Industrial CT scanning, or industrial computerized tomography, is a 3D laser scanning service that uses X-ray technology to create 3D images of the interior and exterior of an object. CT scanning was first invented by a British engineer of EMI Laboratories and a South African-born physicist from Tufts University in 1972. For their contributions to science and medicine, the pair was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, industrial CT scanning has improved by leaps and bounds. Years ago, it would take hours to generate only a few single CT slices. Today, complete 3D models composed of billions of voxels can be reconstructed in mere seconds. Such enhancements in speed and efficiency have opened the door for countless new 3D laser scanning service applications. From development to inspection and analysis, and reverse engineering, industrial CT scanning with a 3D laser scanning service offers numerous benefits to businesses of all types.
How CT scanning works
Before enumerating its benefits, we’ll provide a quick overview of how industrial CT scanning works. A 3D laser scanning service will take a series of images of an object from all 360 degrees. Depending on the desired resolution, the scanner will capture between 360 and 3600 images, translating to one image for each degree or one image for ever tenth of a degree, respectively. Images are filtered to reduce noise and contain between three and 10 megapixels each.
Each two dimensional image is then saved to a single folder. From these images, CT calibration and reconstruction algorithms reconstruct the 3D object. At this point, the images are now measured in voxels, essentially three-dimensional pixels. The volume can be manipulated in real time thanks to visualization software. This makes it possible to slice through the object at any point and obtain an accurate image of the interior and exterior.
With that understanding, the following benefits of industrial CT scanning will come as now surprise.
Top benefits and uses of industrial CT scanning:
By eliminating the need to disassemble a part or product for inspection and analysis, 3D laser scanning services save time and money on inspection and analyses. When compared to existing technology, industrial CT scanning can reduce the costs of new product inspection and failure analysis by 25% to 75%.
With its incredible precision, 3D laser scanning can capture even the smallest of flaws in a prototype. Micro-CT scanning uses essentially the same method as standard CT scanning except it yields resolutions in microns thanks to the focus tube being only a few microns in size. Industrial micro-CT scanning offers even greater resolution to engineers than CAT scans do for doctors. The resolution of a micro-CT scan is 100 times sharper than the best CAT scan available to the medical field.
With greater accuracy comes less likelihood of product recalls. By catching potential flaws before mass production gets underway, you can help shelter your company from not only recalls but also consumer lawsuits complaining of faulty manufacturing or defective products. Even if your company is found to have committed no wrongdoing, getting held up by recalls or legal proceedings can cost you a great deal of unnecessary time and money – – time and money a 3D laser scanning service could have saved you.
With the speed of CT scanning today, a 3D image can be created in a matter of seconds. Prototypes can thus be completed much quicker, enabling your business to spend more time in production and less time at the drawing board.
This shortened development time translates to higher productivity as prototypes can then be replicated without being recreated from scratch. The end result is higher production performance in a shorter amount of time.
With reverse engineering through CT scanning, data can be used for various CAD software. It can also be utilized in 3D printing or for archiving.
Parts from .5 mm in length to 1 meter in length and 660 mm in diameter can be digitaly x-rayed with a 3D laser scanning service. With the precision of micro-CT scanning, few parts are too small or too large to not benefit from its application.