3D CAD, 3D Printing, 3D Scanning

3D Scanners for Reverse Engineering

By TriMech on March 10, 2022

Reverse engineering is the measurement of a physical object that is then converted into a 3D CAD model for use in software. It is widely used in many industries including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing and many more. Reverse engineering helps to uncover how an object works or is designed when the files are not readily available. 

Reverse engineering is used for a wide range of applications such as designing jigs or fixtures for existing parts, designing aftermarket parts and reproducing CAD after file loss. 

What are the steps for reverse engineering using a 3D scanner?

  • The object is prepared – this can include adding reference stickers, or spraying reflective areas of the parts.
  • The 3D scanner produces triangular meshes, or point clouds, often tied to color photographs. If the object needs to be scanned from multiple sides, the scanning process can be paused and restarted for each new pose.
  • From there, the datasets are aligned and merged into a single digital model with a common reference system. If necessary, the color data is wrapped onto the model.
  • The data is exported to be used in other software, or retained for study.
  • With the data, an engineer could use the scan to rebuild or simplify parts without needing the original digital file.

Watch this quick reverse engineering demonstration below: 

3D Scan to CAD Model: The Full Process of Reverse Engineering>>>

3D scanners for reverse engineering 

A 3D scanner easily collects visual data from an object and translates it into a digital file. This digital model can be used for making design changes, testing or breaking apart the object without needing the original file. 3D scanning helps eliminate time consuming manual measurements and provide more accurate results. 

There are many 3D scanners on the market to choose from but below are a few considerations for choosing the right one for your business:

  1. Size of the object - do you need to scan small objects like a dime or jewelry or large objects like an airplane or building? 
  2. Level of accuracy - does the file need to be extremely accurate? 
  3. The level of detail (resolution) - do your files need to look sharp and have a high level of detail?

Artec 3D scanners

Whether you need to scan an object as large as a ship or as small as a dime, we offer a range of 3D scanners to meet your needs. Several of the models can be used anywhere to ensure an easy capturing process. 

Our team of 3D scanning experts can help you determine the right solution for your reverse engineering needs. Whether you are looking to invest in a 3D scanner or need help with a few reverse engineering projects, our team can help provide the right solution for you. 

To learn more about 3D scanning technology stream our webinar "Reverse Engineering with 3D Scanning."

Stream the webinar