Faro Focus

Solving Crimes With 3D Scanning

One of the many benefits surrounding the use of laser scanners is the ability to create detailed models of inspection areas; this is especially vital when trying to detail the layout of a crime scene. The use of 3D scanners by police departments is increasing, allowing detailed models of crime scenes, car crashes, footprints and fingerprints to be created and analysed. This innovation can also be used to create architectural models of buildings, allowing police teams to plan building raids using a visual and accurate model. The models created by the metrology equipment have also been presented in court rooms across the world, allowing juries the opportunity to visualise a crime scene when making decisions surrounding a case.

Recent work carried out by the Hong Kong Police Briefing Support Unit used 3D scanners and 3D printers to produce small-scale models of local skyscrapers and streetscapes. Scale models allowed tactical planning sessions to be carried out by the counter-terrorism planning committee, ensuring strategies can be developed to keep members of the public safe. Although scale models have been used for many years, the combination of using metrology scanners and 3D printers has sped up the process immensely and ensures all models are structurally accurate.

Detectives in Birmingham used laser scanner techniques to help convict the prime suspect in the notorious ‘suitcase killing’ in May 2015. Analysis on bone fragments found in the suspect’s garden were found to be from the same body as remains found in a suitcase at the bottom of the Birmingham canal. Taking high-resolution scans of the bone fragments allowed models of the bone fragments to be presented and analysed in court, protecting the evidence from damage through excessive handling. Through the creation of 3D printed replicas, prosecutors showed that the bone fragments could be connected and detailed the exact position where the bones were cut.

It is clear that 3D scanning and printing technology is helping police forces; collect evidence from crimes scenes, strategize with accurate building models and present additional detail to juries in courtrooms. With every effort being made to preserve evidence, the latest metrology technology has transformed evidence handling, resulting in accurate information being used in convictions. With many police departments around the globe adopting 3D scanning technology, laser scanners have become a revolutionary tool for crime scene investigators.

Manchester Metrology offers the latest in laser scanner technology; they stock a wide range of 3D scanners including the Faro Arm, Faro Edge and Faro Focus models. In addition to Faro laser trackers, they also stock the latest inspection equipment including the Romer Arm and Einscan Pro. From their online store, Manchester Metrology provides Faro accessories and metrology spare parts for your laser probe equipment.

In addition to metrology equipment available for hire or purchase, Manchester Metrology also provides training for a range of common metrology software packages. Their team of experts provide hands-on training courses for software including Geomagic, Polyworks, CAM2 measure 10 and Delcam PowerInspect.

If you would like to find out more about any of Manchester Metrology’s services, contact us here or call on 0161 637 8744.