Reverse Engineering

Shape Fidelity's comprehensive services include the post-processing of 3D scan data to meet our customers' needs, from optimized STL output for 3D printing to fully reverse-engineered and idealized native CAD geometry.

Here are some of the possibilities when working with 3D scan data:

Point Processing

Typically point processing involves operations to align and merge raw scan data to produce a polygonal mesh. Shape Fidelity can process data from virtually any 3D scanner or source, from a handful of points collected from a touch probe to billions of points from high resolution, non-contact scanning.

Point operations include alignment of multiple scans, noise reduction, sampling, and merging to generate a polygonal mesh model.

Mesh Cleanup, Repair, and Optimization

A polygonal mesh is the ideal format for 3D printing and visualization applications. However, the raw scan data will need to be processed before it is ready for downstream applications.  For some models this is simply deleting extraneous data and/or reducing noise, but other models may require hole filling for missing data regions or defeaturing unwanted elements from the model.  The amount of the data can be optimized via decimation - a process which removes triangles in flat regions and retains them in regions of high curvature, thus reducing the file size while preserving the fidelity of the model.

Other polygonal operations include offsetting, shelling, sectioning, Boolean operations, and more.

NURBS Surfacing

NURBS surfacing is the conversion of the polygonal mesh into a NURBS (non-uniform rational b-spline) surface model which can be imported into CAD, CAM, and CAE applications. This is the best way to capture the precise, "as-built" conditions, such as cast part or an organic surface.

This type of 'exact' surfacing is often used for:

  • engineering analysis of as-built parts
  • quick model creation for representing non-critical parts or working volumes in CAD assemblies
  • medical and dental applications
  • organic models
  • custom manufacturing

Design-Intent Modeling

Design-intent modeling creates idealized CAD geometry from 3D scan data.  Rather than starting with a blank screen, this process allows the 3D scans to be used as a reference for quickly and precisely building new CAD models.

This process can be employed on a wide variety of applications, from building a visualization model of a factory floor layout to creating new CAD models of turbomachinery components.