As computer-aided design (CAD) has become more popular, reverse engineering has become a viable method to create a 3D virtual model of an existing physical part for use in 3D CAD. The reverse-engineering process involves measuring an object and then reconstructing it as a 3D model.
Reverse engineering is also used by businesses to bring existing physical geometry into digital product development environments, to make a digital 3D record of their own products. It is used to analyse, for instance, how a product works, what it does, and what components it consists of, estimate costs, and identify potential patent infringement, etc.
Value engineering is a related activity also used by businesses. It involves de-constructing and analysing products, but the objective is to find opportunities for cost cutting.
Courtesy of Wikipedia.
This tool chest was produced by using SolidWorks and it is a true digital representation of the actual model, including its intricate lock mechanism and other features.
Detailed shop drawings and files were created for manufacturing and for patent purposes.