X-rays! (No specs required)

It’s March 14 (3.14): happy Pi Day, everybody!

Steve Purchase, a dentist, found himself alone with a dental X-ray machine and a Raspberry Pi one evening, so he did the obvious thing. I thought the small images he produced were really interesting, and asked him if he could come up with any higher resolution pictures. He went a bit above and beyond on my request.

I am a dentist, so am using the films I have available in work. I used a large extra-oral film of about 30cm x 15cm for the first images you saw. For these latest images, I have used my best resolution films which are a lot smaller than a Pi,  being only 3cm x 4cm.  I have stitched together parts from about 16 images to create the master image.


The X-ray machine I used for this is a Trophy CCX 70kV set.  The films are re-useable phosphor plates which are scanned into a PC using a DenOptix QST scanner made by a company called Gendex.

As always, you can click on any of these pictures to enlarge them.

These Pis are colourised artificially. The original capture is monochrome:

I’ve resized the largest pictures for this page, but you can find a 15MB .png of the monochrome image at Photobucket. The above image of twelve colourised Pis is also available as a larger .png – all the other pictures I’ve used here are the original .jpgs.

Different colourisations make different features of the Pi more obvious and easier for the eye to parse: for example, the ball grid array (BGA) assembly of the stacked processor/memory package on package (POP) in the middle of the board is crystal-clear here, with its tiny dots of solder…

…while the image below highlights the maze of tracks in all the layers of the board much more efficiently than the b/w original does.

We’ll be printing some of these off to stick on the walls at Pi Towers. Thank you very much indeed, Steve. More power to your tartar-scraping elbow, and to that sucky thing that you stick under people’s tongues to get rid of all the spit.