Precisely measuring and validating parts made from low-density materials such as plastic can be tricky and time-consuming. For example, silicone parts readily bend and flex, leading to inaccuracies. Fixturing, the traditional solution to immobilize and align parts for measurement, is a lengthy process involving engineering, construction and validation of the custom fixture.
Computed tomography (CT) scanners are a popular choice for inspecting both the external and internal geometry of parts — finding inclusions, voids and flaws that could cause failure or underperformance.
Inspection is a critical element of any product development. In addition to dimensional inspection, evaluating products increasingly involves the inspection of free-form surfaces that are not relevant to the function.
Until now, the power of seeing through walls has been reserved for superheroes with X-ray vision. This meant that manufacturers of plastic and composite components often had to cut or break apart a prototype or product to measure and analyze internal features and identify discrepancies.