By Jason Vander Griendt

January 1, 2018 at 10:04 am

Never heard of reverse engineering? Start without article: What is Reverse Engineering here.

In engineering, sometimes you don’t have a physical component’s schemes, documentation or technical data, that’s when reverse engineering comes in handy.

As the process of extracting information from an existing product and then duplicating it, reverse engineering goes through the design process in the opposite direction, into developing a new product based on the extracted information from a product which is already in circulation.

This is generally done by breaking the system down to its basic components and analyzing their interrelationships, then developing a Part-To-CAD representation of it.

Reverse engineering is very common in a variety of fields, and it’s considered a viable method of engineering with various uses, as it allows the component’s data to be used for 3D printing, achieving manufacturing and production upgrades, and getting input data for software analysis.

But why do you need Reverse Engineering?

There are a variety of situations where you may find yourself considering reverse engineering as the most cost-efficient solution — even sometimes not cost-efficient, but the only solution available — for meeting your project goals.

Here is a list of circumstances where you can use reverse engineering to your advantage:

Understanding a product and its technology

You may be struggling to come out with upgrades on your product, or you may want to implement a technology you’ve seen and can’t find a way to understand it.

In those cases, we suggest a professional product analysis, based on the understanding of its functionality and — by a process of reverse engineering — restructuring your product. Our team will aid you with that, let us know what you need, and we’ll give you a quote on your project!

Study your competitors

If you need to gather understanding around a new product on the market, or about what a competitor is doing with their new machine, you don’t need to (and certainly shouldn’t) copy your competitors outright.

Instead, our approach would be to study through a process of disassembling and redesign. This is an ethical approach that might lead you to detect flaws or important elements you could’ve missed, and it will definitely let you make the upgrades you need to succeed.

Update your product’s documentation

There are situations where you may need to update your product’s information or documentation because the original designers didn’t provide adequate instructions.

Reverse engineering creates a solution for when you are missing schemes, technical data or drafts, or when their information is inaccurate.

Original supplier won’t provide

Sometimes the original manufacturer of a needed component disappears, or they just can’t handle your supply needs for additional parts (and a client needs them!).

If this happens, you can turn to reverse engineering as a tool to retrieve part data in CAD form, before moving on to manufacture the missing part for yourself.

Lots of manufacturers also do reverse engineering to upgrade their production lines, seeking cost-efficient solutions and reduced manufacturing times.

Product Compatibility and Interoperation

It is a must for your products to be constantly updated in line with developing technologies. Reverse engineering can allow you to extend your product’s compatibility, thus giving you the ability to maintain your status and acceptance within the market.

Also, it allows you to accurately measure the quality and standards of your product, and see if it still fits the advertising/marketing specifications for the current market.

If you reverse engineer a product after it has been out for awhile in the market, you can gather inspiration and insight, and redesign your product for further upgrades and better sales into the future!

Any questions? Please give us a call at 1.888.202.2052 or email We’re here to help!

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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