Suitability of 3D printing cranial trauma: prospective novel applications and limitations of 3D replicas

Rachael M Carew, James French, Ruth M Morgan
2021 Forensic Science International: Reports  
3D printed reconstructions of skeletal material offer a novel, interactive and increasingly used tool to support courtroom testimony and aid juror interpretation of expert testimony. While research has begun to address the accuracy of 3D printed skeletal material, there has been little consideration of the diverse applications of prints to support trauma demonstrations, particularly in relation to gunshot trauma. This study explored the suitability of three printed human crania replicas
more » ... ng either gunshot trauma or blunt force trauma for identifying whether the prints were sufficiently accurate for the presentation of trauma wounds. The data indicate that metric measurement and qualitative assessment of trauma macromorphology was possible from the 3D printed reconstructions. The findings also offer an indication that it is possible to obtain data around the accuracy of 3D printing bullet wounds and for establishing a bullet path. However, some limitations of prints reconstructed from post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) data were identified including the observation that not all fracture lines were successfully replicated which indicates that at present virtual models should be used concurrently with 3D prints in court.
doi:10.1016/j.fsir.2021.100218 fatcat:63vkqi5tvbasbcncd5kpfghzaa