Nikon Metrology

Nikon Metrology celebrates National Aviation Day 2020

3D Printing, Computed tomography, X-ray and CT Inspection

To mark the USA’s National Aviation Day, Dr. Andrew Mathers has used a Nikon XT H 225 ST to CT scan a 3D printed replica jet engine.





X-ray CT scans of a 3D printed replica jet engine taken on Nikon’s XT H 225 ST. Click to view full size images.


The USA National Aviation Day takes place on 19th August, as established by Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. To celebrate this day, Dr. Andrew Mathers has created a series of X-ray CT scans of a 3D printed components to build a replica jet engine. The scans demonstrate Nikon Metrology’s expertise in inspecting 3D printed components.

The above images of an aluminium, 3D printed, replica jet engine, were created from a series of X-ray CT scans of the individual 3D printed components. These scans were acquired by Dr. Andrew Mathers at 37 µm voxel resolution and 37 Watts, using a Nikon XT H 225 ST.

Image of a 3D printed replica jet engine model.

Original 3D printed replica jet engine sample which was scanned on Nikon’s XT H 225 ST.

The system houses a Nikon 225 kV microfocus X-ray source fitted with a tungsten reflection target and a 2 mm Copper beam filter, coupled with a Varex 4343-CT flat panel detector. For these scans the components were arranged in a vertical tower and scanned in X.Tend (helical CT) mode to maximise resolution. The detector acquired >6000 projections per scan at an exposure of 708 mS and a gain of 24 dB. X-ray CT data was reconstructed using Nikon’s own helical CT algorithm in Nikon CT Pro 3D, during which each individual component was saved as its own scan volume. These volumes were then aligned to the original CAD model from which they were 3D printed and rendered in 3D in Volume Graphics Studio Max 3.4.

The XT H 225 ST is a Computed Tomography (CT) system ideally suited to a wide range of materials and sample sizes, especially those that are too large or heavy for other systems in the range. The system has three interchangeable sources; the 225 kV reflection target, 180 kV transmission target and the optional 225 kV rotating target. Combined with the wide range of flat panel detectors to choose from, the ST system provides a flexible tool for quality laboratories, production facilities and research departments.

Find out more about the XT H 225 ST.



Find out more about National Aviation Day from NASA.