NCMS Project #: 140331, 140409

Problem: In a repair environment, the ability to acquire accurate, up-to-date, 3D measurements of legacy parts is becoming essential.  Models based on measurements must be constructed that allow design work and prototyping to be done with less trial and error of physical objects. Although many practical systems are available for generating three-dimensional geometry, all suffer from application-specific drawbacks.  An improved and more precise method of 3D model generation holds tremendous value to the DoD maintenance facilities for manufacturing, inspection, prototyping, and repair.  OptiCAM will utilize advanced 3D digital imaging and capturing technology to provide the initial steps in a new reverse engineering process.  New methods of generating point cloud, surface data and solid model data have been developed to accommodate this new process.  The data will be captured using a PDM system which will provide tracking and collaboration tools.  The end result is that a highly sophisticated yet easy to use process will be developed for reverse engineering that will show a substantial return on the investment.


  • Scan time reduced by 50% compared to single point laser or CMM scanning.
  • Processing time to produce clean cloud of points and from that a clean surface model reduced by 50% compared to methods requiring manual registration.
  • Total productivity improvement form scan to solid model will be measured in Phase IV.

Solution/Approach: Necessary software already embedded in COTS products and will be delivered and installed at all sponsoring depots in Phase IV.

The final prototype scanner will be rotated among the sponsoring depots for hands-on experience and then delivered to OC-ALC as its permanent home.  All sponsoring depots will be offered scanners at a significant discount.

Impact on Warfighter: Exact metrics are difficult to find since reverse engineering is universally recognized as an overhead function with no direct metrics.  The project team foresees a minimum 25% improvement in overall reverse engineering productivity.

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Air Force (OC-ALC)
  • U.S. Navy (Pearl Harbor)
  • U.S. Navy (Portsmouth)
  • U.S. Navy (Puget Sound)
  • U.S. Navy (Norfolk)
  • U.S. Navy (FRC East)
  • U.S. Army (Tobyhanna)
  • U.S. Coast Guard (Aircraft Repair & Supply Center)

Industry Participation:

  • SIS
  • UGS
  • NCMS

Final Report

Final Report Phase 1

Final Report Phase 2