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Reverse Engineering for Product Design & Development

In Developing New Products, one of the best ways to learn and develop your own designs is learning from available designs from other manufacturers on the market.

This helps us to capture technology faster (with new products, never done before), reduces unnecessary fumble. So that, we can avoids some errors that existing designs are facing. As a result, the time and expense for Research and Product Development are also shortened.

This making is realized in the enterprise by the task: Product Analysis.

Analyze the thermostats. Link:

What is Reverse Engineering?

Reverse Engineering is the approach in which people research structure, morphology, technological principles, etc. of an existing system. After that, people will carry out dissecting, assessesing, etc.
It aims to propose the design of the NEW different system is more advantageous than the old system.

Reverse engineering does not mean simple “copy”.

The media, due to the influence of trade, often transmits the concept of Reverse Engineering mainly associated with 3D Scan & 3D Printing.
They are obvious important but not all of Reverse Engineering.

This approach also has many layers of profound content such as: deep technological research, analysis, comparison, innovation, improvement, etc.

The benefits of Reverse Engineering

In a different way, Reverse Engineering focus on decoding products from the core platform, not just at reproducing, copying designs, dimensions, etc. belong to product’s appearance.

Dismount the microwave. Link:

When dismounting product, the components will be disassembled to the smallest part or component. After that, it will be researched, surveyed, noted, ect. in order to collect useful information for comparison, alternatives and future improvements.

Building product architecture – functional planning & parts / components.
Courtesy: RDI ToolKit Advanced Edition.

From the dissection, product architecture as well as technological principles are clarified. The design team can sketch out the technology model of the product through functional diagram and geometric layout.

Geometric layout of LED desktop products. Courtesy: Thiết kế và Phát triển sản phẩm 2020.

This is a crucial part of Decoding Technology. From that, engineers have the basis to propose improvements, creativity, innovations,etc. in order to creat a better version for future products.

The product separation will also serve effectively for the development of product concepts. In order to make product design, it is necessary first to have concepts describing technology and design.

These concepts are developed based on two main sources: in-house and external search. Product separation is an effective way to find technological solutions from outside, along with a number of other methods such as patent finding, expert consultation, user interviews, etc.

Describe the process of creating a product concept. 2a is “looking outside”.
Courtesy: RDI ToolKit Advanced Edition:

If engineers done product analysis well, it would give a fully worked-out product profile. Details about strengths and weaknesses of rival products, comparison with each other, innovation ideas, new parts supplies, etc. are gathered in it.

What should engineer do after analysis product?

Engineers need to build some information after product analysis:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Directory of suppliers and alternative suppliers
  • Reconstruct technology diagram, functional charts, geometric layout, even detailed 3D drawings of an assembly by CAD
  • Overall comparison of products in order to find out technology characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each product
  • Options for improvement, innovation and technological suitability
  • Comment on the product development strategy of rival firms
  • Some other important information to complete the Product Portrait Profile
A part of thermostats’s BOM. Courtesy: MES LAB Team.

The quality of the Product Portrait Profile plays an crucial role in the feasibility assessment of a Product Development project. It is useful for concept development (technology & design) to contribute to making differentiated products. This product are production feasibility, competitiveness and high success rate.


  • Article written by engineer of MES LAB team #MSL_Team.
  • Videos, photos taken from the dissection project of students studying Design & Product Development at MES LAB studio.
  • Videos on MES LAB’s channel:
  • Website MES LAB: | Technical forum:

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