Essay on Revolutionizing Healthcare: An In-Depth Analysis of Additive Manufacturing in CT Scan Machines

Published: 2024-01-17
Essay on Revolutionizing Healthcare: An In-Depth Analysis of Additive Manufacturing in CT Scan Machines
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Health and Social Care Analysis Computer science Technology
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1612 words
14 min read


Additive manufacturing is a transformative approach that is commonly applied in industrial production. Also referred to as 3D printing, it is utilized to design and make lighter but stronger systems and parts. It is a transition that has seen industrial processes transitioning from analog to digital production. Engineering and architecture have currently undergone a series of adaptions to conform to additive manufacturing and enhance flexibility and reliability. Currently, AM applies in a wide array of fields, including aviation, medicine, transport, communications, and office tools manufacturing. The case provides an in-depth analysis of CT Scan Machines as the product utilizing AM processing.

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Product Identification

The Identified product is the CT Scan Machine(s) predominantly used in medicine and healthcare. Also known as Computerized Axial Tomography. It is a healthcare tool to provide clear and candid pictures/images of the internal body organs (Danford,2015). It uses an X-ray beam with a radiation detector to transfer data to the computer, translating it into a 3D image. The CT scanner comprises various complex components from different manufacturers, assembled under one unitary manufacturer. Currently, it is an integral part of radiology services in healthcare institutions.

Product Description

The CT scanner employs X-rays to reveal the internal parts of the body. X-rays refer to ionizing radiations capable of penetrating robust materials to varying degrees (Danford,2016). In Radiology, an image is formed by placing the detector behind the patient and directing an X-ray beam toward the detector. The images produced by the X-Ray tend to be fuzzy; hence tomography was developed to reduce the image fuzziness of the specific parts of the body during detection. The X-rays utilized by the CT scans are ionizing radiations because they can interact with and alter specific types of matter, such as molecules in the human body. Ever since its inception, its benefit to healthcare in diagnosing and treating conditions has been overwhelming.

The CT Scanner is made up of three components; the operating console, the gantry, and the computer. Each of the three components is composed of its subcomponents. The gantry is the largest part made up of the patient support elements, scanning housing, mechanical support, positioning couch, the detector, and the X-ray tube (Danford,2015). The X-Ray tube is an electrical diode with a special tube designed to emit X-rays. The tube is composed of the anode and the cathode. A high-voltage generator charges a filament in the cathode to reduce electrons. The emitted electrons travel directly to the positively charged anode. When the high-charged electrons hit the anode, X-rays are emitted. The anode then retransmits the electrons back to the generator to complete the circuit. The X-ray tube is confined within a protective housing to protect it from the X-ray beam. Because of their interaction with the X-rays, the detectors examine radiations attenuated from the body.

The computer's role is to analyze the detector's input. It is designed to perform a high level of calculations simultaneously. The high processing and image quality depend on the computer's processor and internal memory. A quick computer is utilized to increase the speed and efficiency of the process. The computer used on the CT scanning machine is specialized, hence requires a room with a specifically controlled environment. The Operation console is like the heart of the CT scanner. It is composed of a computer, a keyboard, and monitors. There are often two different consoles; one used by the operator and another one used by the physician.

The operator's console regulates various controls such as voluntary movements of the patient rot the thickness of the image. Besides, the Doctor's console enables one to view the images without disrupting the normal processes. It also allows image manipulation if it is a key requirement for diagnosis. Magnetic and floppy disks are often used for storing the data on the physician's console.

The CT scanner is composed of a wide array of raw materials used for assembling. Glass, plastic, and steel are used to construct a general product. However, more sophisticated materials are found in specialized areas such as the detector array and the X-ray tube. Ceramic substrate, tungsten plates, copper, and Pyrex, are other materials used in designing the machine.

Manufacturing Process

Manufacturing involves processing the core components separately. Gantry manufacturing involves making one X-ray tube like the other electrical diodes (Fung,2012). The core elements, such as the anode and the cathode, are placed inside the tube before sealing the vacuum. The tube is then confined within the protective housing to protect it from the beams and attached to the scanner's rotating frame. For the detector, 1mm strips of tungsten are covered around a large metallic frame. A Ceramic substrate is utilized to hold the strip firm. After that, the entire assembly is fully sealed. Xenon gas is used to fill the pressure in the unit. As a result, each tiny chamber created from the gaps between the tungsten plates becomes a detector. The completed detector is then fixed on the scanner frame.

