Jon Bruner Profile picture
Apr 9 23 tweets 10 min read Read on X
We CT scanned an Apple Vision Pro! We also scanned two Meta headsets. Here’s what we found inside, and what it says about the two companies’ approach to AR/VR and to hardware development in general. 🧵
Here are our industrial CT scans of the Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 3 headsets. If you want to explore these scans, head to . Now let’s see what we found……
Apple and Meta have taken different approaches to the market: the Vision Pro is a premium technology showcase for early adopters, while the Meta headsets are priced for accessibility in order to get as many people into the metaverse as possible. Comparison of Apple Vision Pro, Meta Quest Pro, and Meta Quest 3 headsets with Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scans
Quick background on industrial CT: scanners like the @Lumafield Neptune use the same technology as medical CT scanners, taking X-ray images from different angles to create a detailed 3D model. Industrial scanners have a different form factor (fully enclosed in a cabinet to shield operators from X-rays) and can produce scans at higher resolution than medical scanners. When we visualize industrial CT scans, we can scrub through slices (the way most radiologists read medical CT scans) but we can also inspect them as freeform 3D models. CT scans can differentiate materials by density, and analysis software like @Lumafield Voyager can strip away lower-density material like plastic to isolate higher-density material, like the copper in electronics. Now back to the AR headsets…
The product development process is a series of tradeoffs, as designers and engineers iterate to balance original vision against the reality of manufacturing. Apple famously prioritizes design, challenging its engineers to hit aggressive targets without compromising on form.
The Vision Pro is a great illustration. It has a curvilinear enclosure that isn’t ideal for fitting large PCBAs. As a result, its main board is split into two angled sections. The Metas have blockier outer profiles, which allows their main boards to fit without being divided.
Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro headset showing two-part main PCBA
Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a Meta Quest 3 headset showing one-part main PCBA
The Vision Pro also has lots of details that are expensive to implement but give it a more unified user experience. Here’s the motor and worm gear assembly that slides the left lens to automatically align it with the wearer’s pupils. There’s a mirrored assembly on the right. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro showing the eye alignment motor assembly that adjusts for interpupillary distance
Floating in front of each lens is a ring of small, very dense objects. These are the magnets that hold the Vision Pro’s optional, custom-made correctional lenses. The Meta headsets are simply designed to let users wear their own glasses. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro headset showing magnets used to attach custom-made corrective lenses
The Meta headsets ship with handheld controllers. These are quite complex, with electronics on several differently-angled planes to support an ergonomic form factor. In our scans, the large lithium-ion battery in the handle stands out. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a Meta Quest Pro hand controller
The Vision Pro takes a different approach: it’s controlled by a combination of eye and hand tracking. The headset is loaded with sensors to make this work. Here are some of the cameras and IR illuminators that help the VP track its user’s hands.
Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro showing the location of forward- and downward-facing sensors
Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro showing the location of forward- and downward-facing sensors
All of these headsets produce lots of heat. The Meta Quest Pro has a unibrow-shaped heat pipe filled with a coolant that evaporates near hot electronics and condenses near a pair of fans. The Quest 3 has just a single fan and no heat pipe. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a Meta Quest Pro headset showing heat pipe and two fans
The Vision Pro has a pair of large fans sandwiched between its displays and its main PCBAs. Look at these huge bearings! They run silently, with vanes that both quiet the airflow and move air away from the wearer.
The Quest Pro’s battery is at the back of the headband. This helps balance the headset and moves the battery away from the heat of the headset’s processor. It also requires an unusual curved battery design. (The coil is a spring inside the headset tensioner knob.) Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a Meta Quest Pro curved battery, located at the back of the device's headband
Our scan shows that each battery in the Quest Pro is attached to a single connector. But there’s also a mysterious set of pads on a flex PCB against each battery. Could these detect flexing/swelling of the battery? Or maybe they’re just pogo pin pads for testing or pre-charging? Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a Meta Quest Pro battery showing contact pads
The Quest 3’s battery is in the headset itself, where it fits against the main board. This is an advantage of the Quest 3’s relatively blocky enclosure: it’s easy (cost-effective) to layer in lots of rectangular components by just stacking them on top of each other.
The Vision Pro’s battery is an externally-worn pack that contains 3 LiPo batteries with a honeycomb plate separating two of them. The plate could help with heat management, or it could just add rigidity to the assembly. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of an Apple Vision Pro battery pack
The Vision Pro battery pack uses a proprietary connector that’s pretty wild. This is the kind of thing engineers can develop when they have unlimited resources. Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a proprietary Apple Vision Pro battery connector
If you have a Vision Pro or Meta Quest, try opening Voyager on it! Here are links directly to the scans:
Vision Pro:
Quest Pro:
Quest 3:………
We also worked with the folks at @JigSpace to view one of our scans in 3D (this is a Luer lock–check out the thread for more on how these ingenious medical connectors work).
Explore these scans, and read more detail on the design of these headsets, here:…
Want to learn about industrial CT and how it’s used? Check out our explainer video here:
Wish you had watched a video version of this instead of reading a long Twitter thread? Here you go.
So you've made it to the end of a very long thread about industrial CT. Would you like to work at Lumafield? We're hiring in engineering, sales, and marketing!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jon Bruner

