With reverse engineering, like its name says, the usual and natural process is invested to reach the manufacture of a product.
It is part of a finished product to digitize and study it, add modifications from the data obtained and achieve as a result an ideal product, being able to create different prototypes through 3D printing in the process to verify the modifications made until that moment.
The digitization process of an object or mechanism scanned by reverse engineering is based on converting the data obtained as a virtual object from a 3D scanner to a CAD software (computer-aided design) to detailed analysis of its manufacture, its functionality, which are its aerodynamic, hydrodynamic, resistance to concrete efforts, etc. This procedure facilitates the study and rectification of an object or the creation of a new one without copying the original. Scanning is done without capturing the texture or colour of the original object if it is not necessary.
3D scanning software, along with scanners, gives us a “points cloud” of the object that determines its precise shape and exact sizes. Once these data are obtained, we can originate a CAD file for its treatment with the appropriate engineering software, represent the virtual object in a computer simulation or print a physical replication using a 3D printer.
Reverse engineering is also used by some companies to examine competitive products. It is used to analyze for example how it works, what it does, which components it consists of and how they are related to each other, estimate costs, identify potential patent infringements, etc.
It is also often used in case that the documentation of a particular device has been lost (or has never been written), and the person who built it is no longer working in the company.
Reverse engineering is also used to measure and analyze the hull of a sailboat, which is the main body of the boat, except the engine and everything that is above the deck. With this 3D scanning system, technical plans (possibly non-existent) can be extracted using specific software and calculate the hydrostatic efforts and results of its shape. In the naval world, the scanner is used for inspections, certifications and quality controls. With the 3D model you can inspect the shapes of hull, as well as the systems installed on boat and be able to certify the characteristics of the ship, such as, for example, assessing the handicaps for sailboat regattas.
This technique applies to many other fields of engineering and design such as the manufacture of seats and complements of automotion, systems and environments for human use (ergonomics), quality control, prototype manufacturing, etc.