reverse engineering or copying?
Last fall I was given the use of a $150,000 3D scanner for 4 hours scanning specific areas of a boxcar. It was a massive clunky “THAT is $150K” looking thing. In spite of getting the scan files, it might be a while if ever that I learn how to convert them into something useful. The scanner could only create a STL file which at least for me is not a usable file that can be edited. Yes there are STL file editors I don’t have yet. The STL is my output file when I am done designing. It is likely more useful to just create my own new files for those items. I was told by the dealer that scanned for me that MOST of the 3D scanners are currently designed for and used as quality control confirmation of complex shapes not reverse engineering.
While the copying items like brake wheel, trucks and other model railroad items is not illegal there is a moral issue. Reverse engineering can be a polished term for copying! Knocking off a long gone company’s item is one thing but if the company is still in business it might get them upset.
See my layout progress at: