The first thing VIP will need to reverse engineer anything is a tangible part. We will also initiate a detailed product analysis when you visit us at our facility. This will include understanding the function of your product, the design aspects you desire, and any other critical elements required (read the fit, form, function section below for more information). After, our manufacturing engineers will include value added solutions to help reduce cost and increase manufacturability.
Fit, Form, Function
During the reverse engineering process, we will take a look at the part’s fit, form, and function. What is Fit, Form, and Function (aka F3)? Simply put, it is the identification and description of characteristics of a part.
- Fit: refers to the ability for the part to interconnect, mate with, join, or link to another part or an assembly. If a part requires “fit” it usually refers to having tight tolerances in order to match up to other parts or assembly.
- Form: refers to dimensions, weight, size, and visual parameters of a part. This mainly represents to overall visual characteristics of the part.
- Function: refers to the purpose of the part by how the part should perform and operate.
This allows for the possibility of making certain changes to the part while keeping either the fit, form or function. In other words, say if a part required a specific tool to fabricate it, but the manufacturer doesn’t have the tool in stock. Instead of investing in tooling, the manufacturer could find out the fit, form, and function of the part in order to determine if a tool in stock can be used as long as the necessary F3 criteria are met.
Fit, form, and function are also significant when changing the actual design of the part or component but keeping either the fit, form, or function the same. It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of acceptable deviation of the fit, form, or function needs to remain constant in order for the part to serve its purpose. This is also very critical when reverse engineering a part while making subtle changes.
First, contact someone from the Business Develop Team to setup a meeting by either email or call 760-599-5050 to schedule an appointment.
Read more about sheet metal tolerances...