Reverse Engineering for Additive Manufacturing 242

"Reverse Engineering for Additive Manufacturing 242" provides an overview of reverse engineering (RE) and how it is used in additive manufacturing (AM). Reverse engineering is the process of determining how an existing item was designed and manufactured and is often used to recreate existing items for which no design files or related information exists. For AM, RE generally consists of scanning a part with an optical scanner to create a point cloud, converting the point cloud to a mesh, and then converting the mesh to a CAD file. The CAD file can then be used as the basis for creating an improved or replacement part with AM.

The versatility of additive manufacturing, combined with its increased use, makes reverse engineering a valuable tool for creating and improving part designs. After taking this course, users will be familiar with the different RE tools and processes and how RE can enhance AM applications.

Class Details

Class Name:
Reverse Engineering for Additive Manufacturing 242
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Number of Lessons:
10

Class Outline

  • Reverse Engineering
  • Reverse Engineering in Additive Manufacturing
  • The Basic AM Process
  • Reverse Engineering Applications
  • Scanning Methods for RE
  • RE for AM Review
  • Point Cloud and Mesh Data
  • The Reverse Engineering Process
  • Reverse Engineering for AM Part Inspection
  • Final Review

Objectives

  • Describe reverse engineering.
  • Describe how reverse engineering is used in additive manufacturing.
  • Describe the basic additive manufacturing process.
  • List common applications for reverse engineering with additive manufacturing.
  • List common methods for optical scanning in reverse engineering.
  • Describe the point clouds and meshes used in RE with AM.
  • Describe the reverse engineering process.
  • Describe how RE can be used to inspect AM parts.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
3D Three-dimensional. Having height, width, and depth. 3D models for AM are created with computer-aided design software.
3D laser light scanners A portable measuring device that uses light and sensors to measure an object's geometric shape. 3D laser light scanners collect large amounts of surface data quickly.
3D optical scanning Capturing the geometric surface data of an object using a combination of light and sensors. 3D optical scanning collects data to be turned into digital 3D models.
additive manufacturing AM. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
AM Additive manufacturing. The process of joining or solidifying materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. AM methods typically build up layers of material to create an object.
AMF Additive Manufacturing File. A newer file format for use in additive manufacturing that contains data for colors, materials, and other part features. The AMF format allows for more complex shapes than the standard STL format, including curved triangles.
axes An imaginary straight line or circle used to describe the location or movement of an object in three-dimensional space. The linear axes of the Cartesian coordinate system are the X, Y, and Z axes, and the rotational axes are the A, B, and C axes.
back engineering A process that captures geometric data of an existing object to convert it to a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model. Back engineering, or reverse engineering, can be used to create an additive manufacturing part from a traditionally manufactured part.
binder jetting An additive manufacturing process in which liquid binder is used to join powdered materials to create parts. Binder jetting can create parts out of metal, plastic, or ceramic.
build file Computer information that provides detailed instructions to an additive manufacturing machine. Build files include information about the exact shape and size of each layer.
CAD Computer-aided design. A computer system used to design a model of a product. CAD models are converted into STL format for use by additive manufacturing machines.
Cartesian coordinate system A positioning method that uses three perpendicular linear axes to describe the location of an object in three-dimensional space. The three linear axes in the Cartesian coordinate system are the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis.
CMM arms Coordinate measuring machine arms. A portable measuring device consisting of segments connected by joints. CMM arms operate using either contact or noncontact methods.
computed tomography CT. A scanning procedure that utilizes specialized X-ray equipment to generate detailed geometric information about an object. Computed tomography can be used to gather information about the internal features of a part as well as its external features.
computer-aided design CAD. A computer system used to design a model of a product. Computer-aided design models are converted into STL format for use by additive manufacturing machines.
conformal cooling The use of cooling channel configurations that curve and closely correspond to a part's shape. Conformal cooling provides manufacturers with better heat management and allows them to reduce tool wear and cycle time.
cooling channels A passage through which a cooling fluid is circulated to maintain the desired mold or die temperature. Cooling channels may be straight or contoured.
coordinate measuring machine CMM. A sophisticated electronic measuring instrument with a flat, polished table that inspects parts in three-dimensional space using either a contact or a noncontact probe. AM manufacturers may use coordinate measuring machines during the reverse engineering process.
data A collection of numbers, information, or values about a process or product. Data is transmitted between computers and machines.
G code A method of programming that pairs address letters with numerical values to form words. G code programs are used in additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and hybrid machining.
horizontal Parallel to the horizon or ground. A horizontal axis runs side-to-side rather than up-and-down.
imaging system An assembly of components that records and collects images of an object created during computed tomography. The imaging system is connected to a computer, which uses specialized software to reconstruct a series of two-dimensional (2D) images into a three-dimensional (3D) model.