Jon Bruner Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @JonBruner

Mar 28
This is an industrial X-ray CT scan of a Luer activated valve—a tiny medical connector that costs just 75 cents but is remarkably complex. Let’s take a look at how it works… 🧵
Luer connectors are used to join medical tubing for fluid delivery—think tubes that hook into IV bags, or needles that fit onto the ends of syringes. Hospitals use thousands every day. They twist together with less than one turn and must be secure and completely leakproof. A handful of Luer connectors
These connectors have an added feature: silicone valves that stop fluid from leaking out when disconnected. The valves are silicone sleeves with a slit at one end. The two connectors shown here work differently…Image
Lumafield industrial X-ray CT scan of a pair of Luer activated valves
Read 10 tweets
Mar 14
We CT scanned a Stanley Quencher cup to look for the lead that’s supposedly inside. Here’s what we found, and what it says about how these cups are made… 🧵
These cups have been a viral sensation, increasing Stanley’s revenue 10X since 2019. But late last year, social media influencers discovered lead in the cups. Stanley confirmed the cups contain lead, but says the lead doesn’t contact the cup’s contents. So what’s going on?

Here’s a @lumafield CT scan of a Stanley Quencher. Using X-ray images taken from different angles, we’ve constructed a 3D model that includes internal and external features. We can crop into the cup to see its cross section.
Read 13 tweets
Feb 28
This is a CT scan of Heinz’s new ketchup cap. It represents a $1.2 million engineering investment over 8 years. Here’s why it’s significant… 🧵
This is the previous Heinz cap design. CT scans like @lumafield’s capture density, shown here on a blue-red spectrum. There are three plastics in this cross-section. The bottle is PET, and the cap is unlabeled but likely polypropylene. Inside the cap is another material. Lumafield industrial CT scan of an older Heinz ketchup cap design
@lumafield @HeinzTweets @KraftHeinzCo @BerryGlobalInc It's a small silicone valve. Here we strip out low-density plastic (the PP cap) and isolate the PET body and the silicone valve. Silicone is flexible and durable, and the design of the valve lets ketchup pass at a predictable rate when the bottle is squeezed.
Read 9 tweets
Jan 18
Guess that scan! This is an industrial CT scan of an everyday object, shown in cross section. Do you know what it is? Lumafield industrial CT scan of a mystery object, shown in cross section
@lumafield No one's guessed it yet! Here's a hint: this is a section along a different plane. An industrial CT scan from Lumafield showing a mystery object in section
A few of you have guessed it now! This is a Braun electric shaver head. Here it is in full view and sectioned the way it was shown in the images above.
Lumafield industrial CT scan of a Braun shaver head
Lumafield industrial CT scan of a Braun shaver head, in section
Read 6 tweets
Dec 14, 2023
There are billions of Christmas tree lights in the world. We CT scanned a few and found that they’re much more complex and intricate than they seem. Let’s take a look… 💡🧵
This is a standard incandescent bulb from a string of holiday lights. It has a tiny tungsten filament just like a regular old bulb, but there’s something else in this image… Industrial CT scan of an incandescent Christmas light bulb
Perhaps you noticed the extra wire below the filament. This solves a fundamental problem with Christmas lights: they need to be wired in series to divide household voltage down to run across thin filaments in tiny bulbs, so a single burned-out bulb would darken an entire string… Industrial CT scan of the filament inside an incandescent Christmas light bulb
Read 21 tweets
Nov 29, 2023
This is a CT scan of a Furby! 😱

We captured it for @bekathwia’s latest teardown video; let’s see what’s inside… 🧵
@bekathwia The Furby reacts to being patted on the head. Indeed, when we look inside it one of the most prominent features is a spring-loaded head-pat sensor.

(CT captures relative material density; we can strip away fur and plastic, isolating denser materials like steel and copper.)
Lumafield industrial CT scan of a Furby showing its head-pat sensor
Lumafield industrial CT scan of a Furby showing its head-pat sensor
By the way, you can explore this scan yourself right here. Now, on with the thread...…
Read 11 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us!