It is amazing to think about the progress that we have seen not only in our lifetimes, but as an entire species developing over time. From the Stone Age to medieval times to the age of industrial advancements to today’s rapid progress in the use of new technology, humankind continues to grow and develop as we find new ways to use and manipulate what we have available to us. While we still have massive amounts of growth to do in the areas of preserving our planet and saving the other species that inhabit it with us while we use those resources around us, it is remarkable to see just what we are capable of.
From inventing the wheel to 3D reverse engineering
Looking back at all of the accomplishments and advancements we have produced, particularly in the last century or even within the last few decades, it seems there is no end to what we can do or invent. Could our grandparents even have imagined a world where 3D reverse engineering companies existed, having developed industrial uses for what was first used only for human or animal X-rays? Using computer aided design (CAD), companies can now provide 3D reverse engineering services for any number of applications. The technology can be used to examine and inspect parts in a factory setting that might be impossible to do so without the recent technological advances. And the more efficient technology can also reduce costs to the company as a whole.
How the process works
In computerized tomography, or CT, computers use information from multiple X-ray images to create images on a monitor. The images can be 2-dimensional pictures or the data can even be used to create 3-dimensional objects. The first CT scanner was created by Englishman Sir Godfrey Hounsfield — an engineer — and South African Allan Cormack — a physicist — who put it into use in 1971, and just four short years later was able to develop a full body scanner. At that time, it would take many hours to collect any new raw data for just one single scan, which is also referred to as a slice. What would then follow would be days of recreating one single image from that collected information. Times have indeed changed as we continue to advance, and with today’s modern technology, up to four slices of data can be collected in just 350 milliseconds, and reconstructing an image can happen in less than one second. The data can even produce 3D models in mere seconds. These advancements have led to opportunities not just for reverse engineering, but for 3D metrology and rapid prototyping, for example.
We continue to progress as a species. If we are in the age of 3D printing and have sped up machines so extraordinarily in such a short time, those impossible inventions that are being dreamt of today could be tomorrow’s reality.