We’ve all heard of how China would take apart Western fighter aircraft and missile systems to understand how advanced weapon systems worked so they could make their own.
In the automotive industry, in the 1930s, the first Toyota Model A1 was reverse-engineered from existing car designs, when Kiichiro Toyoda visited the US on a business trip and saw the production line of auto manufacturers. He had the GM Chevrolet etc reverse engineered to produce his model. Reverse engineering in a way became the Toyota way and literally steered them to success.
Today, reverse engineering is far more advanced and used in every industry from automobiles and healthcare to software design. And Blue Star E&E has just the tools to help you. Read on to find out.
Reverse Engineering involves converting a physical object into a virtual 3D model by using a physical part or mock-up as a starting point. It is the process of dismantling, dissecting, and analysing an existing product or system to truly understand its design and functionality, its internal mechanisms, materials, and manufacturing techniques. And then deploying that information to create a product that is superior in every aspect.
While traditional engineering begins with virtual designs in CAD and finishes with moulded or 3D-printed end products, reverse engineering goes in the opposite direction. It starts with a tangible object and works its magic backward, resulting in recreations, adaptations, and improvements.
One of the most common applications of reverse engineering for example is when a manufacturer wants to recreate a component of a product.
Perhaps it is to create an ultimately superior product or just to replace an obsolete part, to improve a product’s performance, or to make it more compatible with other systems.
Whatever the reasons, reverse engineering is a process that allows designers to work with parts of a product or the product as a whole to recreate, optimise and enhance with precision.
Let’s take the example of the automotive industry, where upgrades are constantly being added to vehicles. Using reverse engineering one can accurately measure and position the add-on components, without interfering with other aspects of the car or engine.
It is crucial in this case to have precise 3D measurements of the environment so that the new part can be integrated into the design seamlessly.
Here are some of the areas where businesses face challenges when they attempt to reverse engineer a component or a whole machine.
You’ve got to have the right 3D scanning equipment or you will not be able to accurately scan differences in the size, shape, and surface of the object, which can impact the reverse engineering process.
You’ve got to have the right software to convert what your 3D scanner equipment has scanned into a usable digital format. So, you’ve got to ensure that your software for reverse engineering is compatible with your scanning equipment.
You’ve got to train staff to use the scanning equipment well to make the most of the reverse engineering process. Reverse engineering can be time-consuming, complex, and frustrating if you do not have the appropriate tools, methods, and skills for the job.
If you can address the challenges listed above, there is tremendous value that can be discovered through reverse engineering.
Do you have ideas that require design and engineering input, that require reverse engineering to turn into a reality? Are you looking to modernise software products or fix product flaws, upscale security? All of these can be done with reverse engineering. And overcoming the challenges of reverse engineering and taking advantage of its benefits is far easier when you have the right partner by your side.
At Blue Star E&E for example, we have a range of highly reliable portable 3D scanners that provide accurate 3D measurements of any subject. They can help you capture the 3D shape of any object however complex, freeform, or organic. In fact, these scanners are in use in several industries such as automotive, aerospace, and consumer products because of their speed, precision, and light weight (they weigh less than 1kg).
Blue Star E&E has a dedicated team of engineers that can offer a personalised consultation into ways that reverse engineering can transform your products and systems. Save costs, streamline manufacturing, and enhance product performance.