the ability to capture data from the physical world and create 3D models from that information, which can then be manipulated and brought back into the physical world using modern fabrication technologies.