I used an incredible X-ray machine to look inside the gadget — let me show you

I that man Can I take a picture of my luggage as it goes through the X-ray machine? I’m also the guy who spent an hour scrubbing his CT scan of his broken jaw in a mixture of horror and utter fascination. I would say Spectral has a bit of a kick in his imaging.

A startup called Lumafield whatever you want For a $54,000 a year radiometric scanning machine… I just want to say, I secretly suspect they didn’t expect me to take it literally.

Last month, I walked into the company’s satellite office in San Francisco.

Lumafield Neptune in our San Francisco satellite office.
Image: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

I wanted to bring more, but I wanted to be polite!

Lumafield’s first scanner, Neptune, is a giant machine that looks like a giant black microwave oven. At 6 feet wide, 6 feet tall and weighing 2,600 pounds, a thick metal sliding door guards his scan chamber while the machine is in use. Close that door, press a button on the integrated touchscreen, and whatever you put on the rotating pedestal inside will shoot out his X-rays worth up to 190,000 volts.

I started with the Polaroid OneStep SX-70. classic rainbow striped camera It was arguably the first to bring instant photography to the masses. After 45 minutes and his 35 gigabytes of data, the company’s cloud his servers turned Neptune’s rotating X-ray into the closest thing to his X-ray vision of a superhero.

My Kaiser Permanente Hospital CT scan gave me nothing but an ugly black and white image of my jaw, but the surgeon interpreted it and then I came up with the most vague idea. Video games from the 90’s — these scans look like the real thing.

If 70’s plastic Polaroids were see-through.
Scan: Lumafield; GIF: The Verge

An unobtrusive web browser lets you interact with ghostly see-through versions of these objects in 3D space. Peel off the plastic casing and melt down to the bare metal, revealing all the gears, wires, chips and springs.Valuable cross-sections can be digitally cut out r/ThingsCutInHalfPorn (Note: No actual porn included) Without picking up a water jet or a saw. In some cases, you can finally visualize how your gadget works.

But Lumafield isn’t building these machines to satisfy our curiosity or help reverse engineer them. We mainly rent them out to companies that need analysis. themselves Companies that could not afford the previous generation of industrial CT scanners.

Ten years ago, Eduardo Torrealba Award-winning engineering students ScottsMiracle-Gro is the one who built, crowdfunded, and shipped the prototype soil moisture sensor that finally let go. (Fun fact: his fellow winners were late Microsoft illumination room and disney aerial we used to The Barge.) Torrealba has since worked as an engineering director at Formlabs, developing the Fuse 1 selective laser sintering 3D printer and then as an independent consultant to hardware startups, helping people prototype their products.

Throughout, he ran into problems with manufactured parts not outputting properly. And the most likely solution seemed to be part of the experimental setup. A computed tomography (CT) scanner that takes a series of x-ray images of him. His one “slice” of the object. A good one, he says, costs $1 million to buy and maintain.

So in 2019, he and co-founders launched Lumafield to democratize and popularize CT scanners by building them from the ground up. It’s now his 80-person company with $67.5 million in funding and high-profile clients like L’Oréal, Trek Bikes and Saucony.

“If the only cars that existed were Ferraris, there would be far fewer people owning cars. But if you go to the corner store to buy milk, you don’t need a Ferrari to get there,” he says. . The Bargetouts the Luma Field Neptune as an affordable Honda Civic.

He acknowledges that Neptune has limitations compared to conventional CT. For example, it can’t easily scan objects larger than a bicycle helmet, the resolution he doesn’t go down to 1 micron, and it probably won’t help you dive in. Individual chips on a circuit board. I found it difficult to identify some digital components in the scan.

But so far, Lumafield’s “gallon of milk” sells scanners to companies that don’t need high resolution — they just want to see it. why Their product fails without destroying the evidence. Lumafield Marketing Director John Bruner said:

Bruner says that for most companies, cutting-edge technology is still tire saw — literally cut the product in half. But saws don’t always make sense. Some materials release toxic dust and chemicals when cut. Many batteries catch fire. Plus, it’s hard to think about the impact running has on your running shoes. slice it in half“Plastic packaging, batteries, performance equipment…these are all areas where destructive testing will replace,” adds Brunner.

