Lead Forensics

Workflow for Reverse Engineering – 3D Scanning to CAD Modelling

Apr 12, 2023 | 3D Scanning, Design, Development, Engineering, Reverse Engineering

Once an object is scanned using a 3D scanner, it can be reverse-engineered using software tools that allow editing, modifying, analysing, or recreating its design.

Some common steps involved in reverse engineering using 3D scanning are:

  • 3D Scanning: 3D scan the part with high-precision and professional 3D laser scanners to capture point clouds.
  • Point Cloud Processing: Clean up noise, outliers, or unwanted points from the point cloud data.
  • Mesh Generation and Optimisation: Convert the point cloud into a mesh model and refine the mesh so that the data can be more manageable in CAD.
  • Surface Extraction: Import the mesh to CAD software and extract important surfaces. This step involves generating smooth surfaces that fit to detected regions of the mesh model. Designers can create sketch planes quickly and accurately using the scan model as a reference.
  • Solid Modeling and Re-design: Converting the surface into a solid model by defining features, parameters, and more. The solid model can be used and modified for further design.


Benefits of Using 3D Scanners

Measure Complex Parts – 3D scanning can be used to capture complex shapes that are impossible or difficult to measure for traditional methods. Thanks to their laser scanning and non-contact measurement, it is much easier for handheld 3D scanners to measure narrow spaces, hard-to-reach areas, or parts with intricate details such as gears and turbines.

As a result, designers are able to create realistic models that reflect real-world features and engineers can design new products based on existing parts efficiently.

Enhance Creativity and Innovation – The use of 3D scanning for reverse engineering can enhance creativity and innovation. By using a 3D scanner, designers can explore different ideas and possibilities based on existing objects. For example, a 3D scanner can scan an existing car model and then modify its curves to improve aerodynamics digitally. Alternatively, a 3D scanner can scan multiple objects and combine them into a new design. This can allow designers to create unique products that meet specific needs.

Save Time and Money – Using 3D scanning for reverse engineering can save time and money when compared to traditional methods. For example, instead of measuring an object manually with callipers or coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), which can be slow and troublesome, a 3D scanner can capture millions of points on the surface of an object in seconds with high accuracy. This can reduce errors and rework, as well as speed up the design process.

This blog is taken from an article by Scantech which can be viewed online.


About The Blog

The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.