Computed tomography provides images of internal structures.

In the “CT” process, a narrow beam of X-rays is aimed at an object of interest, producing signals that a computer then interprets to create cross-sectional visual representations.

The imaging technique allows doctors to see internal organs, bones, and blood vessels.

Tomography also assists product developers who are trying to find design flaws deep within their prototypes.

In a Webinar titled How 3D Printing Is Changing the Development of Orthopedic Devices, a Tech Briefs reader had the following question for our expert from YXLON International, an X-ray system manufacturer based in Hamburg, Germany.

"How does industrial CT differ from medical CT?"

Read Jeff Urbanski’s edited response below.

Jeff Urbanski, Account Manager, YXLON International: It does in a few different ways. Primarily, the speed.

Medical CT has really gone far in both improving the dose and capturing the beam very efficiently, so from 3 or 4 seconds [of dose time required].

In industrial CT, we take a little more time, because we can; we’re not going to harm the component by scanning it. Scan times — while they can go quite fast — are typically a little bit slower.

We can use higher power for industrial objects, so up in the millions of electron volts, and we can produce higher-resolution scans. We can go into very fine, nanometer-, micron-level resolution, whereas typically medical scans are in the millimeter- or fraction-of-a-millimeter resolution.

Have you used CT Tomography in your product design? Share your comments and questions below.