When Should You Reverse Engineer a Part?

In the world of mechanical engineering, there is very little margin for error. Therefore, when drawings or documentation for a part are missing, or the original manufacturer either no longer makes the component or no longer exists, we can be left in a bit of a quandary. 

The decision to reverse engineer a part may also be made if technology has progressed to the point where it can be improved or it requires a redesign. This is happening more and more in today’s fast-paced engineering community with evolving processes and materials. 

There is some very exciting tech available to reproduce even the most complex of parts which makes reverse engineering a viable choice in many instances. 

Situations Calling for Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is the process of recreating a component or an entire product without having the original schematics, documentation or even the CAD models. The process can be applied to the smallest part of a complex product, right up to an entire piece of machinery.

This process can be employed to:

  • Build new digital models of a part having access only to older drawings
  • Confirm the quality and tolerances of equipment
  • Identify a certain component and its role in the entire piece of equipment
  • Identify where changes can be made to improve the performance of a product

A common reason to reverse engineer a product is due to dated manufacturing processes or the use of materials which are no longer available, safe, or feasible. In this case, recreating the part and updating it to be formed by modern machinery and with up-to-date materials is the best way forward. 

In some cases, reverse engineering has even been used to defend a patent for a product design which has been copied by a competitor.

Do you have a product or part which needs updating? Have you lost documentation for a critical component? Are you exploring an innovative product? 

Our team has reverse-engineered countless products from multiple industries and have the tech and the tools to help you. Please click on the contact page and drop us a message.