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Owlfly Patents

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Method for Measuring Mass Distribution within Objects using Moment-of-Inertia

US Patent Application No. US-2024-0011861
Principle Inventor: Chris Alice Kratzer

Modern high-precision metrology equipment has its limitations. The current industry standards for holistic dimensional analysis are Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) and imaging systems. CMMs are machines that measure the dimensions of a target object by poking its surface with a rod following an algorithm. CMMs can only measure the external dimensions of hard solid objects.

Imaging systems take a picture (or many pictures) of a target object, and - like a CMM - can be used to measure distances between points. Imaging systems like ultrasound and x-ray can even measure internal structures, but they are not reliable if the material of the object is entirely transparent or opaque to the wave frequencies applied, or if the object is layered.

The Inertial Measurement Machine (IMM) is a completely new idea that measures the distribution of mass within an object by simply... spinning it around!

How does it work? Imagine you're holding a broom out in front of you while you're
blindfolded. Intuitively, you can tell that the object is a broom because it responds differently to rotation in different directions. It takes more force to spin the broom end-to-end than it does to spin the broom around the circumference of the handle. IMMs are much more sophisticated, but the basic premise is the same.

IMMs could revolutionize high-precision manufacturing by providing a quick-and-easy way to map the internal mass distribution of any target object.
The preferred use case is the detection of voids and inclusions within precision castings. However, IMMs can be used in any field where it is useful to measure the internal mass distribution of a rigid solid object, including but not limited to: Metallurgy, Precision Manufacturing, Reverse Engineering, Geology, and Paleontology.
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