X-ray microscopy (XRM) has emerged as a powerful technique that reveals 3D images and quantitative information of interior structures. XRM executed both in the laboratory and at the synchrotron have demonstrated critical analysis and materials characterization on meso-, micro-, and nanoscales, with spatial resolution down to 50 nm in laboratory systems. The non-destructive nature of X-rays has made the technique widely appealing, with potential for “4D” characterization, delivering 3D micro- and nanostructural information on the same sample as a function of sequential processing or experimental conditions. Understanding volumetric and nanostructural changes, such as solid deformation, pore evolution, and crack propagation are fundamental to understanding how materials form, deform, and perform. We will present recent instrumentation developments in laboratory based XRM including a novel in situ nanomechanical testing stage. These developments bridge the gap between existing in situ stages for micro scale XRM, and SEM/TEM techniques that offer nanometer resolution but are limited to analysis of surfaces or extremely thin samples whose behavior is strongly influenced by surface effects. Several applications will be presented including 3D-characterization and in situ mechanical testing of polymers, metal alloys, composites and biomaterials. They span multiple length scales from the micro- to the nanoscale and different mechanical testing modes such as compression, indentation and tension.