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CAD Design and Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is when a product or system is deconstructed in order to figure out how it was built. In computer aided design (CAD), a model is usually built the opposite way – from an original design to a final prototype.

Traditional methods can be used, such as measuring and drawing the object’s dimensions by hand, but using CAD scanning techniques is a better option when trying to capture complex information.

When using CAD to reverse engineer a product, it has to be scanned and measured using rapid surfacing and solid modeling techniques. 3D scan data is the most efficient way to generate a CAD model from a physical object. It is the most critical step in the process of reverse engineering a product.

During the process, both hardware and software are used. The hardware measures the object and the software is used to reconstruct it, much like a new design would be created.  The hardware that can be used in capturing the object includes a laser scanner, a structured light digitizer or a measuring machine.

Once the information from the physical object is captured, the data needs to be analyzed and deconstructed so that a new design can be created from it. That’s where CAD software comes in. Here are a few programs that can be used in reverse engineering as well as a few of their benefits. If you need help with these types of jobs, let the experts at Indovance help you! Our CAD drawing services are very affordable!

How CAD Helps Reverse Engineering

HighRES for Autodesk Inventor – Autodesk makes an add-in for their AutoCAD software, Inventor, that supports the reverse engineering process. It is compatible with most 3D scanner software, so that the data is transferred into the program.  Its benefits include the ability to scan point clouds and measurements directly into the software, obtain raw data from the scans that can be converted into real CAD models, and the capability of digitizing parametric models into the feature tree.

Point Cloud – This plug-in is compatible with AutoCAD and gives users the ability to reconstruct the geometry of an object. It used point cloud technology to recreate a surface using a draping method. The surface is formed along the drape direction. It claims to be user-friendly for even those new to reverse engineering.

SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD – This CAD package includes all the tools needed to recreate an existing product, from importing and evaluating data to creating the models, to creating molds, to eventually 3D printing a prototype. It has tools such as Auto Trace that allow for importing of paper sketches, to surfacing tools that allow for editing the geometry of the object.

Geomagic Design X – Formerly known as Rapidform XOR, this software works with existing CAD software to process your scans into information you can manipulate. Rather than creating point cloud or meshes like most scanners it creates manufacturing-ready models. Because it works with the software you already use, it is easy to learn.

Reverse – Aptly named, this software has the tools needed to develop a product from the scan of the original product to the design for creation of the parts of a new product. It is able to use mixed modeling techniques to blend meshes, surfaces and geometrics into a single design.

Imagix 4D – Not all products that are reverse engineered are 3D objects. Computer software is often copied in order to build other application or improve upon current ones. When that is the case, software is needed to reverse engineer code. Imagix 4D is able to analyze source code so that it can be duplicated or modified.

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When making the decision to outsource, knowing you’re selecting the right partner for your business can make it even easier. That’s why choosing Indovance – one of the top CAD drawing services companies in the world – should be a no-brainer. We offer CAD services, BIM, Architecture services and more. Our goal is to provide you with cost efficient, quality, and timely results. Call us today to learn more about the benefits we offer to businesses that want the best in design outsourcing.

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