Reverse Engineering is a process that involves deconstructing software, machines, aircraft, and architectural structures piece-by-piece to understand the product and get a detailed insight into the schematics of the product. By doing so, manufacturers and product developers have the opportunity to recreate, redesign or optimize the product from scratch.
The common reasons for reverse engineering are as follows:
Legacy parts replacement: The objective is to recreate the mechanism of important parts of big machines in a way that they are more efficient
Repair and Diagnostics: Reverse engineering helps in diagnosing the problem in a machine and then helps the user in repairing the part
Designing: One of the most important reasons reverse engineering is so common among academia is because users get a great understanding of designing a similar product with the same purpose.
The most commonly followed steps for reverse engineering are :
Design intent capture: The design team begins by measuring and defining the components digitally
Browse and learn from the existing content
In the next step of reverse engineering, the product is modeled using a 3D CAD.
Create tentative entity types:
Create tentative relation types
Create tentative attributes
Note keys features and indexes
Design Recovery: Undoing the mechanics of the product
Identity: Identifying the key data points in the element. This data may only lead to a hypothesis and may not lead to a conclusion
Foreign products: While reverse engineering identifying the use case and efficiency of foreign materials or the existing materials is important. Most times, users do not focus on this step and lose out on developing a more efficient element for the machinery
Questioning: It is very important to question the usage of certain new/old elements that are part of the machinery. This step is highly recommended for product innovation
Analysis recovery: This is the final step of reverse engineering
Clarification: Cross verify the use and function of newly developed elements of the machine
Errors: While reverse engineering a product it is important not to be afraid of making errors while trying to create a better product. At the same time, it is important to double-check if the pre-existing errors/ new errors have been fixed. This is because, the process of reverse engineering is cumbersome and time taking and is, therefore, important to cross-check before assembling the product
Reassemble: Once the entire process is done, the last step of reverse engineering is to assemble the product once the user is satisfied.
Things to remember while reverse engineering:
Understand the hypothesis and results are different. It is important to validate before concluding the reverse engineering hypothesis
Always keep looking for information that will help you understand the product better. This will help the user build a more nuanced element for the machine
One should not be discouraged from getting approximate or results that are not similar to the hypothesis. Even values that are not in line with the hypothesis leads to a great research
The individuals or groups performing reverse engineering must always remember to follow one style. Two styles of work while reverse engineering may not lead to productive output.