Reverse Engineering Using CAD


Reverse engineering is the process of reproducing a part by extracting surfaces or sketches from a scanned point cloud or mesh to create a CAD model of the part. The product reflects how the part was to be designed originally. Creating a 3D CAD model from a 2D drawing to reflect design intent is also another form of reverse engineering. Reverse engineering is becoming a more popular method of creating a 3D model of a part without existing CAD files. This process has saved lots of individuals and companies’ time, cost and increased quality on design processes and time to market.

A 3D scanner can be used to scan/analyze a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance (color or/and texture). The collected data can then be used to construct a digital 3D model.

There are lots of different types of software for reverse engineering. The two main ones are: PolyWorks and GeoMagic – Design X. Leios is also a very good basic reverse engineering software package.

Digital Scan 3D (DS3D) has trained staff that will help and recommend the best reverse engineering package for your application. Reverse engineering process falls into two major categories:

  1. Free-Form or Organic Parts
  2. Prismatic or Mechanical Parts

The reverse engineering process used to reverse engineer an object will depend on whether a part is organic or prismatic. If you have any questions, please contact us.

scanned 3d data.

Scanned Data
(Mesh in STL format).

This data is from a 3D scanner. Collected as a point cloud and processed/triangulated to a mesh.

sketch from scanned data file

Reverse Engineering:

Generating a sketch from a scanned data file.

Software used for Reverse Engineering:

1. PolyWorks
2. GeoMagic Design X
3. Leios

cad file

CAD File:

Final reverse engineered part. This CAD file can be modified or exported as a .STEP/IGES/Parasolid…

CAD Software to modify and complete Design intent:

1. SolidWorks
3. NX Siemens
4. Inventor
5. Creo

Digital Scan 3D (DS3D) offers training and support for all the products and services mentioned above. Further, we have trained staff to help you with your reverse engineering needs. We provide reverse engineering services at our facility. Ship us your part, we will 3D scan and reverse engineer it for you.

Also, Digital Scan 3D (DS3D) offers certified courses at our facility for all of the products and services we offer. We are also available to come to your facility if needed.