Since its development in 1972, computerized tomography scans (CT scans) have been used principally in the medical field. CT scanning uses a computer to convert data from several X-ray images to compose a two-dimensional image from a three-dimensional object. Although most of us recognize CT scanning as a boon to the medical field, there are a number of applications for industrial CT scanning as the following examples will show.
Product designers typically begin work with a blank canvas, although there is generally a source of inspiration for their designs. 3D scanning technology enables designers to directly scan the source of their inspiration (whether it is an earlier model or something entirely different) to create an accurate 3D model that they can then develop. This allows for a more accurate design in a fraction of the time it would have normally taken designers to create. Faster file sharing means that 3D scanning can help to minimize the wait period between design and production, enabling businesses to get products on the shelves in ways that are faster than ever before.
Many businesses turn to industrial CT scanning inspection services to quickly inspect new products. Industrial CT scanning inspection services are able to scan and x-ray parts from as large as 600mm in diameter to parts as small as .5mm in length. The field of industrial CT technology is improving at a rapid rate; a few single CT slices would have once taken hours to generate a few years ago, it is now possible to reconstruct complete 3D models containing billions of voxels in mere seconds. With new applications including 3D reverse engineering, rapid prototyping, and 3D meteorology, industrial CT scanning inspection services are rapidly becoming a crucial asset to the businesses world.
No discourse on 3D scanning services would be complete without the mention of 3D printing. 3D printers have come a long way over the years: there are large-scale industrial models and small-scale private models for use in the home; some 3D printers are able to use a multitude of materials from plastics and metals to unorthodox materials like ceramic and even food; 3D printers are becoming more efficient and are able to produce creations faster than ever before. The applications for 3D printing are expanding into a variety of fields; one of the most exciting innovations is in the health care field where 3D printing is being used to create replacement body parts out of living cells. Within the business world, 3D printing can be used in conjunction with 3D scanning to accelerate the design process; rather than wait weeks for a prototype model to be designed from scratch and produced at a production facility, the designer can simply scan, design, and print parts within hours.