Reverse engineering services

EnCata provides reverse engineering services, including 3D scanning and printing services. If you need drawings, documentation, or a computer model for your existing parts, assembly, or product, then our engineers can help with creating them.

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What is reverse engineering?

For those, who have never faced the concept of reverse engineering, many questions may arise, including the general question "what is reverse engineering". Reverse engineering (RE), also known as backward or back engineering, is now considered to be one of the technologies that provide business benefits in shortening a  product development cycle. RE is the process of analyzing an object or existing system (hardware and software) to identify its components and their interrelationships. Its purpose is to study how to redesign or produce a copy without accessing the design and operation principles. The 2nd application of reverse engineering is the development of documentation for existing products if original design files were missed. 

The reverse-engineering process involves measuring an object and then reconstructing it as a 3D model. The physical object can be measured using 3D scanning technologies. Reverse engineering 3D scanners are based on CMMs, laser scanners, structured light digitizers, or industrial CT scanning (computed tomography).

60+ Engineers

We act as your extended R&D team which is faster than hiring engineers locally. The breadth of our technical expertise is unique.

Development Speed

Our dedicated team is ready to scale up quickly. We utilize AGILE lean development process that leads to 30-50% faster delivery.

Burn rate

Cost-effectiveness

Our development location enables us to be cost-effective and deliver premium R&D and engineering services at 1/3 of the price compared to that of in N-W Europe and USA.

Backward engineering at EnCata

EnCata differs from other reverse engineering companies because we specialize in new product development. During back-engineering:

1. Our engineers reveal machine operation principles to understand what makes it work. An engineer will disassemble the target item to understand the functional relationship of components or gain insight into the materials used for components fabrication.

2. Our team analyzes the product to recognize flaws and excessive features and get rid of them. For example, wear and tear can indicate where the product should be improved.

3. We reinforce the good features by applying knowledge on long-term product use.

4. We analyze the strong and weak features of the competitors’ products.

5. We explore new avenues to improve product features and performance.

Design Thinking Service & Product Strategy

Sometimes hours of strategy and user development can be saved by looking into your competitors. By identifying key components and their interrelationships, you can supplement your product strategy with valuable information about speed and other quality metrics. You will also form an idea of your competitors' cost of production and possibly adjust your business plan.

Custom electronics design

Electrical Engineering

By opening the competitor's case, you will understand what is responsible for processing the external interfaces, where the debug interfaces (UART, JTAG) are located and which component contains the main firmware. The architecture of the board will inform you what manufacturing techniques were used, and what the approximate cost of the competitor's electronic stuffing is. Subsequently, you can update the component base to use modern components: higher performance, lower price, purchase availability.

Firmware Development

Our engineers can read the firmware from the flash memory with the programmer or deal with the debug pins. Thereafter, we will deal with the structure of the dump, received earlier, and bring it to a form available for analysis. We will learn what exactly runs in the firmware and its order: starting with which ports the device listens to, how it processes the incoming data and which commands it executes.

Product R&D

It makes no sense trying to solve a crossword puzzle without reading the questions. It is just as foolish to start reverse engineering without first exploring the initial data. In the operation of complex systems, an important stage in reverse engineering is the study of operating principles and algorithms. The research stage helps recreate the methodologies and technologies used in the device.

Proof-of-Concept Prototyping

Reverse engineering also involves a proof-of-concept stage. When we know how our competitor works, we need to assemble a model of our device and test our approach. It may turn out that the used technology works only in a certain device architecture. Without a proof of concept, the project can not move forward. Here, 3D scanning and printing services can be used.

Mold Manufacturing & Tooling

Your manufacturing capabilities, as well as the manufacturing technology, will have a great impact on the end product. Producing molds and tooling is not the cheapest way to manufacture a product. Reverse engineering allows you to evaluate the manufacturing processes your competitors use. By getting to know them, you can gain a business advantage by using new approaches in production.

3D scanning and printing services for reverse engineering

In cases where the original manufacturer can no longer produce the product, e.g. the original product has become obsolete, but a Client still needs it. We can help create conditions for its possible re-manufacturing. In cases where the product may not have CAD data, or the data have become obsolete or lost, we can use 3D scanners to recover the part. Then, we can test updated documentation by prototyping the part with 3D printing or other production methods.

