The underlying theory behind the process is pretty basic. If you wanted to make a new pillow exactly like the one you already have, the process would be pretty simple. You would find a seam ripper and carefully open up the seams on the current pillow that you have. Using the current fabric as a guide, you would create a pattern and trace it onto a new piece of fabric. You would take the initial pillow’s filling and after a discussion with someone at a fabric store, you would determine what you could purchase that would most closely resemble it. With the new pillow filling contents in hand you could them return home, sew seams on both the original pillow and the new pillow and you would have achieved your goal. The initial pillow and a replica pillow.
Reverse engineering in its most elemental form.
When a technology competitor wants to recreate a popular electronic device, they use industrial CT scanning inspection services to create a design for recreating the original piece of electronics. Through non destructive testing and very specific porosity measurements, the competitor would try to find exactly the materials that were used in the original. More complicated than the example of making a pillow, but basically the same process.
Some would argue that there really is no such thing as reverse engineering, it is all just engineering. Creating a design and using that design and its pattern to engineer a product. Taking an original apart, analyzing all of the parts to see how it is made, and creating a replica.
Creative Engineering Practices Help Recreate Parts That Are No Longer Available
In addition to using reverse engineering to duplicate a product, this technique can also be used to recreate or replace parts that are no longer available. In metal working shops across the country, the process of recreating broken and damaged parts is a very desirable skill. Being able to duplicate a broken part and create a pattern for that part is what many metal working shops do every day.
The first CT scanner developed by British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield and South African-born Tufts University physicist Allan Cormack in their lab took several hours to acquire the raw data for a single “slice” and took days to reconstruct. The latest multi-slice CT systems, however, can collect up to four “slices” of data in about 350 ms. They can also reconstruct a 512 x 512-matrix image from millions of data points in less than a second.
Access to today’s technology, however, can make the process of reverse engineering faster and more accurate then ever before. With the most advanced x-ray computed tomography and 3D laser scanning services, not even part size is an issue. In fact the detail and scope of the newest technologies can produce scans of parts ranging from as small as .5mm in length to parts as large as 660mm in diameter x1m in length. Being able to digitally x-ray this wide variety of sizes, today’s scanning services can determine everything from a wall thickness analysis to detailed porosity measurements. X-rays that can be taken as fast as 30 per second can add detail to other 3D laser images to create replicas difficult to tell apart from the originals.
Reverse Engineering Services Can be Used in a Variety of Fields
- Replacing program parts on antique tractors and other collectibles
- Recreating homemade metal spacers for machinery to improve its function
- Create affordable replacement parts for school furniture
- Duplicating expensive parts for otherwise working lifts and hydraulic pumps
- Designing hard plastic parts to replace metal parts prone to rust and corrosion
- Educational learning of complicated processes by disassembling and then reassembling products as diverse as computers and hand mixers
Reverse engineering services are an integral part of society. While many uses of this practice focus on duplicating new technologies, they can also be used to analyze problems. If, for example, a part in a popular skateboard always breaks after 20 hours of use, reverse engineering can be used to solve the problem. Through advanced technology like scanning and x-ray services, the skateboard manufacturer can determine where the weakness or flaw is. Using this information, a new, durable, part can be created.
Reverse technology isn’t about going backward, it’s about going forward.