Re: Is there a defintion for Reverse Engineering?

From: John Wright (
Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 12:55:15 EEST


Should you be asking questions about Reverse Engineering on the RPML??

I think you should !

Definition : There isn't a definition for RE - however seeing as its been
around as long as scratching's on cave walls (maybe thats why some RPers
don't like it - its not new!) we might try to generate one, heres my
attempt - Reverse Engineering is the process of talking an item (drawing,
specification or physical piece) and creating either a copy, an
interpretation or as the basis of a new item.

Reverse engineering satisfies a number of objectives, it allows a route to
copy an item without infringing patents, it allows us to take a hand
sculptured piece as the basis of a mass produced item etc.

At Response Associates we spend most of our lives reverse engineering things
from aircraft control sticks to medical implants to patio door handles. We
take as our starting point a physical item, a drawing/sketch, a
specification or any combination and end up with 3D files of a new item. We
even class some 2D-3D work as reverse engineering - drawings frequently show
the ideal, we never start from DXF or IGES data as we provide an independent
check on the manufacturability and consistancy of the design.

There are a lot of people who winge about reverse engineering - probably
since it is very labour intensive. RE relies on a fundamental understanding
of manufacturing processes, and the ability to look at a physical shape in
order to re-create it within the computer - in an editable form.

Steps for RE:
- take the job and look at it for a while to gain a thorough understanding
of its form and how to make it.
- look at whats going into it
- whats fixed and whats still to be resolved
- what should form the basis of the model - keeping an eye on the areas that
may be affected by mods
- stick your finger in the air and hope for the best.

Best Regards

John Wright
Response Associates Ltd.


Tel: 44 1747 822404
Fax: 44 1747 822545

-----Original Message-----
From: Volker Schillen <>
To: <>
Date: 06 May 1998 08:16
Subject: Is there a defintion for Reverse Engineering?

>Dear RP'ler
>I try to find a definition for "Reverse Engineering". What are the
>necessary steps to do Reverse Engineering? Any suggestions?
>Volker Schillen
>Information Science Research Center at the University of Karlsruhe
>Mobility Management and Robotics Fon: ++49-721-9654-314
>Haid-und-Neu-Str. 10-14 Fax: ++49-721-9654-309
>D 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany) e-mail:
>Volker Schillen
> '''
> (0-0)
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