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Simulation in Reverse Engineering; Why and How

simulation in reverse engineering

For the past few years, I have been in constant contact with manufacturers who did not pay any attention to simulation when designing and building a product.

What I kept hearing from them was “We do not need simulation in reverse engineering!

And this is how I explained it to them 

Why should we still use simulation even if we do reverse engineering?

1-Knowledge of Product Design & Development

In fact, it should be noted that the main part of the reverse engineering process is:

  • The analysis of the design philosophy
  • How to achieve the final product

Most of the time, this process ends only with:

  • 3D modeling in CAD software
  • Using point cloud devices
  • Measuring equipment (such as calipers, 3D scanners, etc.), material analysis

In the best case, analysis of manufacturing methods and heat treatment.

In fact, this series of reverse engineering measures can not be applied. Rather, all these steps are just copying.

When is reverse engineering simulation approaching its ideal?

The reverse engineering process is completed when:

  • In addition to product design, the necessary analysis is performed to properly understand the behavior and performance of the entire machine
  • The details of component design and selection of materials and methods are examined and design information is codified.

It can be said that the boundary between copying and reverse engineering is defined as the boundary of the development

Is it possible that the reverse engineering product is better than the original?

A product that has been copied and its design details have not been examined will not become a better product. But if:

  • The mechanism and performance of a device are properly analyzed according to its components
  • Information obtained is codified

Design engineers will gain knowledge that allows for optimizing the design and providing better products in later stages.

2- Preventing Human Errors

Copying ignores human error in the final product when measuring and taking data, analyzing materials, and producing parts.

How does reverse engineering prevent human errors?

While in reverse engineering, every part and wherever it is used, it is necessary to evaluate its quality, performance, and safety using simulation.

Therefore, here numerical simulation can control and double-check the design and production of the product.

How is simulation used in reverse engineering?

Simulation is a powerful tool used in reverse engineering to recreate and analyze the behavior of a product or system. It allows engineers to understand and optimize the performance of a design without physically building it. Here are some ways simulation is used in reverse engineering:

  1. Virtual prototyping: Simulation software can create virtual models of the product or system being reverse-engineered. Engineers can then test different design variations, analyze their performance, and identify potential issues or improvements.
  2. Performance analysis: Simulation helps engineers evaluate the performance of a reverse-engineered design under different operating conditions. They can simulate the behavior of the product or system in various scenarios, such as stress testing, thermal analysis, and fluid dynamics, to ensure it meets desired specifications.
  3. Optimization: Simulation enables engineers to optimize the design by identifying areas for improvement. By simulating different design configurations, materials, or manufacturing processes, they can determine the most efficient and cost-effective solutions.
  4. Failure analysis: Simulation can help identify the causes of failures or malfunctions in a reverse-engineered product or system. By recreating the operating conditions leading to failure, engineers can analyze the behavior and identify potential design flaws or weaknesses.
  5. Validation: Simulation allows engineers to validate the accuracy of their reverse-engineered models by comparing simulated results with real-world data. This helps ensure that the virtual model accurately represents the physical product or system.

What are the benefits of using simulation in reverse engineering?

Using simulation in reverse engineering can provide several benefits, such as:

  1. Improved accuracy: Simulation software can help to create a more accurate representation of the original design, allowing for a more precise reverse engineering process.
  2. Time-saving: Simulation can help to identify potential issues or design flaws before the physical prototype is created, saving time and resources in the long run.
  3. Cost-effective: By identifying potential issues early on, simulation can help to reduce the need for costly rework or redesigns.
  4. Increased innovation: Simulation can allow for the exploration of new design concepts and ideas without the need for physical prototypes, leading to increased innovation and creativity.

What types of simulations can be performed in reverse engineering?

In reverse engineering, simulations can be used to recreate the behavior and performance of a product or system. Some types of simulations that can be performed in reverse engineering include:

  1. Finite Element Analysis (FEA): FEA is a simulation technique that uses complex algorithms to analyze the stress and strain on a product or system. This type of simulation is commonly used in mechanical engineering to test the strength and durability of components.
  2. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): CFD is a simulation technique that uses numerical methods to analyze the behavior of fluids and gases. This type of simulation is commonly used in aerospace engineering to study the aerodynamics of aircraft.
  3. Kinematic Simulation: Kinematic simulation is a simulation technique that analyzes the motion and movement of a product or system. This type of simulation is commonly used in robotics and automotive engineering to test the performance of moving parts.
  4. Thermal Simulation: Thermal simulation is a simulation technique that analyzes the heat transfer and thermal behavior of a product or system. This type of simulation is commonly used in electrical engineering to test the performance of electronic components.

Recommendations and requirements in reverse engineering simulation

Engineering simulation is practically applicable at every stage of product production. This is stated in many standards. Therefore, both as a contractor and as an employer, it must be considered that the documentation related to the simulation and mechanical analysis of the desired part or equipment must be available. Its absence indicates many errors in the product.

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