University of Southampton researchers have a new tool available: a high-energy 3D scanner. The design of this scanner is fascinating: it's actually five different scanners in one, each capable of handling different resolution levels. When combined in this integrated system, the scanner is capable of scanning down to an astonishing 200 nanometers. All this within a volume of up to 1 cubic meter.
One of the first items through the new £2.2M scanner was a fossil skull of a prehistoric pliosaur, some 2.4 meters in size. We suspect it took a few runs to capture the beast's head, as the skull was somewhat larger than the scanner's capacity.
The Centre for Computed Tomography director Ian Sinclair says:
The scale and design of the scanner means we will be able to x-ray objects as large as a car engine down to something the size of an ant's head.
We can't wait to start printing bugs!