Medical devices, specially the ones used for tomography, are extremely expensive, because they must be highly precise and secure. For the same reason, they are constantly changed for more actual models, and the old devices are deposited in warehouses. Even though, they are still functional, and their capacities are stull useful in other fields. That’s how this project arises, proposing the reuse of one of these devices, adapting it so it is able to generate 3D models of construction materials.
For this project, we are using a SIEMENS SOMATOM DUO device, donated by SIME (Spanish for Sistemas Médicos). This device was packaged, and in good conditions, apart from the missing connection cables towards the control towers, and one of the towers had a damaged hard disk.
One of the main benefits is the reuse of the device, avoiding that a radiation device turns to waste, and using it to potentiate the advancement of a bigger project, the creation of a computational model of construction materials.
This project has been up for around six months, and it is probable that it will end soon, once the device can be successfully started. Due to it being a device that generates radiation, one of the longest processes is the legal one, because it is mandatory to have the appropriate licenses to use a device of this nature.
Another factor are the replacement parts necessary for the device, between them the previously mentioned cables, a new hard disk, and an interface card that was found damaged once an inspection was made. These parts, and the control software are vital to put the device to work.
The budget used in repairing and adapting the device reaches the 1300 USD, but there is still the need of professionals intervening in the first startup, so with this added cost and the adaptation costs, the required budget would end up around 2000 USD. This amount seems substantial, but it must be taken in account that one of these devices could forty or fifty times more.
Regretfully, the device has been inactive a considerable amount of time, and there is the possibility of some other part malfunctioning. However, an initial inspection has been made, so the probability of it working, now that the necessary parts and software have been found, is 70% or more.