In the spirit of efforts like the Reprap project, I enjoy exploring non-traditional approaches to design, and designing machines that can be almost entirely 3D printed or laser cut.
Fast-forward almost two and a half years to last month, and the local hackerspace happened to have a beautiful laser cutter generously donated.
With all of this in mind, knowing the basics of medical imaging, and having just discussed computed tomography and the Radon transform in the class I was sitting in on, I decided that I wanted to try and build an open source CT scanner, and to do it for a lot less than the cost of me getting scanned, by using rapid prototyping methods like laser cutting and 3D printing.
It’s been a few years since I’ve had access to a laser cutter, and they’re one of my favorite and most productive rapid prototyping tools.
Volumetric biological imaging has two commonly used tools — MRI and Computed Tomography (or CT), sometimes also called Computed Axial Tomography (or “CAT”) scanning — although ultrasound, EEG, and a bunch of other techniques are also available.
There are some experimental systems that try to use the Earth’s magnetic field, but the few systems I’m aware of are very low resolution, and very slow.
So while a glass of water may only cost him a peck, the salad will add 2 bear hugs to his tab, and the lasagna entrée will set him back 5 passionate kisses. You can use our menu for a yummy lasagna dinner, or use the blank menu to customize it with your honey’s favorite meal (or whatever you were already planning on cookin’.) See? At the end of the meal, you’ll be presenting your spouse with their bill to claim what they owe you.
Just check off the appropriate boxes in the included check and let them know that tipping is strongly encouraged!
As a Canadian living abroad, this was my first real contact with the US health care system, and as exciting as getting a CT was (from the perspective of being a scientist interested in medical imaging), from a social perspective it was a very uncomfortable experience.
Without really going into details or belaboring the point, universal health care is very important to me, and (what many consider) a basic human right that most of the folks in the developed world have access to.
Enjoy turning a normal meal into something a little more special!