Calculating The Freedom To Operate

The customer’s challenge

Phenom-World has designed a sample holder with a greater degree of freedom for their new generation of electron microscopes. However, this leads to situations where the sample holder may touch the lens and thus damage the instrument. One potential solution is placing extra sensors in the microscope, but this is not an ideal one, as it will cause an increase in both the bill of materials and the maintenance costs.

Sioux's contribution

Sioux developed a geometric model for this problem. The instrument now knows its own geometry and that of the sample, and using the geometric model, it can determine independently and in real time which locations and paths are safe.


Sioux realised the customer’s desired functionality, not by adding hardware, but by adding Mathware. The calculations are completed so quickly that the end user never notices the difference.


Volumetric mesh optimization, Collision detection & prevention, Pathway optimization, Homing and calibration sequencing, Robot operating system (ROS), Meshlab. Mathware technologies: ICEM CFD, Design Modeler, Hexpress, Solid Works, Spaceclaim.

Phenom-World (part of Thermo Fisher) is a leading global supplier of desktop scanning electron microscopes and imaging solutions for submicron scale applications. The Phenom SEM-based systems are used in a broad range of markets and applications.

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