Apr. 28, 2015 | By Simon

Of all the possible uses for additive manufacturing, crime fighting hasn’t been an application we’ve seen pop up too often.  However, just like the technology is used to recreate or replicate damaged historical artifacts or otherwise create a model of something that can be touched, it has also started to help aid in solving crimes thanks to the ability to cheaply and accurately recreate elements of the crime.  Just last week we saw how the technology was used to help recreate a murder weapon to help solve a court case in the United Kingdom.  

Recently, Dr. Chris O'Donnell from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) gave a talk about the use of 3D Printing in forensics - particularly in how the technology can work in tandem with post-mortem CT scanning as an integral part of the medico-legal death investigation process.  

O’Donnel and other researchers at the Australia school have been using computed tomography (CT scanning) technologies for at least ten years now, having installed their first mortuary-based CT scanner in 2005 - one of the first in the world.  Since then, all deceased persons who have passed through the Institute have been CT scanned and their images have been permanently stored in an archiving system.

As O’Donnell explains, the use of CT images are increasingly being used as legal evidence in criminal and coronial cases, especially in cases where significant physical trauma had occurred.  

“The means of CT image presentation are varied, and courts are coming to terms with the possibilities,” wrote O’Donnell in a report on the topic

“The radiologist as clinician is trained to produce written reports for medical colleagues but as expert witness must adapt to the requirements of participants in a legal proceeding, most of whom have little or no medical knowledge.”

In an effort to help make this information more effective during legal proceedings, O’Donnell believes that the used of 3D prints based off of the CT scan data will aid in the future of solving crimes because it provides the benefit of conveying evidence to jurors and court officials in its near-actual state compared to 2D images.  

“The impact of such 3D prints needs to be tested and the legal ramifications explored in order to avoid any perception of prejudice and to deal with any concerns,” added O’Donnell.  

“3D printing is an exciting new technique that offers opportunities in the presentation of complex pathological findings to a medically naïve audience in the court setting.”

O’Donnell gave his presentation at Australia's Monash University as a part of the 3D Printing for Medical Applications Seminar earlier this month.   



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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