medical and industrial ct scanning compared
they both see through the subject, but there are differences
There is an interesting overlap between medical imaging and 3d scanning services. On the surface they appear to have nothing in common. Medical CT scanning is done at a hospital, with all of the people, buildings, doctors and formalities that go along with it. Industrial CT scanning is likely done in a lonely room somewhere in an unmarked building without any fanfare.
They both can result in 3D printable objects
One great thing about industrial CT scanning is that the scans are so good, it is not uncommon to be able to utilize the scan for 3D printing without any further work. This can be a shortcut for part duplication with the method of manufacturing is 3D printing. Since a 3D printer can digest the same type of information that is output from a CT scan, it creates a very convenient shortcut indeed. But what about medical CT scanning – can you get a 3D print of say, one of your internal organs? Well that is just what doctors are doing to plan for complicated surgeries. They can become familiar with what they will be facing in advance, and come up with a game plan beforehand. That sounds like a good idea to me; a little advanced planning would be appreciated if they are ever operating on my body. Making decisions on the fly is quite dramatic and makes for a good movie, but I’d much rather have a boring, uneventful heart transplant.
Another big difference between medical and industrial CT scanning is the shape of the machines. Medical CT scanners are shaped like a big life saver and their design is focused around the comfort and experience of the patient. The appearance is made to be as un-intimidating as possible, with soft ergonomic curves. But behind the unassuming shapes, every square inch of space inside the enclosure is packed with high tech electronics that are carefully engineered and balanced to spin at speeds of up to 120 RPM just feet from the patient. Contrast this with the plain boxed-shaped enclosure of an industrial CT scanner. The industrial scanner need only rotate the part being scanned, where the medical CT scanner must rotate the entire machine around the patient, all while concealing this activity from the patient. It is quite a feat of technology to not only be able to do it, but in a way that is unbeknownst to the patient.
more similar than different
Despite the physical differences, they are both doing the same thing – beaming electrons through the subject and detecting what comes out the other side in order to learn about what is in the middle. it is exciting that small to large business now have access to this great technology without having to get a referral from a doctor. Of course this kind of imaging is not cheap. But until we figure out how Superman does it, it is the best tool we have to discover that is going on between the walls of that part.