Reverse Engineering Capabilities – Precision Plastics

Reverse Engineering Capabilities

At Precision Plastics Inc., we are occasionally called upon to help customers recreate a part that there is no file for. To accomplish this task, we turn to our Hexagon Absolute Arm Compact scanning system to scan an existing part. The Absolute Arm Compact is the ultimate solution for ultra-high-accuracy touch probe measurement of small-to-medium sized parts. It allows us to scan parts and create a digital file for them to be used later in production.


Simple put, metrology is the scientific study of measurement, and when the most accurate measurement is required, we bring our “A” game. The Hexagon Absolute Arm has an Ingress Protecting rating of 54, or IP54, meaning parts created using this technology are protected against dust and water splashes but are not vapor or water tight. When parts need a higher IP rating, we can add sealants, filters and other protective additives to create vacuum level seals.

(Photo credit: Stephen Farrell)


The technology for this has been around since the 1960’s and is even used today in LiDAR for self-driving cars. The same technology applies to scanning a part but we use touch scanners instead of laser scanners. Using the Absolute Arm touch scanner, we touch all points, faces, edges and curves of a part. Each 1/100 mm touch sends a ”point” to a digital file – a point cloud - that compiles all points into a 3D collected model on the X, Y and Z axes. That model is downloaded into 3D modeling software like Fusion 360 or SolidWorks then “cleaned” by our programmers and turned into .stl files used in production. The resulting file can then be used in producing replicas of the scanned part, precise down to 1/100 of a millimeter.

(Photo credit: Toby Bradley)


From aerospace and agriculture to manufacturing and transportation, applications for reverse engineering or small to medium parts are limitless. Compared to recreating a digital file by hand using calipers and labor intensive hand measurements, scanning technology is cheap and quick to produce models. It is the most accurate file type for inspection and measurement. The global supply chain depends on general manufacturers with the ability to switch between different products and deliver to specification. Our scanning technology supports that goal in helping keep your business up and running.