If one was to follow the trail of rapid prototyping all through the years then the significant development of this technology will come as no surprise. Different industries have accepted this revolutionary technology with wide-open arms and companies realizing the potential, has been trying heart and soul to come up with more affordable home-based 3D printers. Previously, engineers would take the aid of rapid prototyping to create replacement parts and occasionally hobbyists and artists would give shape and form to the abstract designs they have conceived. Using small scale physical depictions of evidences in the court to recreate a crime scene is something of an age-old procedure. However, in the recent times, criminal investigators and forensic scientists have started to see its usefulness in the court.
3D Printing Footprints
Replication of evidences is something very common in the field of forensics. In the past decade, investigators and scientists have used dental stone in order to create casts of footprints; Mikrosil for the impression of tool mark, and various other materials for the imprint of evidences. However, though this technique is widely used, it is not ideal during the times when the substrate is likely to deform or if the substrate is vulnerable to rapid deterioration.
On a crime scene located in a remote area, resources for collecting the evidence might not be available. Using advanced photogrammetry software such as PhotoModeler Scanner or 3DReality, a thick and accurate model can be made.
Facial Reconstruction and Identification
It is possible to gather information about a person using his skeletal remains. By close analysis of different features and monuments of the skull, it is possible to identify a person’s gender and race. At the Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) it is their mission to detect remains of American soldiers who have died in the past wars or any other military conflicts. There are a lot of lab tools for the sole purpose of forensic identification, amongst which there are various multicolor 3D printers. A model of the skull is initially printed using the data extracted from CT scans. A multiple number of pictures of the skull from various angles are taken. After that, the next step is to superimpose the photos to the photographs of the soldier who have already been identified. This process is known as the ‘skull photographic superimposition’.
There is no doubt that the remodeling of the physical appearance of a suspect has to be as accurate and precise as can be.
Finger Print Scanning
Fingerprints have been used as an identification tool by investigative agencies for a long time now. The use of the rapid prototyping technology for fingerprint examination is also very useful. The fingerprints of the suspect can be captured in its entirety in 3D using small scanning systems. Traditionally, powder and tape has been used to get someone’s finger prints for many years. However, through the passage of time we have reached an era when collecting and examining the fingerprint of a suspect has never been this easy and all the while without losing the intricate patterns and details, such as the ridges and the pores of the fingers. Fingerprint scanners are tested by
Through rapid prototyping, it is possible to replicate a fingerprint or any other aspects from the crime scene and then provide the court with a magnified version of it so that emphasis can be put on something specific that otherwise would not have been distinguishable seen through the naked eyes.
The complexity or the details involved in an accident cannot be entirely grasped in a few photographs. Police agencies are increasingly adopting laser scanners to make their work more dependable. The vehicle involved in the accident can be scanned, and an exact replica of the final rest-position of the vehicle created; undoubtedly this will make investigative work much more convenient.
Using an exact depiction of the accident scene in the courtroom, it will be easier to provide a more accurate account and all shown the specific curious details of the accident. For instance, the crush or the size of the damage can be put before the judge and the jury while presenting the case.
Structural and Industrial Accidents
When it comes to accidents, structural and industrial accidents are as common as road accidents. During the times when structural accident analyzing units have failed, Haag 3D has come forward to document these accidents. Before the bloom of rapid prototyping, engineers and model makers would have to spend number of hours trying to perfectly recreate certain effects of the incidents. They would struggle to restore the delicate features of the events and thus would miss out on important details. With the recent advent of rapid prototyping, scaled models will become more accurate. 3D printing can prove to be extremely useful for the investigators while trying to prove their hypothesis.
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