laser A device that generates an intense beam of light that can be precisely aimed and controlled. Laser beams are used to measure and capture surface data.
laser scanning The process of using a concentrated beam of light to generate data about the geometric shape of an object. Laser scanning is used to create a point cloud that can be turned into a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model.
material extrusion An additive manufacturing method that uses a nozzle to dispense material, usually a thermoplastic filament, onto a build platform. Material extrusion is sometimes referred to as either fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF).
mesh A three-dimensional digital model of an object that consists of a number of interconnected triangles or other shapes. Mesh files resemble a web or netting in the shape of a physical item.
metrology The science of measurement. Metrology strives for accuracy, precision, and repeatability.
microchips A minuscule device that conducts electricity and transfers data. Microchips are used in an array of electronics and can be smaller than can be seen with the human eye.
molds A hollow cavity used to shape material. Molds are filled with liquid material, which takes the shape of the mold as it solidifies.
near-net shape A part that is close to meeting consumer or manufacturer specifications, including tolerance and surface finish, directly after it is manufactured. Near net-shape parts require little subsequent machining.
noise Unwanted surface data caused by light interference. Noise, or scatter, affects the accuracy of data collection.
origin A fixed, central point in the Cartesian coordinate system where the three X, Y, and Z axes intersect. The origin has a numerical value of zero.
photogrammetry A 3D imaging method that digitally combines numerous photographs to create a virtual model of an object. Photogrammetry can be used in reverse engineering, but it is relatively imprecise and inaccurate.
plating The process of adding a thin layer of metal to serve as a decorative or protective coating on a part. Plating is sometimes used to improve the surface finish of a part.
point cloud A large collection of data points of a three-dimensional object. Point clouds are typically used to create computer-aided design (CAD) models of objects.
point cloud modeling software A computer program or set of operating instructions that allows someone to modify a digital point cloud model. Point cloud modeling software is necessary for most reverse engineering processes.
polygons A closed shape consisting of line segments that has at least three sides. Triangles, quadrilaterals, rectangles, and squares are all types of polygons.
post-processing A finishing process used to clean, grind, or otherwise prepare a manufactured part for delivering to a consumer or other manufacturer. Common additive manufacturing post-processing steps include removing support structures, improving surface finish, and bringing the part into tolerance.
powder bed fusion PBF. An additive manufacturing method that uses thermal energy to either sinter or melt together layers of powdered polymer, metal, ceramic, or other material. Powder bed fusion processes often use either lasers or electron beams as thermal energy sources.
proprietary Designed by a specific company for use only with its own systems or devices. Proprietary components include physical hardware, such as programming devices, and software components, such as programming software.
prosthetics An artificial implant, device, or limb that replaces a missing body part. Prosthetics may also refer to the design, fabrication, and fitting process involved with these devices.
prototype A preliminary model of a part used to evaluate the look and performance of a design. Prototypes are used to determine the specifications for the final part.
radiation Energy emitted in the form of particles or waves. Types of radiation include sound, light, and electromagnetic waves.
RE Reverse engineering. A process that captures geometric data of an existing object to convert it to a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model. RE, or back engineering, can be used to create an additive manufacturing part from a traditionally manufactured part.
respirators A breathing device worn to prevent inhalation of hazardous substances. Respirators may purify air or supply air to the wearer.
reverse engineering RE. A process that captures geometric data of an existing object to convert it to a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model. Reverse engineering, or back engineering, can be used to create an additive manufacturing part from a traditionally manufactured part.
scatter Unwanted surface data caused by light interference. Scatter is also known as noise and affects the accuracy of data collection.
slicer A computer program that divides an STL file into layers for additive manufacturing (AM). Slicers can either be separate computer programs or part of the machine interface.
software A set of written operating instructions that control a computer. A software program consists of coded formulas and operations that determine the computer's actions.
STL Computer files that represent 3D models as a series of interconnected triangles. STL files are used with additive manufacturing machines.
structured-light scanning Capturing the geometric surface data of an object using a measuring device that projects a pattern of light on the object and scans an image. Structured-light scanning covers a large surface area with each individual scan.
stylus A precision tip that records measurements. On a CMM, the stylus is the spherical portion of the contact probe that makes contact with the part.
three-dimensional 3D. Having height, width, and depth. Three-dimensional models for AM are created with computer-aided design software.
two-dimensional 2D. Having length and width, but not depth. Flat shapes are two-dimensional.
ultrasonic consolidation UC. A sheet lamination process that uses high-frequency vibrations to bond successive layers of material together to build a final part. Ultrasonic consolidation, or ultrasonic additive manufacturing (UAM), most frequently uses sheets of metal foil or tape as build material.
vertical Perpendicular to the horizon or ground. A vertical axis runs up-and-down rather than side-to-side.
X-rays A type of electromagnetic wave with a high frequency and short wavelength. X-rays are used in computed tomography systems to scan the interior of a part and create a digital model for reverse engineering applications.