Foundations of a reverse engineering methodology
Guillory, Jeremy Barrett
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Reverse engineering is broadly defined as the process of analyzing existing products to learn how to create better products in the future. Including reverse engineering as part of the engineering design process can provide a number of benefits, including a more thorough understanding of existing products, lower cost for the redesign of products, and faster times to market. While reverse engineering can be applied to a wide range of domains, this thesis deals with methodologies for extracting technical data from electro-mechanical products for the purpose of recreating them functionally and dimensionally, to an acceptable level of accuracy. An integrated and evolved reverse engineering methodology is presented. This new methodology is built upon previous work, and results from an effort to integrate all previous methods into the simplest and most useful form. Five novel reverse engineering techniques are introduced to solve problems previously unaddressed in the literature: Bounding Pertinent Geometry, Reassembly by Function, Determining Sample Size, Estimating Production Volume and Accounting for Physical Degradation. Throughout the thesis, a running example of the reverse engineering of the Craftsman Auto Hammer is used to illustrate the application of the evolved methodology.