Manufacturing the world over follows a general process: a CAD model or design is input to a production machine, the machine creates the part, and the part is measured and inspected against the model to ensure it was made accurately. But how do you manufacture when there is only a part and no model?
Whether it’s a handmade prototype, a modification on an existing design, or an old model that has gone out of circulation, parts often need to be machined when there is no CAD model or design to use as a reference point. When this happens, the part needs to be reverse engineered by scanning the existing part to create a new model or design to be used for future production. Fortunately, no matter the size or complexity of the part, the API Services team has the experience and knowledge to help.
“Reverse engineering could be for anyone,” says Ron Hicks, API’s VP of Sales and Services. “We’ve done some bizarre things. We helped a guy who built a new fishing hook. He needed a 3D model of this large hook, so they could mass produce it. It was actually pretty hard to model and scan because it had a lot of rolled surfaces, but we did exactly that, and with this design these guys can manufacture it to his design.”
The team at API Services boasts over 200 years of combined experience with metrological applications, and they can use the API Hemispherical Scanner, the API Arm with Skyline Scanner, or the Z+F Imager to provide a design with sub-millimeter accuracies both at our offices and on-site. They can provide the design as a CAD model, detailed drawing, solid 3D model, or 3D polygonal mesh.