Cracking Cases with 3D Laser Scanning

3D laser scanning services at the crime scene

What do you get when you combine a Sherlock Holmes movie, an episode of Mcguyver, and 3D laser scanning services? The answer is a a wad of bubble-gum at a crime scene being analyzed using a 3D scan. Just imagine an overconfident burglar breaking in through the window of a house as the owners are on vacation. He struts through the house popping his grape Hubba-Bubba. He pulls out the drawers, flings things over his shoulder, trying to find something to loot. Wearing his white cloves he pulls jewelry out of some boxed and some money out of enveloped and heads back for the window. With a smirk on his face, he spit out his gum onto the floor and head out into the night.

Copy evidence using 3D laser scanning

One might be tempted to think that there would be no way to find any good evidence  on the identification of that robber at that scene. Actually, though, that small piece of bubble gum could give investigators some valuable information if they wanted to pursue that criminal. They can use that little piece of gum to learn some very personal characteristic about the guy.  Everyone has a unique bite mark. The contour of the teeth can be an identifier, if there is not much else to go on. The forensic scientists could take that piece of gum back to the lab and analyze it. The problem is that when the evidence is taken off site, there is a good chance for the item to be compromised. It could get smashed, the weather could affect it, or a number of other reasons. Using 3D laser scanning services solves that problem by making it into digital copy of it.

A useful data preservation tool

3D laser scanning services is a smart way to collect data. Pieces of evidence are too susceptible to compromise in the real world. That same evidence had be preserved much more securely if it can be recreated as a digital object that can be analyzed later without being susceptible to change. 3D laser scanning does this, and it captures the physical shape of it without any physical contact. It does so by recording measurements from light reflected off of the surface. These measurements are put together to form a point cloud which is a digital representation of the object. The digital copy of the object is not beneficial for just the forensic scientists, but it can also prove to be useful in court so that a jury can get a better look at the evidence.

I am not sure that a simple house break-in would lead to an investigation calling for 3D laser scanning services. There are are times when it would. A murder case would be an example where forensic scientists would need to apply all resources. Either way, the potential is there  to capture evidence using 3D laser scanning services, even if it’s just  a piece of bubble gum. I guess that means that 3D laser scanning is doing its part to take a bite out of crime.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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