Evaluation of the Capabilities and Limitations of the FARO Freestyle 3D Handheld Scanner

Mike Macphee, Pardeep Jasra


FARO 3D handheld Laser scanner has been recently introduced to document the crime scenes, different structures and objects in more detail. It produces point cloud representations of objects and areas which have been scanned.  This study was done to test the capabilities and limitations of the FARO Freestyle 3D handheld scanner.  Mock crime scenes were created and scanned with this 3D scanner to test its effectiveness in scanning the whole crime scene as well as various pieces of evidence.  Blood stain patterns, fingerprints, broken glass, 2D and 3D footwear impressions, and written documents were all scanned for the study.  Scans was also done in the dark to see how the scanner deals with the low light situations.  It was found that the scanner could detect blood stain patterns, fingerprints, footwear impressions and writing on documents, however, the clarity of the images created decreased proportionally with the size of the evidence being scanned.  The scanner could not detect glass in colour scanning model, but it could detect objects on the glass such as fingerprints, substrates and labels.  The scanner also had a difficult time detecting very dark coloured objects but could detect them with added time.  Scanning glass and dark objects in infrared could potentially recreate opaque images, making scanning in both colour and infrared beneficial to investigators.  The measuring tool in the FARO software was incredibly useful and could measure distances to one-tenth of a millimetre.  This information is beneficial when using the Faro Freestyle in a forensic setting.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Mike Macphee, Pardeep Jasra

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