With each passing day the 3D printing technology is advancing with leaps and bounds. It has now stepped in for helping the police department in catching criminals. It’s the new technology that will be embraced by Sherlock! The ability to produce physical objects from computer models quickly as well as affordably is the reason behind the success story of 3D printers. Now 3d printing is being used to solve crimes. With the assistance that 3D printing is providing in the field of forensic science soon it will take forensic science to an entirely different level. It’s not only forensic that has felt the impact of 3D printing, the investigation department as a whole could not resist itself from the miraculous functions of a 3D printer.
Police department all over the world are using this technology to give a whole new perspective to crime. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department used this technology to solve the Miyazawa family murder case. With the help of the 3D printer the prosecutor was able to explain the crime scene in a better way to the jury rather than just showing them an array of photographs. It was like recreating the crime scene all over again. A printer was installed in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in 2010 and was thereafter used for printing out evidences for cases such as skull of the victim in a murder case.
On similar ground the University of Alabama at Birmingham used the 3D printer to produce an impression of a footprint. Currently footprint models are created by using crime scene photographs and plaster of Paris castings, but to develop a system that was capable of scanning footprint in 3D had several advantages. It not only saves time but is more accurate than the old method. Once the digitized images of the footprints are generated a comparative study can be made in order to generate a more accurate match. Since the print of the impression can be generated the messy task of plaster cast can be avoided and also multiple copies can be made as the image is digital. The most important usage of this printer is its ability to reverse the impression and take a print of the shoe that the criminal might be wearing and this is considered as physical evidence that can be taken to court.
The popularity of 3D printers can be understood by the usage of these printers in solving crimes both in real world as well as the reel world. In an episode of the popular crime drama CSI:NY, the investigators used Z Corporation’s ZPrinter 310 system to solve the murder mystery of a police officer that took place in the Central Park. The name of the episode was “Officer Blue”.
The most useful thing that a 3D printed crime scene can do is it adds depth to the model. This helps the viewers to visualize the scene in a more precise manner as compared to trying to visualize the scene by looking at the photographs and then the courts acceptance of the evidence that are generated by these printers are surely a step towards the modernization of the justice system in the world.