Foster, Katie, Bills, Paul J., Blunt, Liam, Jiang, Xiang and Leary, Richard (2015) The use of additive manufacturing for the presentation of ballistic toolmark evidence in court. In: 7th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference, 6-11 September 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

With the advent of advanced metrology techniques, the measurement of forensic evidence can now result in 3D and areal datasets. But with forensic evidence in court being presented either on screen or on paper, how can 3D data be utilised to its full extent?
Additive manufacturing has now become a viable option for the presentation of forensic evidence. The cost of creating such models has decreased significantly over recent years, while the overall quality has increased.
The use of 3D models for presentation of evidence in court offers advantages over current techniques. 3D datasets are able to be presented in a 3D format, thus ensuring that all information from the original dataset is accessible to the jury.
Being able to use a haptic, visual component in the place of secondary interpretations should minimise misunderstandings which are often paramount in criminal cases. The language used in such interpretations can cause confusion with the layperson of the jury, which may be overcome in the use of visual interpretations.
With the use of 3D models, the actual forensic evidence need not be presented at court. This means that the integrity of the evidence is protected, and it need not be presented in a format which may be upsetting to some people.
The ability to manipulate the dataset used to create the 3D model means that the evidence can be resized. When presenting ballistic toolmarks, the ability to magnify the characteristics is advantages when considering individual characteristics of only a few microns.
The use of micro computed tomography and infinite focus microscopy to create dense point clouds ensures the data used for the 3D models is of sufficient resolution. The resolution of each technique is always better than that of current additive manufacturing techniques. Therefore, there will be no data lost through the measurement of the forensic evidence. Being able to then scale the resultant datasets also ensures that the topography of the tool mark can fully be represented within the 3D model.
Therefore, the use of additive manufacturing to create 3D models is presented as a viable option for the interpretation of forensic evidence at court.

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