We drastically take for granted available technologies in the world today. Tomography, for example is something that most people have come in contact with at some point but have likely not realised it. Unless you are among the many within the medical field, you might not even ever hear the term tomography.
What is Tomography
What we know as tomography today was first produced in the early 1900s by Alessandro Vallebona. It is a technologically advanced machine that allows for a slice to be taken of the boy for examination. However, it was not until the 1960s that tomography actually was able to be used in modern medical practices as the original concept was ineffective at gaining a clear view of the body’s soft tissues. The original tomography machine was more effective at examining the human body’s bone structure.
Today, tomography is used in practically every medical facility through CT scanners. These scanners can quickly scan the body offering an image of each slice within. When CT scanners were first used, they would take an average of 30 minutes to perform a complete body scan. Today’s models have drastically reduced that exposure time to just a few seconds on average. The reduction in time was sparked by the FDA as they wanted to regulate and reduce the amount of radiation exposed to patients during the process.
Is Tomography Just for Medical Purposes?
No, in fact many industries have used tomography technologies to produce images in a variety of different avenues. Cave excavations of ancient sites often use tomography to pin point areas where access to interior chambers might be best to maintain the structural integrity of tombs and other ancient spaces. Basically, anywhere a 3 dimensional image is necessary, tomography is available.
How Does 3D Printing Enhance Tomography?
Traditionally, tomography uses computer imagery to depict what is seen during the scan. The computer imagery is excellent to give doctors, scientists, and archaeologists a quality study tool to move forward from. However, just an image is not always enough. Doctors that utilise 3D Printing along with their CT scanners have the ability to take what they learn and pass it on to the next generation of doctors.
Teaching hospitals would be able to 3D Print a model of an abnormal organ or piece of the human body for students to study and in some cases, actually perform surgical procedures on themselves without having to touch the real person. 3D Printers combined with tomography would drastically enhance how our future doctors learn.
Ideal for Inventors and Entrepreneurs
We are always inventing things in the world we live in today, but there are times when it is important to turn back the hands of time and re-examine an old design to gain new perspective. Inventors and entrepreneurs are always looking for the next big thing to invent, but often the inventions are merely an improvement on an older model design. This is where 3D Printing and tomography can work beautifully together.
With tomography, an inventor or entrepreneur can take an old, even complex design of an invention and carefully study each section piece by piece to determine where the invention may have failed and what can be done to improve the design. The 3D Printer can then be used to produce the existing model with a few modifications without having to order completely new pieces from a manufacturer and wait weeks for delivery.
Where Are We Headed in the Future?
The relationship between the science of tomography and 3D Printers is just now being discovered. The marriage of these two impressive technologies has already proven to save lives and positively impact our ability to see the world from a different perspective, but there is more to do. By bringing tomography and 3D Printers together, you get the best of both worlds. Images brought to the computer by tomography machines can be more than just an image on a screen when coupled with 3D Printers. The symbiotic relationship between 3D Printers and tomography will take us further than we have every though possible in the fields of science, medicine, and entrepreneurship.