CT Scanning FAQ

Yes, we will perform scans for other universities, government agencies, private companies, and the general scientific community.
First, fill out the sample intake form here. Then, contact one of the 4 engineers trained on the CT scanner. They are currently splitting the scanning workload by specialization:
The scanner operates as a cost center, which charges an hourly fee for use. Please contact one of the engineers for current rates, or PI Jeff Berman for cost center updates.
We are developing a training procedure, primarily geared towards UW staff, faculty, and graduate students. Please contact one of the engineers for more information.
Most scans will complete within 30 minutes, but some will take several hours. The length of a scan depends on desired resolution, size of object, and material of object. Fixturing the specimen and determining the scan parameters also takes some time. Please allocate at least 3 hours for an initial setup, scan, and reconstruction.
Please fill out the sample intake form here, and contact one of the engineers via email.
Do not scan living things! X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation, which damages live tissue.

You may not want to scan: precious gems, flash memory, strong magnets, batteries, and dose sensitive electronics. All other materials are fine.
The specimen table can handle objects up to 500 lbs, and 48” height x 24” wide/deep. We may also be density limited, since our x-ray penetration power is limited.
Depending on the size of your specimen, we might be able get resolution down to 10 microns. We are able to get greater magnification (and greater resolution) on small objects. If your specimen allows, we may be able to zoom to an area of interest, allowing greater magnification.
Generally none. If you have fixtures available, that might be helpful.
The CT scanner takes images 360 degrees around the specimen. These images are then digitally reconstructed to create a 3D model. If the object shifts during the scan due to poor fixturing or because it lacks rigidity, the reconstruction will be poor. Materials which scatter x-rays, such as water, wood, and cardboard should be avoided when possible since they produce fuzzier images.
The 2D radiograph images and reconstructed slices can be exported as TIFFs. We’re also able to produce a variety of other file formats, including JPG, BMP, DICONDE, etc.

Users may pick up data with USB sticks or external hard drives.
The engineers had full-time jobs before this instrument showed up. We’re doing our best!
The scanner enclosure is made of steel and lead, and has been leak-checked by Environmental Health and Safety. Although x-rays are dangerous, there is no risk for users of the scanner.