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Teaching Reverse Engineering For Non Industrial Applications

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Incorporating Advanced Technologies into Curriculums

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Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1187.1 - 15.1187.9



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Paper Authors

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Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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John Mativo The University of Georgia

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

Teaching Reverse Engineering for Non-Industrial Applications


This paper focuses on teaching non-industrial applications of reverse engineering technology to engineering and non-engineering students. Manufacturing and mechanical engineering students as well as forensics minors studied three key elements in history preservation, medical and forensics applications in this Reverse Engineering and Rapid Prototyping course which is a senior-level engineering elective. Students scanned artifacts using Minolta 910 or Handy-Scan digitizers, prototyped their replicas with Fused Deposition Modeling based Dimension Elite or Stereolithography System Viper Machine, and make RTV molded copies of the artifacts by using the prototypes as patterns after reviewing a historical artifact preservation case study. They were also exposed to the medical virtual reconstruction area with demonstrations of a software tool called Mimics. Forensics exercises included a review of a skull and facial reconstruction study by an FBI expert and working with the Magics software. The details of each key element needed to be controlled due to busy course schedule that also covered manual NC and CAM based programming, rapid tooling and rapid manufacturing content.


Reverse engineering has been utilized in the engineering world to learn from competitors’ product designs in order to maintain competitive advantage against them. It should be conducted within the boundaries of ethics and intellectual property laws. On the contrary, reverse engineering concepts and tools have been commonly used in applications other than product development or industrial needs. It is employed by medical technologists, historians, anthropologists, paleontologists, primatologists, and forensics scientists, just to name a few professions.

Following a literature review summarizing relevant educational cases, this paper presents the key examples of non-industrial reverse engineering applications within a senior level manufacturing engineering elective, ENGR 4801 – Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering. Other engineering majors and forensics minors can also take this course as a technical elective with the approval of their academic advisors. The ENGR 4801 is a 3 credit course, with two 50 minute lecture and one 2 and ½ hour laboratory time weekly. It is also offered as a graduate elective for the MS in Engineering Management program.

Literature Review

A literature review conducted by the authors indicated the various ways reverse engineering methodology and its tools utilized in engineering education. Following is a brief summary of the literature review. Goss presented a non-educational project where he used the CADKEY geometry generation engine along with his measurements to restore an antique windmill1. Kellogg and Jenison’s students explored the engineering design process by dissecting a fabric shaver, a Dremel Free Wheeler, and a Kodak camera2. Jahan and Dusseau used water purification units to introduce concepts of reverse engineering to a multidisciplinary freshman

Sirinterlikci, A., & Mativo, J. (2010, June), Teaching Reverse Engineering For Non Industrial Applications Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15703

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