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Laser Profiler Used to Scan Surgical Scalpels


A Keyence laser and precision optical stage is used to profile surgical scalpels.

The Challenge


A medical research and manufacturing company approached us with the need for a system to inspect the blades of their surgical scalpels.


The Solution


Using Keyence laser hardware, LabVIEW software, and a precision optical stage fixture we profiled our client’s surgical scalpels to improve their internal quality control.


The Story//The Cyth Process

  • Keyence LJ-V7000 laser (with controller), used to profile the surgical scalpels, resolves down to 2 µm and has a repeatability of up to ±3µm ensuring consistent data across multiple scans.

  • Keyence LJ-V7000 area scan laser minimizes noise through processing algorithms and uses CMOS technology to produce stable profiles across difficult reflective materials and/or material color change.

  • An Applied Motion stepper motor with a built-in encoder enables micro step precision and our programmed LabVIEW machine control architecture.

  • Scalpel sample scan performed in less than 5 seconds with instantly received profile data allowing approx. 12 sample scans per minute.

  • The laser’s profile data is graphically shown in real-time in LabVIEW and recorded for analysis.

  • LabVIEW takes the profile data and calculates the percentage error between the measured and control profiles of the client-provided CAD design.

Figure 1. The laser scans the calibration block to orient itself to a planar horizontal positioning.


System Order of Operations:

  1. The operator slots and positions a scalpel in the fixture’s nest.

  2. The operator begins the scan procedure, and the laser scans a calibration block to orient itself to a planar horizontal positioning.

  3. The Keyence LJ-v7000 laser performs an area scan of the scalpel’s blade in less than 5 seconds.

  4. The data appears in real-time on the LabVIEW graphical user interface, and all data is stored via Ethernet communication protocol.

  5. The percentage error between control and measured scalpel profiles is performed by LabVIEW algorithms and is deemed a pass or reject sample.

  6. An operator loads the next scalpel into the fixture and repeats the process.


Figure 2. Precision optical fixture featuring Keyence laser and laser controller, (customer product blurred).

Figure 3. LabVIEW user interface.


Delivering the Outcome


Using a Keyence LJ-v7000 laser, LabVIEW software, and a precision optical stage fixture we profiled our client’s surgical scalpels to improve their internal quality control. We were able to use an Applied Motion stepper motor drive to perform the scan in less than 5 seconds. This allowed our clients to increase the efficiency of their repeatable scans while grading their samples by percentage error to deem them a pass vs. reject. The use of LabVIEW enabled our motor control architectures, operator user interface, and laser profile data acquisition. The project hardware and software were completed within 8 weeks within the client’s project budget and timeline requirements.




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