Reverse engineering also known as back engineering, is the process of extracting knowledge or design information from anything man-made and re-producing it or reproducing anything based on the extracted information. The process often involves disassembling something (a mechanical device, electronic component, computer program, or biological, chemical, or organic matter) and analyzing its components and workings in detail.
There are a number of reasons why reverse engineering is important for the development of products in our world today. Reverse engineering does not just mean a competitor is trying to copy a product. If engineers did not reverse engineer anything we would never have the technology that we enjoy today.
- CAD Modeling
- CAD Library Building
- Precision Measuring
- CAD Integration
In many cases clients need to reverse engineer another product in order to integrate their own product. Product and software integration is where reverse engineering services are commonly needed. There is another case where its quite common that reverse engineering services are needed. Sometimes manufactures who produce a product that is still in demand go out of business. Because of legal issues they were unable to share product design concepts. Another reason is loss of information due to natural disasters. A company who was producing widgets lost their design offices due to a fire. They also did not back up their data properly. Thousands of CAD drawings were lost and they need to re-engineer their widgets for their clients.
Another scenario of reverse engineering which is very common is how after market parts are designed for cars. An after market part is usually designed from the original car part. Reverse engineering takes place to develop the replacement parts because the original manufacturer or OEM will not share design information about their car with the public. Engineers are forced to copy the design or copy the surrounding parts in order to integrate and develop a new model or replacement part.
In almost every product today some form of reverse engineering most likely took place. Product integration could never be at the level it is today without new companies taking old designs and reverse engineering them into new products. Often you will find models and new designs with better characteristics and improved functionality.