Three Dimensional Crime Scene Investigation


3D printing for crime scenes are helping forensic investigation teams in a multitude of ways. In 2013, Japanese authorities produced a 3D model of a crime scene which occurred in a home. Although police could not immediately identify the suspects involved, a complete 3D printed model of the home assisted in amassing an additional 11,000 potential case-related clues from citizens.

Ultimately the crime was not solved due to the nature of the case. However, the use of 3D printing for CSI investigations resonated throughout law enforcement departments worldwide. Various 3D printing and scanning technologies are being deployed to assist forensic teams as well as provide detailed legal exhibits for courtrooms.

3D printing and scanning for crime scene analysis expands on the toolset of traditional forensic crime scene investigations. Evidence reproduction, biometric analysis, photographical analysis, ballistics, and more can be scanned and reproduced into 3D printed models for further investigation.

Evidence as simple as a digital photo of a footprint can be scanned and reproduced into a life sized 3D mesh model. The model is then 3D printed for further crime scene investigations or as evidence in court.

Archeologists use 3D scanners to analyze the bones of ancient man and dinosaurs. These bones are reproduced using a 3D printer for further study. In the realm of 3D printing for crime fighting, the same technique can be employed by forensic teams. This also includes the use of 3D printing for dental and facial reconstruction in crime scene analysis.

Traditionally, fingerprints are powdered and taped at crime scenes in order to capture the loops, arches, and whirls of partial and complete prints. These samples are then scanned into a computer for further investigation and storage. With 3D printing, crime fighters will now be able to reproduce larger life-sized replicas of prints found at the crime scene. This will also provide better visual identification of features for the jury.

Medical investigators will also use 3D printing to help solve crime. Recreating organs which were damaged or ruptured will help provide police and juries with visual aids. Using three dimensional models of organs or autopsies can help investigators visually inspect bullet holes, fragmentations, stab wounds, and impact trauma.

Police and insurance agencies can use 3D printing and 3D scanning to help recreate vehicular accident scenes. 3D printed models of car wrecks or damaged structures will help recreate the exact moments of an accident or crash.

3D printing crime scene models also helps investigate other types of accidents. For structural failure in buildings, experts can recreate or understand what effects caused the collapse. Medical personal, firefighters, and police can use 3D printing in order to investigate structural disasters. 3D printed models of large scale accidents help piece the puzzle together for investigators.

3D Printer Pro provides consultative sales for law enforcement and forensic departments interested in using 3D printing for crime scene investigations. We can provide 3D printers and 3D scanners to help fight crime or assist in civil investigations. For questions on how 3D printing can help with forensic investigations, please contact us at or call 916-308-1013. We’ll work with you on identifying the right 3D printer to fight crime.