“Compete by cutting things with a saw”

When L’Oréal discovered a leaking Garnier Cleansing Water bottle cap, it turned out A 100-micron dent in the neck of the bottle was to blame. This is something the company discovered in its initial Lumafield scans, but never showed up in previous tests. Bruner says this is because the previous method was cumbersome.

Lumafield defect detection in action.
Image: Sean Hollister / The Verge

With a CT scanner, you don’t have to cut. You can spin, zoom and slice by digital slice to see what’s going wrong. Lumafield’s web interface allows you to measure distances with just a few clicks. The company sells a defect detection add-on that automatically detects small hollow areas (porosity) in objects. It’s looking for pores — pores that can turn into cracks in the future.

But only select companies, such as aerospace contractors and major medical device companies, could usually afford such technology.Tony Fadell said [even Apple] They didn’t have a CT scanner until they started developing the iPod nano,” says Bruner. (His Fadell, creator of the Apple iPod and co-founder of Nest, is an investor in Lumafield.)

Torrealba can find a basic industrial CT scanner for $250,000 and may cost $50,000 a year in ongoing software, maintenance, and license fees, but Neptune’s equivalent is only for the initial cost. It suggests costs between $750,000 and $1 million. On the other hand, while some clients pay Lumafield just $54,000 a year ($4,500 a month), many clients use a few add-ons, such as low-power, high-resolution scanners and modules, to save a year. Around $75,000. Check parts against the original CAD design. Each scanner is shipped to your office, and the price includes software and services, unlimited scans, and access for as many employees as you need.

Melt the Halo Magnum Foam Blaster into (very few) metal parts.
Scan: Lumafield; GIF: The Verge

Why are Lumafield’s CT scanners so cheap? I’ve been looking for a machine that’s affordable, not a machine that’s more affordable. find opportunities.

According to Torrealba, there are many other reasons. For example, he hired his own Ph.D. to design and build scanners from scratch, assembled them at his own facility in Boston, created his own software stack, and created a cloud-based rebuild. . He used pipelines to reduce the computations needed to be placed inside the real machine.

Even after two interviews, I’m not entirely sure how successful Lumafield has been since coming out of stealth early last year. Torrealba says the team has shipped more than 10 and less than 100 machines, and I can only say that the number is neither 11 for him nor 99 for him. They don’t mention the names of clients that aren’t already listed. case study page.

Image: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

But if the marketing director is to be believed, Lumafield is making waves. “For shoes, there are a lot of familiar names in that space,” Bruner said, adding that “a lot of big names” in the consumer goods category have also signed on. The product design consultancy is “a handful of customers,” and Lumafield has also approached Kickstarter and Indiegogo to gauge interest.

Lumafield believes that sectors that have used CT scans in the wild before, such as medical device and auto parts makers, also have the potential to win business, primarily due to the increased speed. Many of my gadget’s high-quality scans took hours to complete, but Brunner says that even companies with access to CT scanners don’t have them on hand, and parts need to be shipped from a suitable facility or independent. It states that it must be mailed to the scanner station that has issued it. “It’s the difference between having an engineering problem answered to him in two hours and waiting a week.”

And for simple injection molded products like some auto parts, Lumafield retrofitted Neptune with fully automatic doors. This allows the robotic arm to move the part in and out of the machine after a quick go/no go porosity scan in less than a minute. Done. Torrealba said one customer “does something similar” to the example of auto parts, and multiple customers are inspecting every part on the production line as of today.

Torrealba admits that automation wasn’t originally intended for Neptune, but enough customers seem interested that he wants to design it for mass production in the future.

Video: Lumafield: GIF: The Verge

I had a Polaroid camera on my desk the entire time I was typing and editing this article. Sometimes I couldn’t help but pick it up, remembering what lies beyond the black and white plastic. Imagine a shell and a working component. Interesting given that my appreciation for the engineers who designed it grows and future engineers may use these scanners to build and test future products.

Let us know if you find anything particularly cool or unusual in our Lumafield scans. I am at

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button