This X-Ray image was made using a highly modified Scanmax 20 X-Ray mail scanner that I found via eBay (yes, really). I have substantially altered the imaging system; it now comprises a Kodak Lanex Fine fluorescent screen and a Nikon D3100 camera, replacing the original high brightness, low resolution screen and video-based image capture and display. The result is a dramatic increase in resolution, though at the expense of brightness. I usually use 6-second exposures using a 50mm f/1.4 lens stopped down to about f/2.2.
Images are further improved by post-processing multiple captures, usually simply averaging to reduce noise. There is some residual noise, of course, but it would take many more exposures (several dozen) to make any significant improvement in signal to noise ratio or resolution.
Please, please, please don’t think that you can just get an X-Ray machine off eBay or wherever and safely start making images like this. Without proper shielding and other precautions, ionizing radiation such as X-Rays can be seriously hazardous to your health.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.