Reverse Engineering of CAD Models from 3D range data

Dave Marshall


Reverse engineering a physical object part is the extraction of information from a particular part which is sufficient to reproduce it. In most cases only an approximation of some aspect of the original part is required. The research highlighted in this talk focuses on reverse engineering the shape of mechanical parts. Our goal is to create a system that can automatically generate a complete and consistent solid (CAD) model from a given, simple mechanical part which has all the important geometric properties of its real instance.

It is expected that a system like this has various practical applications by dramatically reducing the amount of human interaction required for generating CAD models. Often CAD models of existing parts do not exist or are not available in a usable form or a CAD model of a non-computer generated model like a clay model is required. Applications for those models range from design and re-design to manufacturing to analysis. An important aspect for many of these applications is that an accurate model with the intended shape properties is generated.

The talk will overview the major areas of Reverse Engineering ranging from how capturing 3D point data from a vision system, through various levels of data processing to producing a valid solid model of shape.

The talk will then detail some of the major research advances made by Cardiff in this area in recent years. An initial EU funded research project produce 'raw' models but made some significant advances in registering 3D data and surface fitting as well as model building.

This research work is continuing in an EPSRC grant into the beautification of reverse engineered models - taking the 'raw' models produced in earlier work, and imposing symmetry and regularity to produce objects which meet engineering requirements.
Thursday 1st November 2001, 14:00
Robert Recorde Room
Department of Computer Science