Nikon Metrology

Trick or Treat at Nikon Metrology this Halloween!

Handheld Scanning, Microscopes, X-ray and CT Inspection

This Halloween, Nikon Metrology uses its leading technology to explore some spooky items… Take a look at these eerie images and find out more about how the technology works.


Scanning pumpkins with the ModelMaker H120

2 Pumpkins with Focus

Carved pumpkin without Focus – Shading on








“Over the years customers have asked us to scan many different kinds of components, with a multitude of surface colours and texture! However, we’ve never scanned pumpkins before. Thankfully with our MCAxS portable arm and the Nikon H120 blue scanner the pumpkins posed no problem at all.  The ultra-fast data capture and high resolution of the H120 enabled us to capture every detail of the pumpkins, even once we’d made a very bad job of carving faces into them!” – Mark Eaton, UK Sales Manager for Laser Scanning.

ColourMap with Focus


MCAx S is a precise, reliable and easy-to-use 7-axis portable articulated coordinate measuring arm able to measure around and even inside large parts without constraints. The combination of the industry leading ModelMaker H120 laser scanner, with the MCAx S articulated arm gives users a greater insight to improve quality, accelerate time-to-market, and streamline manufacturing processes. It guarantees unprecedented levels of detail and precision for a portable shop floor solution, regardless of user experience.

Find out more about the MCAxS here.


Observing the knife used to carve the pumpkin under a Scanning Electron Microscope


Pumpkin Knife under JEOL SEM


The magnified images of the blade used to carve the pumpkin were produced using a Benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), the JEOL JCM-7000 NeoScope. The system has a seamless transition from optical macro view into the SEM imaging. The JCM-7000 is typically used for material applications and can take samples up to 80 mm in diameter.

The first blade magnified image was taken at 15.0 kV, using a magnification of x180. In the second image of the blade, the accelerating voltage has remained at 15.0 kV with the magnification increased to x1,400 allowing us to see a feature on the blade of 10 micron. As a comparison the width of a single blood cell is normally around 6 to 8 micron!

The JCM-7000 Benchtop SEM has a small footprint which enables it to be used in any laboratory without special requirements. Many material scientists struggle at present to have instant access to SEM capabilities, so the JCM-7000 is the answer to this. The JEOL has the ability to go up to a magnification of 100,000 x at a resolution around 8 nm. The JCM-7000 is very easy to use and does not require a dedicated operator to drive the instrument. In less than half an hour users will be able to take great quality SEM images and to obtain relevant EDS chemical analysis results and spectra as needed.


Find out more about the Benchtop JEOL JCM-7000 here.

Read the interview with our JEOL expert David Hemingway, to find out why the JEOL JCM-7000 is a game changer for all industries – click here.



Inspecting a besom with X-ray CT









To celebrate Halloween Dr. Andrew Mathers (X-ray CT Project Manager) scanned a besom. Besom is the traditional name for a broom made of twigs, tied around a stick, which is synonymous with Witches’ broomsticks. In this case the besom is approximately 75 years old and constructed from birch twigs tied around a hazel wood handle with a low grade steel wire.

Despite the large size of the besom, X-ray CT enables us to non-destructively visualise fine details, including growth rings, within in the handle and the individual birch twigs themselves.

The X-ray CT scan of the besom was acquired at 132 µm voxel resolution and 300 Watts, using a Nikon C2 Large Envelope System (LES). The system houses three X-ray sources (a Nikon 450kV microfocus with rotating target, a Varian 450kV minifocus and a Nikon 225kV microfocus with interchangeable rotating and reflection targets) and two detectors (a Varex 1621 EHS flat panel and a Nikon curved linear diode array). For this scan the Nikon 225kV microfocus source with rotating target and Varex 1621 EHS flat panel configuration was used.

Due to the high aspect ratio of the besom, the scan was performed using X.Tend (Nikon’s advanced approach to helical CT) which enabled the entire height of the besom (990mm) to be captured in a single acquisition. For this scan the detector acquired 9180 projections at an exposure of 500 ms and a gain of 12 dB.

X-ray CT data was reconstructed in Nikon CT Pro 3D, using Nikon’s advanced helical CT reconstruction algorithm, which provides industry leading speed without compromising quality. The resultant 3D data was rendered using the isosurface renderer in Volume Graphics Studio Max 3.4.


Find out more about the C2 Large Envelop System here.