Automated and high-throughput microCT imaging and analysis is becoming more and more important as the technology is being used more often as a tool for elaborate studies on many samples, for quality control in a production environment or digitalization of collections. At the same time, the increasing availability of the technology makes it accessible to a lot of new users, including undergraduate students and people without technical background, creating the need for fast, simple and straight-forward solutions.
In an earlier issue of our microCT academy newsletter (Issue 1, 2017) the option for a push-button operation of the SkyScan 1275 was discussed, which allows to run a pre-programmed sequence of scanning, reconstruction and data visualization or analysis by a single push of a button. This approach offers already a high degree of automation and significantly increases throughput. Still, a new sample needs to be mounted in the scanner manually after each scan, requiring an operator nearby the system the entire time.
A next step in automated scanning, and discussed in this issue, is the use of an automated sample changer, which replaces a scanned sample with a new one automatically, allowing independent operation of the microCT scanner without the need for a full-time presence of an operator.