Reverse Engineering and Straightforward Design as Tools to Improve the Teaching of Mechanical Engineering

  • Eusebio Jiménez LópezEmail author
  • Mario Acosta Flores
  • Gabriel Luna Sandoval
  • Baldomero Lucero Velázquez
  • Juan José Delfín Vázquez
  • Luis Andrés García Velásquez


Background and Purpose: The challenges imposed by today’s societies, which demand products and services of quality and of greater technological complexity, require the formation of highly trained human resources, which confront the various problems that arise in industries. Reverse engineering and the direct design are applied to solve problems in companies and universities. These methods, in combination with active methodologies, provide tools that potentiate the teaching of engineering. This article presents a proposal for the definition of reverse engineering and its application, together with the direct design method, in the development of novel procedures oriented toward the teaching of engineering.

Design/Method/Approach: The procedures are logical sequences of the tasks and activities that are applied to pose or raise problems of mechanics and to make systematic measurements of components, as well as to document the designs of the products. To show the application of active methodologies in learning, the project-based learning (PBL) is used in a case study.

Results/Anticipations: The proposed definition of reverse engineering allowed to generate procedures to support students in the measurement of pieces. In addition, the nine steps of direct design promote order and the systematization in the development of a product and establish the importance of documenting a project as the basis of technology development. In order to potentiate engineering education, it is necessary to incorporate active learning methods, such as the PBL.

Conclusions: Reverse engineering and the direct design method are two methods that assist engineering education. The procedures described in this paper, together with the PBL, promote the formation of generic and specific competences, as well as the order, systematization, and normalization in projects that implies measurements and component design, to the benefit of engineering education and of the industrial sector.


Reverse engineering, Engineering education, Metrology 



The authors of this work thank the La Salle University Northwest, the Technological University of the South of Sonora, the Sonora State University, the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos, and the Higher Technological Institute of Cajeme, for the facilities and support that led to the realization of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eusebio Jiménez López
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario Acosta Flores
    • 2
  • Gabriel Luna Sandoval
    • 3
  • Baldomero Lucero Velázquez
    • 4
  • Juan José Delfín Vázquez
    • 4
  • Luis Andrés García Velásquez
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad La Salle Noroeste-UTS-IIMMCiudad ObregónMexico
  2. 2.Universidad Autónoma del Estado de MorelosCuernavacaMexico
  3. 3.Universidad Estatal de SonoraHermosilloMexico
  4. 4.Instituto Tecnológico Superior de CajemeCiudad ObregónMexico

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