back to article Artist slices gadgets using CT scanner

Ever wondered what your gadgets look like on the inside? One artist has, and has begun capturing the inner workings of everything from the iPhone to laptops – without taking a screwdriver to them. iPhone_CT_scan The iPhone, as seen through a CT scanner Student Satre Stuelke snaps images of gadgets using a CT scanner, which …


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  1. Psymon

    not all that impressive

    The picture fidelity for the iphone and the palm are pretty awfull.

    X-rays produces much nicer results. Are the colours supposed to indicate anything?

    If he'd captured MRI style images of the electrical flow like brainwaves it would have made for a much nicer pic. Alas, I really wouldn't recomend putting an iphone in an MRI - the ibook would be vastly improved though.

    I can't imagine him being happy with the results of his little experiment, and I suspect he's probably trying to put some positive spin on he's rather expensive foray.

  2. Eponymous Cowherd


    Now try it with an MRI.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    He should...

    ...get a smaller CT scanner, and put it through the CT scanner.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Rich Parents?

    "dedicated to the deeper visualisation of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in modern society”


    I can't paint or sculpt, so need some other way call myself an "Artist" and justify mummy and daddies expensive art degree....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's not art, and its a waste of the CT scanners time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Is this Art?

    Or is it just someone dicking around with a CT scanner?


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    apple turnover

    why is the apple logo upside down?

  8. Oliver Mayes

    This must stop

    Once non-techies start looking inside their gadgets they'll realise that they don't run on magic and blue smoke. We need to stop now this or all our jobs will be at risk.

  9. Someone

    101 uses for the inverse Radon transform

    Interesting article, but you could have picked some of Stuelke’s better images for it. Those three look as if they’ve come from the 2D airport scanners used to detect exploding iPhones.

    Psymon, a CT scanner does use X-rays. I assume the false colours represent absorption/transmission of the materials, just like those 2D airport scanners. If you read the website’s about page, you’ll find it was an old CT scanner. This would explain the poor resolution and why a med student got to ‘dick around’ with it.

  10. Matt Bradley

    @apple turnover

    That's how the logos were on the original iBook - the users places the laptop on a desk with the logo facing the right way as the look at the machine, then when they open it, the logo is obviously inverted on the back of the lid. This way makes more sense to the normal user.

    On the new MacBooks however, the user places the machine on the desk with the logo inverted, then when the lid is opened it facing the right way to anybody who walks past. This makes sense to brand conscious users and the Apple marketing department.

    Of course, I eagerly await a MacBook lid with a build in accelerometer and the logo displayed on an ultra thin OLED on the outside of the case, the user puts the machine on the desk with the apple logo facing the right way up, then when the lid is opened the logo turns itself around automatically. Everybody is happy (including marketing), and passers by can still see that you are using a MacBook.


  11. Steve Roper
    Thumb Up

    It IS art, you cynical gits!

    By some of the reasoning I've seen above, photography wouldn't qualify as art in your books either. A photographer doesn't paint or sculpt either, he takes pictures of things. The art isn't in the act, since anyone can point a camera and press a button; it's in the creation. You might casually snap a photo of a sunset, which is just 'dicking around' with a camera, but it's rubbish because it's blurred, or there's a bloody great telegraph pole in the way that you didn't really want there. An artist would choose an angle and position and exposure to take the shot, perhaps with a building to one side with its windows reflecting the clouds and such, which creates the artistry of the photo. An artist might take hundreds of shots and end up using only a few - that choice is also part of the artistry of photography.

    In this case, the artist has done something original - nobody else has thought of using a CT scanner to photograph gadgets. Thus, it creates a new way of looking at everyday items we take for granted. And how do you all know how many shots he took and rejected because they looked like crap, or they didn't inspire him in some way?

    My own first thought on seeing the pictures (since I've recently been reading up on four-dimensional Euclidean geometry - tesseracts, glomes and polychorons, and about how a four-dimensional observer looking into our 3-space would be able to see simultaneously both the surface and the interior of the 3-dimensional Earth, or our own skins and innards) - was that these photos made me think of how a four-dimensional being might see these gadgets. That's what art is - something that provokes thought or invokes an idea in the observer. These images certainly did that for me, so I have to disagree with you all on this one. These are indeed art!

