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Integrating A Reverse Engineering Project In A Laboratory Based Introductory Engineering Course

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Laboratories

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.750.1 - 14.750.13



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Paper Authors


Atin Sinha Albany State University

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Atin Sinha is the Regents Engineering Professor and Coordinator of the Engineering Program at Albany State University. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in 1984. He had worked in Learjet and Honeywell before moving to academia in 1990. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer. Currently, he is engaged in motivating undergraduate students in inquiry based learning through laboratory experimentation.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating Reverse Engineering Project in a Laboratory Based Introductory Engineering Course Abstract

Rapid Prototyping technologies has made significant inroads in a number of manufacturing sectors over the last two decades because of ease of customization and quick turn around of concepts to prototypes. The process requires A CAD model developed from the design data as an input which may not always be available. Introduction of affordable 3D scanners has provided the opportunity of developing a 3D surface or parametric CAD model from scanned data by a reverse engineering software. The original design can be further extended when the model is exported to a conventional CAD software. Reverse engineering capability established in Albany State University with the acquisition of a pair of scanners and software during past two years along with an existing 3D Printer has allowed the introduction of a new project in the laboratory component of the introductory engineering course for sophomore level students in the fall 2008 semester. The details of the project along with the results obtained and students’ perceptions are discussed here.


The introduction of Rapid Prototyping (RP) Technology over two decades ago, has influenced the manufacturing industry significantly reducing turn around time to test various concepts in form and fit checking, improving product tolerance and functional testing, better marketing presentation as well as net shape manufacturing in a large number of fields such as medical and electronic devices, sports equipment and industrial products. Though various RP technologies1 differ in choice of materials and process as in cost and durability, all of them significantly shorten the time to bring new products to market. In recent years, engineers have also started to use the flexibility of RP technologies in extending the original part design by various software tools which has come to be known as Reverse Engineering. As this new technology has started to influence different field of manufacturing from cataloging of archeological objects to one of a kind or obsolete parts, it is thought to be necessary to expose engineering students in their early years of education to RP and reverse engineering. After a detailed assessment2 of affordable hardware and software tools currently available, a new fully functional reverse engineering facility has been established and the first laboratory project has been added to the introductory engineering course at Albany State University (ASU) in the fall 2008 semester.

Rapid Prototyping / 3D Scanning / Reverse Engineering

Collectively RP is used to indicate the additive manufacturing processes where the part is made by depositing or sintering layers of thermoplastic resin by a laser beam driven by the part’s solid model definition generated by CAD software as the part evolves from the bottom up. From introduction of the first RP machine, SLA -1 by 3D Systems in 1987, various other machines have been manufactured by different vendors based on Stereolithography, Selective Laser Sintering, Fused Deposition Modeling, and Powder Binder Printing. A new class of RP machines known as 3D Printers first introduced by Z-Corporation in 1996 based on Powder Binder method

Sinha, A. (2009, June), Integrating A Reverse Engineering Project In A Laboratory Based Introductory Engineering Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4808

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