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Overview of the use of 3D printing in forensic medicine


Schweitzer, Wolf; Thali, Michael; Aldomar, E; Ebert, Lars (2020). Overview of the use of 3D printing in forensic medicine. Rechtsmedizin, 30(5):292-299.

Abstract

In forensic medicine the use of so-called 3D printing is a niche application, whereas developments elsewhere in this field are rapidly advancing worldwide. The most common and widespread technology is fusion deposit modelling with polylactic acids (PLA). Although the equipment and materials may be relatively inexpensive and 3D printing relatively fast, the resulting end products tend to also have negative properties, such as poor durability and mechanical anisotropy, which may be an issue depending on the application. In forensic medicine, applications in the field of weapons technology and biomechanical models are realistic and 3D printing is already being used for demonstrations at court hearings and in teaching and also as a technique for building spare parts or accessories. Having a low-cost option for rapid prototyping on-site is particularly useful for the development phase. For finished 3D designs more expensive manufacturing options with a choice of materials with significantly broader mechanical or thermal properties are available. As the technology is undergoing major changes, one should carefully consider whether to enter the field oneself, buy own hardware, use a 3D printing service or seek cooperation possibly with a nearby partner.

Abstract

In forensic medicine the use of so-called 3D printing is a niche application, whereas developments elsewhere in this field are rapidly advancing worldwide. The most common and widespread technology is fusion deposit modelling with polylactic acids (PLA). Although the equipment and materials may be relatively inexpensive and 3D printing relatively fast, the resulting end products tend to also have negative properties, such as poor durability and mechanical anisotropy, which may be an issue depending on the application. In forensic medicine, applications in the field of weapons technology and biomechanical models are realistic and 3D printing is already being used for demonstrations at court hearings and in teaching and also as a technique for building spare parts or accessories. Having a low-cost option for rapid prototyping on-site is particularly useful for the development phase. For finished 3D designs more expensive manufacturing options with a choice of materials with significantly broader mechanical or thermal properties are available. As the technology is undergoing major changes, one should carefully consider whether to enter the field oneself, buy own hardware, use a 3D printing service or seek cooperation possibly with a nearby partner.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
510 Mathematics
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:15 Jan 2021 16:35
Last Modified:02 Feb 2021 22:08
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1434-5196
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00194-020-00412-1

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