  12. b
    Thumb Up

    here's lookin' at you...toaster!

    there's some nice stuff on her site..

    very cool!



    p.s. stuff and nonsense:

  13. Jeremy
    Paris Hilton

    This is not a title.

    Thousands of airport x-ray operators slap their head in unison, realising that all they needed to do to become 'artists' was hit Print Screen ever few minutes.

    Seriously, the images produced by security x-ray scanners are clearer than those...

  14. joe K


    This is nor more scientific than sniffing used toilet paper to determine the eating habits of whoever used it, and no more artistic than glueing the said paper to a piece of canvas and framing it.

    1: "Honey, the TV remote's not working!"

    2: "I know, let's break little Tommy's arm and send him into hospital with the remote hidden in his armpit. They'll carry out a CT scan and we can then tell from the images whether the remote has batteries in it or not! "

    1: "You're a genius!

    2: " No I'm not love, I'm simply dedicated to the deeper visualisation of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in modern society".

  15. D


    All well and good, but its already been done before, and animated too.

    Far more detail visable as well.

  16. Rick


    "X-rays produces much nicer results."

    You mean like the x-rays used in a CT scanner?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Roper

    Shh. You're trying to provide a logical viewpoint to a group of guys who desperately want to attack this (and probably most other art) so they can feel better about their own lack of creativity.

    Hell, they're not even creative enough to come up with a new way to attack the art! If you want to piss off an artist, don't tell him that what he's made isn't art - that just proves that you're ignorant. You need to learn what he's doing and then tell him why he hasn't executed well - now -that- stings.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Steve Roper

    Quote: "In this case, the artist has done something original - nobody else has thought of using a CT scanner to photograph gadgets."

    It's been done before. In fact, computed tomography is often used for quality control / fault-finding during the manufacture of castings and electronic assemblies.

    Quote: "And how do you all know how many shots he took and rejected because they looked like crap, or they didn't inspire him in some way?"

    You clearly have no idea how a CT scan works. When an object is scanned the images are converted into a 3D virtual object. Getting the 'perfect shot', or just an aesthetically pleasing viewing angle, involves nothing more than clicking and dragging the mouse.

    It's hardly art.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Matt - Apple Turnover

    Doh if only they used an offset swivel pin then gravity could autosciencely do it for you.

    Of course any designer worth his salt knows that you dont put a logo on at all! the style speaks for itself. just the name under the screen. no problems for anyone.

  20. Murray Pearson

    Ah yes, the clamshell iBook

    I had one of those; the day after the warranty expired I whipped out my Torx drivers and ripped the little bastitch apart in order to upgrade the three gigabyte hard drive. I could see why there was only one repair depot on the planet for them as I got inside it; the whole thing was hung on this wacky trapeze setup that allowed the forces from the handle to disperse evenly through the components; it was rather neat. You can make it out, more or less, in the CT.

    In order to get to that 3GB drive, I had to remove every single component. Finally, exhausted, I removed the drive and compared its size with the drive I contemplated to replace it. The replacement was 10.5mm tall and the existing one, 9.5mm tall. I was crushed flat as a bug.

    It took me almost a month to gather the spirit to reassemble it. When I was done (only three screws left over!) I plugged it in and the charge-indicator light did not light up, to my staggering dismay. So I crashed out and, in the morning, with a heavy heart pressed the power button expecting I had a tangerine paperweight. Bong! It started and worked perfectly, with the exception of the charge indicator light. I have never been happier with a hardware malfunction in my life.

  21. Matt Bradley
    Thumb Up


    Yes! Word of the YEAR. I shall henceforth look for any and every opportunity to use this word.

  22. Another Anonymous Coward

    Mmmm.. robo-porn

    Check out the resistors on that baby! I bet she can take a 1000 volts without breaking a sweat.

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