Queensland police map crime scenes with the Zebedee 3D scanner

Here at Top 4 3D Printing, we’re just as obsessive about hard hitting TV cop dramas as we are about additive manufacturing. That’s why nothing makes us quite as excited as news of real life police adopting 3D printing technology to crack cases. After last year’s news regarding Japanese crime scene investigators precisely rebuilding scale model cold case murder scenes with 3D printers, comes a very interesting piece of news from Queensland, Australia.


3D scanner crime scenes


The Queensland Police Service announced this week that its has purchased a $37,000 3D scanner known as the Zebedee. You might remember the Zebedee – it made our Hot Three a few months back. It’s a handheld LIDAR scanner that can be walked through a building or across a terrain, recording and accurately mapping its surroundings in an instant.

Police 3D scannersThe scanner rotates on the handle, emitting laser beams and capturing 40,000 range measurements per second. It doesn’t require GPS reception to work, so can be used in remote, indoor and underground locations.

Developed by researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), it’s most famous for making the most detailed interior map of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in history in just 20 minutes.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart reckons it can record even the most complex crime scene in the same time or less, saving literally thousands of man hours and speeding up investigations with extraordinary effectiveness. Yet swiftness is not the only benefit offered by the Zebedee. As Stewart puts it:

The 3D data visualisations that Zebedee creates provide a wealth of spatial information quickly and easily… This new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard to reach areas such as steep declines and bushland.

He went on to say that, though this Zebedee will be chiefly used by its Forensic Service, the QPS also wants to purchase 3D scanners for its Forensic Crash Unit.

If you want to know more about how this revolutionary scanning device works, check out the video below.

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