3D CT scans make even ketchup caps look cool

A team of engineers is scanning various items to highlight engineering marvels around us.

Scan of the Month

See that picture up there? It may look like something out of Tron or Blade Runner, but it's actually a CT scan — of a Heinz ketchup cap. A group of "deeply curious engineers" is scanning different types of items every month to give us a deeper appreciation of various engineering marvels surrounding us in every day life. The latest batch of scans includes a Heinz squeeze-bottle cap that took its inventor 185,000 hours and 45 prototypes to finalize. It's quite a complex assembly, which allows for the ketchup to be stored upside-down without leaking — the design was even licensed to NASA to create leak-proof containers for its astronauts.

In addition to the Heinz bottle cap, the team also scanned a Sriracha nozzle that had such a distinctive design, the family behind the hot sauce chose to trademark it. The engineers scanned a Vita Coco bottle cap, as well, confirming that the foil inside does indeed remain intact until the cap's miniature saw does its job when you open it for the first time. Who knew food packaging could be this fascinating?

Back in December, the team scanned three different AirPods to show how Apple's wireless earbuds have evolved. You'll see how the tech giant kept rearranging the earbuds' internal components over the years, giving each generation a complete redesign. A month later, the team uploaded scans of Nintendo's handheld consoles from the Game Boy to the Switch. Seeing the original Game Boy's processor, which was apparently slower than a TI-83 calculator's, will give you a new appreciation of how far handheld gaming has come. Finally, in February, the team scanned a handful of Polaroid and Fujifilm instant cameras, showcasing their complex internal components and how the small devices can print on pretty large films.

You can see all all team's 3D scans on their website, where all future projects will most likely be uploaded.