Correcting the CAD Data for Tools and Printed Components

Your challenge

Manufacturing production tools is a complex process: Even when simulation software is used, five, ten or even more iteration loops are often necessary to create a part with perfect fit. Tool correction requires not only in-depth knowledge of the part to be manufactured along with its specifications. The interactions of the individual adjustments must also be taken into account when tools are adapted. The same applies to 3D printing: The print result is influenced by a wide variety of parameters. CAD data for printed parts that are not dimensionally stable is often adapted by trial and error – a time-consuming and cost-intensive process.

Our solution

The ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING software reduces iteration loops in the tool correction process up to 50%. Simply import three data sets – the existing CAD data of the tool and the product as well as the real measurement data of the product – and then detect areas in need of correction and optimize them with the software.

For 3D printing, only two data sets are required: the CAD data and the measurement data for your printed part. The software analyzes the data and offers solutions for a targeted adaptation of the print data resulting in a dimensionally stable part.

Tool correction is a product option that is available for the REVERSE ENGINEERING basic software.

The perfect tool in just a few steps

Find out how easy it is to correct tools with our software. Simply navigate through the process using the arrows.


Scan a part

Use a measuring system of your choice – from any manufacturer – to digitize your dimensionally unstable part. For example, you can use an optical scanner, a CT system, or a coordinate measuring machine. Alternatively, existing measuring points can be used.

This image shows the combination of the CAD and scan data sets in the software.

Import the CAD and scan data sets for the part

Open ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING and import the scan data in STL, PLY, or ASCII format – simply drag & drop the files. The CAD data for the part must also be provided.

This image shows the software view, including the CAD data for the tool.

Import the CAD data for the tool

To correct a tool, the CAD data for the tool must also be imported. This step is not necessary for additive manufacturing processes because the necessary corrections will be made directly in the part’s CAD data.

The software identifies and indicates the areas in need of correction.

Read the corrections

ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING analyzes the deviations of the sample part (actual data) from the nominal values, taking into consideration the specified tolerances. Based on this, the software then calculates the new CAD surfaces for the tool. This is achieved by mirroring the deviations to the tool’s CAD data and transferring them to the existing tool surfaces. 
Important to know: The tool correction is performed step by step for the individual tool areas because of the interactive nature of any adjustments. For 3D printed data, the software calculates the optimization possibilities based on the inverted measurement data of the printed part and the design tolerances.

Our patented tool correction offers the solution

System independence

Undercut analysis

Identify and correct undercuts in your designs or corrected tools right in the software.

Guided workflow

Full overview

Check your part for shrinkage and warpage, correct sink marks, and improve geometric properties.

High precision

Shorter time to market

Use ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING to reduce your development costs and launch production faster.

Areas of use


Injection molding

Injection-molded parts shrink and warp during the cooling and demolding stages. In addition, visible sink marks can occur. Simulation tools, design provisions (e.g., taking the shrinkage allowances into account in the development of the injection mold), and crowning are measures employed to prevent the resulting defects on injection-molded parts in advance. But crowning is a significant challenge because the geometric and cosmetic part flaws are due to a variety of influencing factors that are mutually dependent. Even with many years of experience, it is hard to predict the exact behavior of a part. This means that numerous correction loops are necessary until the tool fits perfectly.

ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING provides impactful support for injection molding processes as it allows for a significant reduction in correction loops up to the perfect tool. The software suggests only those adjustments that are practically applicable. For example, the software can take into account that corrected tool geometries can be eroded or parts can be demolded.

This image shows an injection molding tool.
This image shows an additive manufacturing or 3D printing process for a part.

Correcting 3D printed parts

3D printing processes result in layers of different temperatures, which leads to stresses in the part. The printed part is subject to bending when it is removed from the carrier plate. Bending is usually prevented by various precautions: The printing process is simulated in advance, the printing material, the packaging space, and the carrier plate are pre-heated. Additionally, a subsequent heat treatment is applied in an effort to reduce stresses inside the part. While these measures improve the printing result, they are often not enough to produce parts within the specified tolerances.

This is where ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING comes in to provide support and compensate for part defects: Based on the measurement data of the defective printed part, the software optimizes the part’s CAD data. The geometry of the tool is corrected based on the detected deviations.

Sheet metal forming

To be able to manufacture products with consistent quality, solid and reliable deep-drawing tools are needed. The pilot series often reveals that the formed parts have form and position errors. The use of deep-drawing simulations can achieve significant cost reductions in the development of deep-drawing tools. Nevertheless, despite simulations, it often takes forming specialists several attempts until the tool fits. ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING helps reduce form and position errors in your deep-drawn parts.

This image shows a sheet metal part with a projected color comparison and deviation labels.

Everything you need


ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING Product option tool correction

CAD import



Import mesh/points






Advanced alignment functions
- Best-fit/Surface-fit
- Manually/Automatically


Mesh editing



Advanced mesh editing functions
- Invert points



Automatic mesh-based surface creation (Autosurfacing)



Model high-precision freeform surfaces



2D Sketching
- Geometries
- Constraints
- Dimensions 



Advanced CAD/surface functions
- Lift surfaces
- Exchange surfaces



Best-fit/Manually create 2D and 3D geometrical elements



Nominal-actual comparison



Advanced analysis functions
- Identify undercuts
- Check forced demoldability
- Analyze draft angle (CAD & STL)






CAD export




Accelerated tool correction with ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING

Accelerated tool correction with ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING

High-precision molds are the prerequisite for high-quality injection-molded parts. Horst Scholz GmbH & Co. KG was able to reduce its tool correction process from at least five correction loops down to two by using ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING. This means that products enter series production significantly faster.

Faster to the ideal injection mold

Faster to the ideal injection mold

Five, ten or even more mold adjustments are common in the plastics industry on the way to the optimum injection mold. This is an effort that companies can at least minimize by half with ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING. This not only reduces development costs. It also gives companies the opportunity to start production much earlier.

Our solution for the entire tool correction process

Our solution for the entire tool correction process

Using the example of a tank venting valve, we explain here the fastest route to the perfect tool. From capturing the component with the CT to generate the actual data to correcting the CAD model in ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING. Find out more details about the process here.

Are you interested?

Product demonstration


Personal demo

You want to learn more about the ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING tool correction option and experience live how quick the tool correction process can be?
Contact us and receive more information or even your own private demo!

What you can expect:

  • Advanced tool correction capabilities
  • Guided workflow demonstration
Trial version

Try out the software

14 days, free of charge in the ZEISS Quality Suite

Do you need a trial to help you decide? We offer you 14 days access to the full version, including all features of ZEISS REVERSE ENGINEERING. So you can convince yourself of the software.

Your trial license:

  • 14 days free of charge
  • No cancellation necessary
  • Full access to all functions
  • Accompanying training and services in the ZEISS Quality Suite