document_20_4_221The U.S. Air Force has some 20,000 legacy aircraft engines, many of which were designed more than 50 years ago. Many of the original part suppliers and the technical data for these older parts have disappeared. Thus, acquiring the necessary spare parts to keep these older engines operating can be very challenging. The U.S. Air Force has rapidly embraced reverse engineering combined with additive manufacturing as an innovative method to control the cost and lead time to obtain replacement parts in short-run quantities.

The desired output from the reverse engineering effort is the creation of a detailed Technical Data Package (TDP). While many assume reverse engineering is merely scanning a part being removed from service to collect its dimensions, it is much more involved. Large portions of the TDP do not come from scanning decommissioned parts. For example, the dimensional tolerances, non-dimensional requirements (e.g., surface finish), and specifications (e.g., material composition, heat treating requirements, etc.) all require much greater engineering analysis.

Complete the form below to download this whitepaper.