CT is a technology that is very common in the hospital setting and is used as a diagnostic tool to look under the skin without disturbing anything. Instrument makers can use CT technology for this same purpose, as a diagnostic tool. Rather than take an instrument apart or expose it to measuring tools CT allows information to be obtained non-invasively.

The instrument is laid flat on its back in a soft, foam cradle and aligned with the laser guides.  After a gentle ride on the scanner bed the instrument is returned to its case and the real job begins with the analysis of hundreds of thousands of measurements. CT lets us view the instrument in many useful cross-sectional views. The standard views are axial (sliced through the body of the instrument), coronal (sliced from the top), and sagittal (sliced from the sides).

CT can also generate the following:

  • Thickness Maps: A map of the thickness of the belly and back plates of the instrument
  • Density Maps: A map of the wood density throughout the plates
  • Elevation Maps: Showing the arching profiles of the instrument
  • Slab MRP: CT generated simulations of a standard X-ray view. Rather than see just one “slice”, multiple slices can be put together to create an image of any area of the instrument. The standard views are of the top and back plates.
  • Individual axial, sagittal, and coronal slices showing arching features, totalling several hundred images
  • Virtually unlimited measurements
  • Assembly of slices into movies that can be viewed on a computer
  • By providing detailed imagery of the wood grains CT also provides virtual “fingerprints“ of the woods used, making it impossible to forge and allowing for positive identification in the case of theft and recovery.