Can Non Invasive Scans Help Save Lives? Brain Surgeons Rely on 3D Printing to Prep for Surgery


X-ray inspection

Recent advances in 3D laser scanning services could soon allow industrial facilities to drastically reduce their inspection cost. Previously, obtaining a thorough cross-section of an test object could take several hours, but laser inspection equipment is now capable of generating a complete image — without internal shading — in seconds.

Having high-resolution images that are contain more than 1,000,000 “data points” and which are accurate to between five and 200 microns could practically revolutionize the field of non destructive testing in both an industrial and a medical context. The full technical implications of newer 3D laser scanning services remain unexplored — for the moment — but researchers should be able to generate industrial prototypes more rapidly than ever before.

Overall, industrial scanning equipment is widely used to detect flaws in plastics, electronics, wood, metal, and plaster. 3D laser scanning services and x-ray inspection services can deliver both external and internal topographies of the scanned object; current computerized tomography programs can also measure and report on objects’ densities.

What could act as an accelerant for industrial development is the fact that newer scanning technology can create scans and then produce 3D printed models. Having the ability to analyze competitors’ products and to “reverse engineer” blueprints of industrial objects and translate them into production schema should make production quality increase as turnover times and costs continue to drop.

Interestingly, 3D laser scanning services are also beginning to be used by museums and collectors to record and preserve historical objects in 3D format. Vintage cars, ancient pottery and vases, and historical coins can now be scanned and modeled rapidly. Researchers can scan for flaws or areas of potential breakage before undertaking extensive renovation projects.

Scientists can also use computerized tomography
scans to save lives: scans of patients’ brains can now be printed as 3D models well in advance of surgery, allowing surgeons to focus on innovative ways of removing tumors with less invasive methods. Removing the dimension of surprise from brain surgery is also contributing to higher recovery rates and to surgeries that are completed much more quickly and accurately.

Researchers around the world continue to invent new applications for computerized tomography; as prototypes move into production more rapidly, the next several years should see widespread industrial cost-cutting and vast improvements in medical equipment and lifesaving procedures. The future is here, and its resolution keeps improving.

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