Reverse engineering with the AICON SmartScan series


The term ”reverse engineering” describes the process of fully digital construction elements being extracted from an already existing product; or in other words, the generation of the digital three-dimensional data of a real object. 

In the course of many years in the business, AICON 3D Systems has established long-standing, profound experience and know-how in the field of three-dimensional optical data acquisition for reverse engineering processes, not only with regard to the development of system solutions, but also in connection with current applications.

This comprehensive knowledge is brought together in the AICON SmartScan series: from now, your projects can be processed with a digitization system which has been specifically adjusted to the requirements of reverse engineering. In particular in the standard configurations, the system offers the proven and established AICON quality at an attractive cost-benefit-ratio. 

To ensure accuracy and high-standard data quality, for example in the context of industrial measurements, the system is equipped with low-noise CCD cameras (a broad range from 1.4 megapixels is available) and quality lenses.

The actual reverse engineering process consists of two main phases: in the first step, the object, a part or a component, is scanned three-dimensionally – a task swiftly and precisely accomplished with a scanning system of the AICON SmartScan series. In the second step, a 3D surface model (CAD data set) for diverse kinds of projects is generated from this digital copy with the aid of a reverse engineering software. 

The scanning process is extremely fast and runs completely contact free; it is therefore suitable even for fragile or easily deformable objects, regardless of their size. 
Irrespective of complexity, edges or undercuts, all object details are captured at the highest level of measurement accuracy and resolution. Furthermore, all SmartScan systems are designed for portable use, thus enabling any three-dimensional digitization to be conducted directly on site.

The CAD data set generated on the basis of the scan data can be directly compared with the scan data of the original. This way it is ensured on the spot that not the slightest detail is being overlooked or missed during the reverse engineering process. From the measurement via the evaluation all the way up to the data set it is only a very small, but a highly efficient step!

Quickly operational CAD data

In the automotive engineering or the metal forming technology, components with a very irregular geometry (e.g. car body parts, turbine blades) are, amongst others, digitally processed through reverse engineering. On the basis of these so-called free-form surfaces, precise CAD data for the serial production is generated by digitization with the SmartScan system, followed by reverse engineering. This approach enables you to implement your product designs in a time- and cost-saving manner, or to swiftly and without much time-consuming effort digitize an older product model of which respective data sets have not yet been available.

The short way to unique product design

The technique of reverse engineering is particularly suited in the broad and diverse area of object design as well as the field of prototype production. The AICON SmartScan is capable to scan even hand-crafted drafts down to the last detail, the resulting data is then further processed on the computer and subsequently used as templates for the production. 

In case of objects whose original is only partially available, it is for instance possible to create complete symmetrical digital objects: After completion of the three-dimensional scanning of the existing object part, a special software creates the exact mirror image of this part; the two halves are then joined together into a perfectly symmetrical, complete object and the resulting data forms the basis for the subsequent production. Thanks to reverse engineering, there are virtually no limits to your creativity in product design!

Individually customized packaging

The time- and cost-saving generation of three-dimensional data is by far no longer limited to product development and production: Using reverse engineering methods, also individually customized packaging for most diverse shapes and sizes can be produced. 

To do so, a mirror image of the virtual model of the object to be packed is created. The resulting negative mold then serves as the ideal template to produce packaging material perfectly adjusted in line with the product geometry. This procedure is particularly useful in connection with highly sensitive and fragile parts, which have to be packed especially with consideration to possible breakage and damage – so that the transportation of your products does not develop into a risk bearing production factor.

Your personal digital library

All high-resolution 3D data can be collected and documented in a digital archive. In this way, all the data material, usable in so many ways and contexts, can conveniently be retrieved at any time for further processing, for research studies or for the development of new products: create your very own reverse engineering library!