John describes how 3D printing meant that we could keep adapting and improving the design of ViridiScope
John explains how he first started working with Kevin Quigley, the founder of Quigley Design in Shrewsbury: “At the very beginning I had nothing but an idea and a vague notion of how to go about it. My background was in science and analysis techniques, my engineering skills were limited and while I love figuring these things out, I knew I needed someone with good design and engineering skills. Kevin has exactly the right skill set — and patience — and together we have figured it out.”
The additive manufacturing process that has been used throughout the product development process was Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) with nylon material, a material that the nuclear industry is comfortable with, is well understood and has a tried and tested disposal route.
The iterations of the ViridiScope have evolved to result in a multi-component sampling head that can be operated directly by hand or remotely sent up walls and onto ceilings (up to 20 m in height) to fire the laser and collect samples safely, cleanly and quickly. It swiftly became apparent that the front end of the sensor head, touching the (potentially) contaminated area, had to be easily disposable, while the “brains” and therefore expensive part of the device, containing the optics and sensors, needed to be re-usable and thus protected. These levels of disposability make the ViridiScope both safe and efficient, as well as dramatically increasing the speed with which sample areas can be tested while reducing waste and the costs associated with disposal.
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