What is Reverse Engineering?

There are two general modes of engineering: forward and reverse. Forward engineering is the typical process whereby a product moves from an abstract idea to a physical object. This can involve many processes depending on the final product, including drawing approvals, material selection, and choosing a cost-effective production method. Ideally, documentation is organized and protected at every step of the way.

Reverse engineering, on the other hand, takes a previously produced product and works backward through the process to create design documentation. To what purpose? Reverse engineering is typically required to replace lost documentation, move a hand fabricated prototype to mass production or recreate a product that is no longer available on the market.

How Can Reverse Engineering Help Your Business?

Consider this scenario, a company wants to create a newer model of an existing injection-molded plastic part, such as a hand-held controller for example. The problem, in this case, is the engineering documentation has been misplaced, misfiled or ultimately lost.

Herein lies the beauty of reverse engineering.

With computer-assisted design, RSP can take a sample of the previously produced product (in this case a plastic enclosure) and recreate a digital 3D design using 3D scanning equipment, mechanical measurement devices and CAD software. Our engineers use this 3D rendering to create a new injection mold construct, which ultimately translates to a new product.

Membrane Switch Sample from Customer
Reverse Engineered Product Created by RSP

RSP can even reproduce membrane switches that have been worn or warped from continued use. By providing a sample, RSP can recreate a new membrane switch, extending the effective life of the product to which it attaches.

It is worth noting that while membrane switches are one of the most commonly employed products in reverse engineering, this process can be extended to virtually any capability, such as printed graphics, to fit your company’s needs.

Have questions? Call RSP today at 1 (866) 329-1804, and ask how we can help you reverse engineer your product.