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What is Reverse Engineering?

Reverse Engineering is the process of measuring, analyzing and testing to construct mirror image of a product or service such as software’s, machines, aircraft etc. It is a technology which enables us to reinvent a road map leading to reconstruction and reproduction of products or services with same or optimized design. To accomplish this task an engineer needs to understand the functionality of original parts and also should have the skills to replicate its characteristic details.

This technology is one of the primary methodologies utilized in many industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, medical device, sports equipment, toy, and jewelry. It is also applied in forensic science and accident investigations. Manufacturers all over the world have practiced reverse Engineering in their product development. The new analytical technologies, such as three-dimensional (3D) laser scanning and high-resolution microscopy, have made reverse engineering easier.


Reverse engineering

Reverse Engineering can be used for following functions:

  • To build an improved version of existing product or service.
  • To duplicate or produce original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts whose design data are not available.
  • To repair or replace worn-out parts without knowledge of the original design data
  • To generate a model or prototype based on an existing part for analysis. 

Flow chart representation of Reverse Engineering process is given below.

reverse engineering for Mechanical Component

Reverse engineering begins with the product and works through the design process in the opposite direction to arrive at a product definition statement. In doing so, it uncovers as much information as possible about the design ideas that were used to produce a particular product. It  is now recognized as an important factor in the product design process which highlights inverse methods, deduction and discovery in design.

In mechanical engineering, reverse engineering has evolved from capturing technical product data, and initiating the manual redesign procedure while enabling efficient concurrency benchmarking into a more elaborated process based on advanced computational models and modern digitizing technologies.

Today the application of reverse engineering is used to produce 3D digital models of various mechanical worn or broken parts. 

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