The process of creating a CAD model for reverse engineering services requires some understanding of the original designer’s thought process. For example, one must make assumptions about whether a part is supposed to be symmetrical or perfectly round in shape. With reverse engineering, the goal is often to produce a CAD model of very high quality surfaces, or “idealized”, where faces are perfectly flat, holes are perfectly round and surfaces are all seamlessly blended into one another. This makes it easier to create feature-based models along with dimensioned 2D drawings. This is different than “as-built” modeling, where the goal is to intentionally model a part’s flaws wherever they exist.


Common reasons include:

  • To make a part or other item cheaper
  • Replicate a one-of-a-kind part
  • Analyze a competitor’s product
  • Create machining drawings for a handmade prototype
  • Create a nominal model to be compared against for inspection
  • Make changes and improvements to a product’s design
  • Preserve and document handmade molds & obsolete parts
  • Blueprint parts for government certification
  • Create the mold for a part

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