Competency Note - Reverse Engineering
Best Practice Ideas for New Product Development
In the intensely competitive global market, manufacturers are constantly seeking new ways to shorten lead-times to market a new product. Rapid product development (RPD) refers to recently developed technologies and techniques that assist manufacturers and designers in meeting the demands of reduced product development time. By using reverse engineering, a three-dimensional product or model can be quickly captured in digital form, re-modeled, and exported for rapid prototyping/tooling or rapid manufacturing.
Reverse engineering enables the duplication of an existing part by capturing the component's physical dimensions, features, and material properties. Reverse engineering of mechanical parts involves acquiring three-dimensional position data in the point cloud using Coordinate Measurement Machines (CMM’s) or laser scanners, depending on the accuracy required, part geometry and the usage of the final output.
· The reverse engineering process begins with identifying the project scope. Inputs required are the physical component and any other available Engineering documentation.
· Once defined, the appropriate method to capture geometry is selected based on accuracy required, part geometry, and how the final output will be used. For e.g. the part can be physically measured using traditional hand tools, by using non contact inspection equipment by using a touch-probe coordinate measuring machine (CMM) or in complicated the geometry can also be "captured" by mapping the surface with 3D laser scanners or full contact CMM scanner.
· Once the geometry is captured, the reverse engineering project continues and the point cloud is produced and surfacing can begin. The process starts with the creation of good Polymesh from the Point Cloud Data.
· The Polymesh is then processed for spline patches resulting in creation of NURBS (Non- Uniform Rational B-Splines) surfaces or curves
· The NURBS surfaces are exported to CAD software for further refinement and analysis leading to the creation of 3D CAD Model ready for tooling or additional design modifications. 2D Manufacturing drawings could also be generated from the 3D Models based on the standards provided.
· Creation of Point Cloud Data
· Generation of 3D Models of the component (On Pro/E, CATIA, MDT, Inventor or any other CAD format) · Generation of 2D Drawings for the component.
· Development of indexed library/catalog of all components with parametric search facilities.
1. Luggage Lock Assembly: The project involved reverse engineering of a suitcase lock Assembly for one of the largest molded luggage manufacturers. The inputs provided were the physical sample and sketches of desired modifications. The process involved measurement of the sample and creating a “seed” 3D Solid Model with appropriate tolerances. This model was then modified based on the inputs provided by the customers, and 2D manufacturing drawings generated. The 3D models so created could be used for downstream applications like FEA, Motion simulation and interference checking.
2. Reverse Engineering & Prototyping of Shoe for a Shoe Manufacturer – The inputs given were the sample and sketches of desired modifications. The project involved the following activities:
- Scanning of the sample and converting the point cloud to a surface model.
- Creation of the 3D solid model of the shoe “lust”
- Design of the shoe upper and the sole to match the lust
- Creation of the Mold with Mold Split
- Generation of a sole prototype using quick setting plastics
- Assembly of the sole and the shoe upper for the shoe prototype.
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