Innovation That Matters

3D printing fights crime


In Hong Kong, police are adopting 3D printing to help inform witness statements and and courtroom proceedings.

Security forces are increasingly turning to technology for support with policing. In Dubai, we saw police forces adopting robotic officers and now, in Hong Kong, police plan to capitalise on the crime fighting potential of 3D printing technologies.

The Police made 3D printed models of crime scenes to help in their investigations, as well as trials and court inquests. Hong Kong’s police Briefing Support Unit has to date built a total of 18 different scale models of buildings and aircrafts. The models provide a clear visualization of particular situations and the environments in which they took place. Amongst them, a fatal gun attack in Kowloon Bay in 2014, a hot air balloon crash in 2013, and a 2010 hostage situation on a bus in Manila, three examples of incidents whose investigations required the building of these scale models. According to Senior Inspector Chan Shun-wai, construction of a model by hand can take up to a week to complete. This process can now be greatly accelerated with the help of newly purchased 3D printers. The models help during investigations but also play a crucial role in the courtroom, allowing judges to better understand the layout of a crime scene. On top of this, details of witnesses’ testimonies can be easily tested and examined.

How else can 3D technology be mobilised?




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