Feature-based reverse engineering of mechanical parts

  • Thompson W
  • Owen J
  • De St. Germain H
 et al. 
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Reverse engineering of mechanical parts requires extraction of
information about an instance of a particular part sufficient to
replicate the part using appropriate manufacturing techniques. This is
important in a wide variety of situations, since functional CAD models
are often unavailable or unusable for parts which must be duplicated or
modified. Computer vision techniques applied to three-dimensional (3-D)
data acquired using noncontact, 3-D position digitizers have the
potential for significantly aiding the process. Serious challenges must
be overcome, however, if sufficient accuracy is to be obtained and if
models produced from sensed data are to be truly useful for
manufacturing operations. The paper describes a prototype of a reverse
engineering system which uses manufacturing features as geometric
primitives. This approach has two advantages over current practice. The
resulting models can be directly imported into feature-based CAD systems
without loss of the semantics and topological information inherent in
feature-based representations. In addition, the feature-based approach
facilitates methods capable of producing highly accurate models, even
when the original 3-D sensor data has substantial errors

Author-supplied keywords

  • Feature-based CAD
  • Reverse engineering
  • Surface fitting

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  • William B. Thompson

  • Jonathan C. Owen

  • H. James De St. Germain

  • Stevan R. Stark

  • Thomas C. Henderson

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