High technologies, such as 3D scanning and 3D printing, can be effectively used by investigators in their forensics analysis. The unified system demonstrated by the companies Canon and SMARTTECH presented to the EUROPOLTECH visitors that there are techniques allowing for the creation of a much more detailed digital documentation of the trace evidence left at the crime scene.
The International Fair of Technology and Equipment for the Police and National Security Services “EUROPOLTECH” is Poland’s most important fair trade dedicated to the police, army and special forces. This highly-specialized event is organised by the Gdansk International Fair Co. in close partnership with the General Police Headquarters of Poland and in collaboration with the services of Poland’s Ministry of the Interior and Administration, national security services, Polish Special Forces and Military Gendarmerie. Due to the nature of the fair trade, EUROPOLTECH is open only to professionals: the participants of the police conference, representatives of the Polish and other countries’ national police, civilian and military forces, lawmakers and public officers who address security issues.
SMARTTECH appeared at the fair trade at the invitation of Canon in order to jointly share the solutions from the unified system of 3D technologies that were created to support investigators in their demanding job. One of the problems faced by today’s forensics is the effective securing of evidence at the crime scene. The companies Canon and SMARTTECH combined their technologies in order to demonstrate at the fair trade a comprehensive solution that is based on the synergy between the 3D scanning and 3D printing.
Ordinary photographic images do not allow for detailed metrological measurements that take into account factors such as depth. For this purpose the SMARTTECH 3D scanners are a perfect solution. They are able to scan in 3D an object using a non-invasive method based on the use of structured-light with an accuracy of 0,05 mm and then present it in the form of a cloud of points with a density of 900 pts. / mm². These results can be used for precise dimensioning, archiving as well as for the creation of a model used for visualization, e.g. in the form of an STL triangle mesh. The end result can be a colour map of deviations that very precisely demonstrates the differences between the scanned shoe sole and the trace evidence, at the same time allowing for a full 2D analysis on a given cross-section of the scan. At this stage it is also possible to 3D print the results using the solutions provided by the company Canon. The proposed 3D printers using the ColorJet Printing (CJP) technology provide the precision unattainable with traditional methods such as plaster casting. The 3D printing in colour allows for a detailed representation of the deviation map. The use of 3D printing, because of the nature of the technology enables us to do rapid and multiple replications of the physical model of the trace.
Both of the innovative solutions, 3D scanning and 3D printing, jointly create a coherent unified system giving the police and other forces not only a comprehensive method of digital archiving of trace evidence but also the ability to create its precise replications using 3D printing. With the use of a map of deviations on the 3D prints, the investigators can compare trails even in the field or share them in the digital form with other investigation centres.
It is thus not surprising that the Canon and SMARTTECH solutions attracted much attention during the EUROPOLTECH 2017. The visitors showed a lot of interest, asking in detail about the presented technologies. Live demonstrations also aroused much admirations thanks to the accuracy that goes beyond traditional methods. Representatives of the uniformed services were direct in saying that these are the technologies that are much needed in their equipment. They also talked about the problems of traditional methods and how the presented solutions didn’t have them.
“Visitors were keenly interested in the presented solutions, commenting on all parts of the presentation”, said Mr. Marcin Lewandowski, a 3D measurement specialist. “These solutions are still lacking in the police and armed forces. That is why, together with Canon, we wanted to respond to that need”.