Reverse engineering parts with aluminum: How starting at the end could put you ahead.

Let us begin with the definition of Reverse Engineering (RE). Simply stated, RE is the process of deconstructing or dismantling a product to learn how to make it operate better, update older parts or products, produce parts that no longer exist, improve on past iterations, and more. You can re-engineer just about any part or component this way. Depending on the final part’s purpose and configuration, you can improve fit and finish, performance, durability, and even increase margins. Industrial parts, automotive parts, windows and door components, vehicle trim and accessories are all ideal candidates. Here at Minalex, we have done more than our share.

Design engineers will begin the RE process by analyzing the existing piece, its dimensions, weight, material, and so on. Then they will proceed to create a new digital production work print or if the client prefers, we will take this step. At Minalex, experience has proven that our involvement from the early reverse design stages results in the best possible outcome. It is a proven method of driving manufacturing efficiency that saves time and money.

RE can help engineers improve products that are currently in use. This process can be especially helpful if engineers are not exactly sure what is causing the issue with a product. Engineers may also improve products with our extrusion technology and a material swap for aluminum.

Another smart use of RE is replicating legacy parts for passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks. There are hundreds of parts that can be improved by RE. Not too long ago, the Bronco Graveyard, a retailer of replacement parts that supports the restoration efforts of legions of Ford Bronco owners, asked us to develop a replacement piece of headliner trim that was no longer available from the manufacturer. You can read more about it here.

Can your part or component benefit from a reverse engineering solution?

Contact Minalex today and let’s talk about how a reverse engineered aluminum extrusion can improve your part while saving you time and money!


Specification Icon


We extrude and supply aluminum profiles up to 3.500 inches (8.89 cm) in diameter. Our aluminum extrusions can have tolerances as tight as +/- 0.001" on one or more dimensions of an extrusion, depending on the shape.

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Minalex alloys are sourced in North America and feature a number of series, including alloy 1100, 3003, 6063, 6463 and 6061.

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Our capabilities include Lbs/Ft <= 1.500, kg/m <= 2.2322; Sections >= 0.003 in, >= 0.076 mm; and circle size, <= 3.500 in. <= 8.890 cm.

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Get The Guide To Rapid Prototyping With Aluminum Extrusions

Prototyping - The Aluminum Advantage

Guide Includes:

  • Evaluation & Testing
  • Identifying Problems
  • Choosing the Right Materials
  • Case Studies, and more!