3D printing and reverse engineering: how to improve your production
Posted By Kat Plewa on Dec 10, 2019 |
Reverse engineering can help you to totally rethink your manufacturing process and help you improve it. However, developing new solutions is not always easy and can be time-consuming. This is exactly where 3D technologies come to the rescue. What exactly is reverse engineering and how can combining it with Additive Manufacturing revolutionize your production methods? Let’s find out!
What is reverse engineering?
Reverse engineering, otherwise known as back engineering, is a method of learning by taking apart human-made objects in order to learn how it was produced without any preview knowledge of it. This process can be applied to different things, from electric devices to programming code.
The purpose of reverse engineering is not really to copy the part but to learn how it was produced and gain knowledge of the manufacturing process. That allows improving the part or finding new solutions.
3D printing and reverse engineering: two complementary methods
There are many advantages when it comes to using 3D technologies for back engineering purposes. They can highly improve product development and prototyping stage, which affects the final product. 3D scanning and 3D printing are the main methods beneficial for reverse engineering. How can they be used?
Turning your part into a 3D model
In order to examine an object for reverse engineering applications, 3D scanning comes in very handy. It will allow you to get an exact image of it in virtual reality. 3D scanners will produce a mesh, digital representation of the part in question build of triangles. Most CAD software doesn’t work with mesh objects as it’s not precise.
Different CAD software will provide you with various solutions to turning 3D mesh into a solid 3D model. It is not very complicated and 3D scanning is still the fastest way to move your object from a physical one to digital.
Once you have a precise 3D model, you can add to it any adjustments needed. CAD and 3D modeling software will allow you to run different stress tests and predict the behavior of different parts, exposing their weak and strong points. This is a huge advantage over traditional methods. Thanks to 3D scanning and CAD software you will be able to shorten the development stage from weeks to just days. Additionally, it brings the costs down as you don’t have to produce as many prototypes, you can test different solutions within the computer! Speaking of prototypes, let’s see how 3D printing and reverse engineering can improve them.
Reverse engineering and 3D printing for the fastest prototyping process
Additive Manufacturing will give you the possibility to make quick adjustments to the model and produce it in no time. 3D printing is a reliable and fast production method where you can also choose between different materials and technologies.
Thanks to reverse engineering you will deeply examine the object discovering the development methods behind it. You will gain knowledge which will help you to understand how the object can be modified and improved. You already know that 3D scanning and 3D modeling will allow you to create a digital version of the object, edit it and test it.
The next step is to actually produce the prototypes and 3D printing is a perfect solution for that. You can choose between different plastics, resins and even metal materials. Thanks to the wide range of technologies, Additive Manufacturing will also produce your prototypes quickly. This means fast, more efficient and less expensive production.
3D printing not only for prototyping
Although Additive Manufacturing technologies are well known to be reliable for rapid prototyping, they actually came a long way since. Thanks to reverse engineering and many options available for 3D printing, you can produce fully functional parts. Your manufacturing process will be more efficient and faster, additionally can be improved by bringing many costs down.
Are you ready to improve your production with Additive Manufacturing? With an online 3D printing service like Sculpteo you can do it right now! Simply upload your 3D models or contact our sales department.