3D measurement and imaging solutions provider FARO serves a lot of different industries and functions – but among their many services, the one that perhaps stands out most is their contribution to forensics. Their virtual reality scanning technology has been used to virtually reconstruct crime and accident scenes, leading to valuable information in major court cases. Now, a newly released device will allow investigators and anthropologists to replicate evidence from crimes both old and recent.
The FARO Forensic ScanArm Solution was designed specifically for crime lab and forensic anthropology applications. It consists of the FusionM ScanArm, a versatile, portable scanner that utilizes blue light technology to perform fast, high-resolution scans of forensic artifacts without needing to touch or move them. Its flexibility lends itself well to procedures like cranial scans for facial reconstruction or analysis. The ScanArm is bundled with 3D Systems’ Geomagic software for quick, high-quality 3D modeling and printing.
“The FARO Forensic ScanArm solution is ideally suited toward the unique requirements of forensic anthropologists, crime labs, coroners and medical examiners,” said Joe Arezone, Chief Commercial Officer of FARO. “By combining FARO’s best-in-class 3D scanning technology with 3D Systems Geomagic software offerings, the Forensic ScanArm provides a turnkey solution to digitize intricate forensic evidence.
“This solution allows users to piece together forensic evidence into a digital record for the purpose of victim identification, and ultimately in solving and prosecuting crimes. Our Forensic ScanArm solution allows law enforcement to perform analysis with greater accuracy and in a fraction of the time that would be required versus conventional measurement and photographic methods. By 3D printing replicas of the evidence, compelling courtroom presentations can be put together.”
The lightweight scanner is easy to use in the field or in the lab, and it’s a variation on the Design ScanArm, which was developed for manufacturing, design and prototyping purposes. Thanks to advanced software algorithms, it’s designed to handle even the most typically difficult-to-scan objects, such as those with complicated geometries or reflective or high contrast surfaces.
The Forensic ScanArm was developed in response to increasing requests for public safety/forensics solutions. For obvious reasons, certain evidence can’t be brought into courtrooms, and photographs can’t properly demonstrate things like traumatic bone injuries, for instance. Moreover, many criminal cases take ages to solve and are sometimes reopened; having digital, 3D printable records of evidence allows for archiving and easy access at any time.
“By listening to our rapidly growing base of Public Safety – Forensics customers, we have learned that thoroughly measuring and analyzing forensic evidence is of paramount importance,” said Arezone. “Our non-contact measurement tools allow forensic labs to meet this requirement while minimizing the risk of damaging the evidence. It is now possible to produce accurate and permanent 3D digital documentation of evidence from which measurements can be taken and analysis can be performed days or even decades later. Through a deep understanding of our customers’ workflows, we can ensure that FARO’s solutions are optimized for application-specific demands.”
FARO is currently in Cincinnati at the 101st Annual International Association for Identification (IAI) Educational Conference, which runs from August 7-13. Discuss further in the FARO Arm & 3D Systems Software forum over at 3DPB.com.