A survey of case studies on the use of forensic three-dimensional printing in England and Wales

D. Errickson, R. M. Carew, A. J. Collings, M. J.P. Biggs, P. Haig, H. O’Hora, N. Marsh, J. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


3D printing has rapidly developed and been applied in forensic science due to its use in creating demonstrations for courts of law. Much of the literature on this specific topic has focused on the use of 3D printed models in academia, the potential influence on a jury, and its use as a long-term documentation process, but with few actual forensic case examples. This paper offers an insight into the development of 3D printing in forensic practice and how 3D printing is currently being used in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. A series of case reports were gathered from multiple police forces and forensic practitioners in the UK to identify how 3D printing was being used. These discussions established who was requesting 3D printed exhibits, what type of technologies were being utilised, what type of exhibits were being printed, and resulting feedback for the use of 3D printed material within a criminal case. As a result, this research demonstrates the current use of 3D printing in England and Wales, discussing the associated cases that have been known to incorporate 3D prints. Likewise, this work explores the limitations that have been encountered by forensic practitioners and identifies a series of research questions that should be considered in future investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1619
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date8 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.


  • 3D Imaging
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Dismemberment
  • Forensic science
  • Human remains
  • Visual evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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