Reverse Engineering (RE), also known as “CAD reconstruction”, aims at the reconstruction of 3D geometric models of objects/mechanical parts, starting from 3D measured data (points/mesh). In recent years, considerable developments in RE were achieved thanks to both academic and industrial research (e.g. RE software packages).

The aim of this work is to provide an overview of state of the art techniques and approaches presented in recent years (considering at the same time tools and methods provided by commercial CAD software and RE systems). In particular, this article focuses on the “constrained fitting” approach, which considers geometrical constraints between the generated surfaces, improving the reconstruction result.

On the basis of the overview, possible theoretical principles are drafted with the aim of suggest new strategies to make the CAD reconstruction process more effective in order to obtain more ready/usable CAD models.

Finally, a new RE framework is briefly outlined: the proposed approach hypothesizes a tool built within the environment of an existing CAD system and considers the fitting of a custom-built archetypal model, defined with all the a-priori known dimensions and constraints, to the scanned data.

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