Producing Geometry You Can Trust

Reverse engineering is the process of taking a finished product and reconstructing design data in a format from which new parts or molds can be produced.

- The Society of Manufacturing Engineers

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Guidelines for Scanning

Guidelines for Scanning

Measuring and Reproducing Geometry

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A quality supplier of reverse engineering will have the ability to accurately measure a part and the expertise to reproduce electronic geometry from the measured results. QC takes it a step further with experience in the field related to the product being reverse engineered.
Following are suggestions for procuring and accessing reverse engineering services.

Reverse Engineering Process

  1. Identify the project scope.
  2. Identify the appropriate method to capture geometry based on accuracy required, part geometry, project goals, and how the final results will be used. Traditional hand tools, non-contact inspection equipment, and touch-probe or portable CMMs can be used to capture geometry, as can lasers, 3D laser scanners, full-contact CMM scanners, CT scanners, or a destructive process called Capturing Geometry Internally (CGI). 
  3. The geometry now captured, reverse engineering continues with the production of a point cloud, and then surfacing or modeling of the object.
  4. QC can develop a fully parametric 3D CAD model in any of our customer compatible CAD platforms. At this point, the model is ready for tooling or additional design modifications.
  5. QC also can develop 2D drawings of the component for customers who require them. In those cases, we obtain and use your CAD templates with title block information, and apply any other corporate standards when necessary. If neither a template nor a title block is available, we’ll use a generic format and follow ANSI Y14 drafting standards and employ best practices in both cases.
  6. Throughout the reverse engineering process, QC uses Computer-Aided Inspection (CAI or CAV) to verify work as it’s being completed. Another round of verification, to ensure the end result is accurate and meets your goals, takes place before we submit you the final product.

Defining your Reverse Engineering

  1. Clearly describe your project, including what the final geometry will be used for.
  2. Determine the accuracy required for your application.
  3. Determine the number of samples, prior drawings, and the project history that you’ll provide for the reverse engineering work.
  4. Inform the reverse engineering company what CAD platform you work in.
  5. Determine the critical features on the part.
  6. Determine how far you want the project taken. Do you require point data? A NURBS surface file? Comparative analysis? Parametric solid? Prototypes? Some combination of these?
  7. Special instructions.
  8. The output format you need.

Questions to ask before hiring Reverse Engineering Services

  1. How will you capture the geometry of my part?
  2. Do you use your own dimensional inspection lab?
  3. Can you produce an output in my native CAD platform?
  4. What is your typical delivery time for a project like mine?
  5. What industry background do your engineers have?
  6. What industries have you done work for in the past?
  7. What is your process for verifying the accuracy of the completed work?
  8. How long has your company done reverse engineering and dimensional inspection?

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