During the process, an autotransformer is utilized to create a huge voltage used in producing the X-rays (Plessis et al.,2018). To develop the power device, a wire is wound around the core. Various points of projections are made on the coil, providing space for electric connections. The coil is then connected to the primary power source. With the device now functional, the output voltage can be rapidly increased to match almost twice the input voltage.

The computer and console used in the CT scan are specially designed to meet the needs of the Scan and are supplied by specific secondary manufacturers (Plessis et al.,2018). Normally, the central model computer is programmed with a reconstruction of algorithms required to manipulate and interpret data from the Gantry Assembly. Similarly, the control consoles are also programmed by computer software to control and regulate the CT Scan administration and management.

Technology Involved in Manufacturing

Recent advances have seen the implementation of digital geometry processing during manufacturing to aid in the future production of Three Dimensional Images (Plessis et al.,2018). Nevertheless, the most recent CT scanner is made up of a cone-shaped X-ray beam and multiple detectors. The beam is designed in a way that it fails to pass through the narrow collimator. The technology behind the design allows the beam to interact more with the detectors because the initial beam is not intense. The linear detector array found in the previous versions is modified to become a flat panel or multiple detectors. Combining the X-ray beam and the detector arrays has been done to enhance many slices gained in the shortest time possible. Because of the large amount of information that the current 3D scanners can acquire in a short time, it has been recommended that a higher level of sophistication be utilized during the reconstruction of future versions and upgrades of the current machines.

Besides the typical technologies, some systems utilize a different approach during manufacturing, where a collimated beam is used (Plessis et al.,2018). The beam is utilized to enhance the higher resolution of the images when in use. Reconstructing the acquired 2D into 3D is done by system-supplied software. The software is based on the variations of back-projection algorithms that are filtered. However, research continues to be done on the best approaches to improving CT Scan machine manufacturing technology.

Quality Control Processes and Challenges

Quality Control details the electric equipment as separate entities. Because the whole machines are not manufactured by one industry, the individual supplying manufacturers perform quality control checks on each of their components before supplying them to the assembling firm. After authenticating the components' quality to ensure they are at a working standard, the supplier sent the central assembling firm components. During the entire assembly process, quality checks such as electrical and visual checks are performed at each stage to ensure that the machine components-machine is working as expected. If flaws are detected, they are mended, and the component/machine is reconstructed to suit the set standards.

Besides the quality checks during the manufacturers' process, the US Food and Drug Administration has set standards that call manufacturers to undertake specific quality checks. The tests include the calibration tests done on x-ray tubes and the mechanical tests of the patient's output. However, because different manufacturers supply the components, there tends to be a compatibility challenge, especially done by suppliers who might supply a component that fails to be compatible with others. As such, careful assessment of the components is recommended.

Final Inspection/Logistics

After final assembly, the CT scanner is retested to verify if it is functioning as a unit. The manufacturer then assigns the machine its license number and the brand itself in the machine as the official manufacturer of the machine. The machine is then processed for storage under the necessary conditions/environment. The procurement and logistics department in the organization liaises with the demand agencies such as hospitals, and the machine is transported to the firm. The machine is accompanied by documentation that details maintenance and quality check control to solidify its utility.

Therefore, Additive Manufacturing is a sophisticated approach in modern engineering and technology utilized in various ways. 3D imaging and printing is one significant technology that encompasses the use of Automotive Manufacturing. Therefore, the CT Scan Machine used in medicine presents a framework for analyzing the AM.


Fung, B. (2012). How to Build Your Own CT Scanner. The Atlantic. Retrieved 6 December 2020, from

Plessis, A., Yadroitsev, I., Yadroitsava, I., & Le Roux, S. (2018). X-Ray Micro-computed Tomography in Additive Manufacturing: A Review of the Current Technology and Applications. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, 5(3), 227-247.

Danford, M. (2015). CTa Scanning Moves from Lab to Production Line. Retrieved 6 December 2020, from

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Essay on Revolutionizing Healthcare: An In-Depth Analysis of Additive Manufacturing in CT Scan Machines. (2024, Jan 17). Retrieved from

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