Reverse engineering is a powerful way to create digital designs from a physical part, and can be a valuable tool in your prototyping toolkit alongside technologies like 3D scanning and 3D printing. 3D scanning is the process of collecting data from the surface of a physical object which accurately describes the shape in terms of three-dimensional space. Once collected, this data allows technicians, mechanics, engineers or hobbyists the ability to examine an object digitally, which enhances and maximizes the precision and speed of their work. By obtaining the shape of the part digitally, the scan data can be used to either replicate the part (reverse-engineering), or for dimensional analysis (inspection).
From Physical to Digital: Meshes and Solids
Meshes are the main output of all 3D scanners, and the format commonly understood by 3D printers (STLs). A mesh represents the surface of a shape with a large number of triangles, connected edge to edge. Mesh models don’t contain any information about the object, besides the position of the triangles that define the shape.
On the other hand, engineers are trained to work with solid models. Solid models hold information about how an object is designed, and this information is explicitly encoded into the model as features in a ‘stack’ of logical steps.
FARO® 8-Axis Design ScanArm 2.5C
Breakthrough Color Scanning and Unmatched Efficiency for 3D Design High-Performance 3D Scan-to-CAD Solution for Product Development and Computer Graphics.
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