Reverse Engineering

  • Gianluca Percoco
Living reference work entry



In Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Design, Reverse Engineering is the process of achieving a 3D Computer-Aided Model of an existing object, starting from a point cloud obtained through a 3D digitizer or scanner.


Reverse Engineering (RE) is used to acquire the model geometry and shape when product drawings are not available and/or component details have been modified, typically for prototyping purposes. This approach is divided into an acquisition phase to obtain a measured point cloud, through the direct 3D digitizing of the object, and an elaboration phase to rebuild the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and/or a Solid-to-Layer (STL) model.

The choice of the appropriate 3D digitizing hardware depends on the required precision and the available scanning time. The output of these systems is a point cloud, a collection of measured data, organized into regular or scattered point sets. A triangulation operation is required to...
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Copyright information

© CIRP 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politecnico di BariBariItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eric Lutters
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Twente, Faculty of Engineering Technology Laboratory of Design, Production and ManagementEnschedeThe Netherlands