The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Reverse Engineering for Students: Digitalization and 3D Modelling of Microstructures Using Photogrammetry and 3D Printing

Lina Schulze-Buxloh, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Rolf Groß, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Julien Mallo, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Germany)


The sense of sight is generally considered to be the most important human sense [1]. Nevertheless, the structure of many small objects is difficult to grasp, since not all special features can be seen with the naked eye. Here, lifelike models on a larger scale help very well to analyze the exact structure and to understand its functions. Using the reverse engineering method, starting with an object - virtual or physical - it is possible to deduce the structure and thus also the function. Reverse engineering methods are often needed when there is little or no information about how the object was originally designed or how it works, which is often the case with biological structures. The whole process of reverse engineering with a 3D scanner allows the transition from a physical object to a CAD model [2]. By developing a 3D scanner capable of creating a realistic 3D digital model of microstructures via photogrammetry, such objects can be digitized and scaled quickly and inexpensively. The working principle of the 3D scanner is to use a fixed camera to capture the object while two stepper motors rotate the object along two axes. The resulting photos of the object are processed into a digital 3D model using special software for photogrammetry. The microstructures can then be printed in a much clearer size with the help of a 3D printer, so that all structures can be recorded well, which has proven to be very practical, especially for teaching purposes.





Reverse Engineering, Digitalization, 3D Modeling, Photogrammetry, 3D Printing



[1] Fabian Hutmacher „Why Is There So Much More Research on Vision Than on Any Other Sensory Modality?” Frontiers in Psychology 2019.

[2] Matej Paulic, Tomaz Irgolic, Joze Balic , Franc Cus , Andrej Cupar , Tomaz Brajlih, Igor Drstvensek. Reverse Engineering of Parts with Optical Scanning and Additive Manufacturing. Faculty of mechanical engineering, University of Maribor. Maribor, Slovenia : ScienceDirect, 2014


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