The clue is in the name when it comes to reverse engineering. This is a process of finding out the technological principles and mechanics of a device or item through examining the structure, function and operation.
Often reverse engineering involves scanning an item in order to recreate a perfect 3d replication. Therefore, 3D scanning technologies also come into play, these can include both white light scanners, 3D scanners and CMMs.
Basically an item or device is taken and stripped down layer by layer with each layer being analysed until the entire workings and function of the device is known. This was the item can be remade or the original can even be improved.
The method of reverse engineering has been used quite a lot in the military. One of these examples is the design of the jerry can. During the Second World War the British army noticed that the German’s jerry cans were of a better design and build than their own. So, they captured a few and used reverse engineering to discover how they worked etc.
As jerry cans were actually a German invention called Wehrmachtskanister, the English name ‘jerry can’ came about because they were stolen from Jerrys (Germans).