Converting Your Scan Data to CAD Format
So you just 3D scanned your part and got the STL file. Then what?
For industrial designing and manufacturing experts, they need a proper CAD file format based on B-Rep (Boundary Representation) method to execute further design change or CAM machining. Polygon-based STL just doesn’t suit this need.
“Reverse Engineering” is an ambiguities term implying retriving the original design from a current product, which is true, but in the 3D world reverse engineering simply means redrawing a CAD model on top of the digital reference (i.e. the STL file). In other words, it’s a process to convert your polygonal file (STL or others) into a CAD file.
The output of the reverse engineering work is usually standard CAD exchange formats like STEP or IGES, in some cases even a fully parametric SolidWorks part (SLDPRT).
To make sure the redrawn CAD file retains all the curvature, flatness, angle details of the STL file, a special software deployment is required. We use QUICKSURFACE and Mesh2Surface as our main reverse engineering systems and we’re also the Australian and Chinese resellers of these products. Check these powerful tools if you needs to do the reverse engineering in-house.
Here are some illustrations of how the CAD files look like after reverse engineering was performed.