Reverse engineering to enhance products

Before turning to us, frequently our Clients have already analyzed their competitors, one or more best-selling samples of competitors' products or  a well-developed business concept. They still have no clear concept of the appearance of the product. In addition, they may not fully understand what features and functionality the future product should have. The most important part of a pre-concept is to decide on the advantages of a new product compared to the competitors’ ones. No one is interested in bringing copies of existing products to market. Hence, backward engineering saves time revealing the basic functionalities of a device and allows to focus more on additional functionality or improvement of user characteristics of a product.

EnCata engineers will help you solve these issues and produce a few prototypes to conduct usability testing of your new product. We can also help with developing the industrial design, 3D modeling, production documentation, as well as optimize the manufacturing technology and cost of the product. After testing, we will help you to quickly eliminate the identified failures and correct them in an improved prototype.

Product Development Technology Stack

Detailed Dimensional/Geometric Analysis
Material and Surface Analysis

Custom electronics design

Competitor analysis
Quality Control Inspection  

Manufacturability Analysis  
Electronic and Electrical Analysis

Prototyping
3D modeling and assemblies
2D drawings and engineering documentation

Use cases
User stories
Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) 

3D scanning
3D printing
FDM
SLA

Engagement Models

We focus on the entire product/service lifecycle, from concept to implementation to market launch.  EnCata’s knowledge, resources and innovation development expertise allow our Clients to develop and expand their businesses faster and leaner.

Some hardware Projects we delivered

Work that highlights the incredible technologies, solutions, and products EnCata developed.

Industries We serve

Our hardware engineers are focus on the entire product/service lifecycle, from concept to implementation to market launch.  EnCata’s knowledge, resources and innovation development expertise allow our Clients to develop and expand their businesses faster and leaner.

FAQ related to Product development

IP ownership when working with EnCata

When working with our clients we sign a contract where all the intellectual property to be generated during the R&D and engineering development belongs to the customer.

Do you sign NDAs?

Yes. As a highly professional design and engineering firm, we make sure that all discussions with our clients and all information regarding your invention, idea and other proprietary information are kept confidential.

How do I make sure EnCata does not "steal" my idea?

Aside from being a reputable company which does not steal ideas, EnCata's entire business model is based on delivering premium R&D, design and industrial prototyping services to our clients. As soon as we stole one client’s idea, our entire business would be ruined. Also, as we are not contract manufacturers (OEM or ODM), we wouldn’t be able to benefit from a stolen idea even if we wanted to.  This is definitely not a worry for our clients.

Patent or Develop first?

We follow a LEAN approach in product and business development and thus we strongly recommend patent filings only after you are  at least part-way through development. This is because patenting is expensive and early patents can already become obsolete or irrelevant later in the development phase. Typically, EnCata's work generates many patentable opportunities for our clients  and the best strategy is to file patents at TRL-7, i.e. when early beta prototype is ready and when a startup is ready to start batch production and marketing.

There is, however, another strategy, which is to use provisional patents which can be loose and are not to be disclosed to the public for 18 months. These are much less expensive and time consuming, generally costing below $500. EnCata will always sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and keep your intellectual property confidential during the development phase and then we can recommend several third-party patent attorneys when the time is right.

Can EnCata consult me or help me with my existing design?

Whether you need to validate, evaluate or review your design, concept, 3D model, BOM or drawings, our experienced manufacturing, mechanical and electronics engineers are ready to help.

EnCata’s engineering consultancy service will allow you to critically reassess your project and help reach your goals while keeping the process cost-effective. To read more about the TRL and learn why it is useful, please procees to our blog.

What are typical project EnCata engaged with?

EnCata develops integrated Hardware and Software solutions for a variety of industries. We are engaged in multiple domains like IoT, robotics, medTech and IoMT, aerospace, agriculture, consumer products and many others. It is possible to work with such a wide variety of industries because we have multidomain expertise and utilize a cross-disciplinary product development approach.

I would like to do prototyping myself. Is it possible with EnCata?

Generally speaking, we do not allow clients to work on EnCata's manufacturing premises.

What does work, however, is that EnCata can manufacture prototype parts and the startup team can assemble thea prototype in our MakeIT Center hackerspace.  Alternatively, the startup can design and build the prototype themselves in our hackerspace.  We operate this free-access space in Minsk and we are currently working on expanding a hackerspace network worldwide.

Have a project to do? Reach out to EnCata team

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