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Cadre Forensics: A Successful Case of End-User Involvement

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2014
2 pages

This is a transcript of the author's interview with Dr. Ryan Lilien of Cadre Forensics, which focused on Dr. Lilien's group's NIJ-funded research and collaboration with forensic practitioners in the development of a 3D topography system for imaging and analysis of striated and impressed tool marks.


Dr. Lilien describes the operation and some of the novel aspects of the TopMatch-GS 3D scanner operation and then reviews the types of toolmark impressions that can be processed using his group's system. He states that currently the group has imaged and algorithmically compared the breech-face impression as it appears on the primer. In 2014, the group will extend its analysis from impressed marks to include striated marks. Dr. Lilien then discussed how the group's GelSight-based system compares with other 3D imaging technologies. He notes that the system not only is more economical than existing systems but has unsurpassed accuracy. It can image down to approximately one micron per pixel. He further states that if a 3D image was captured with a different technology, it could be compared to an image captured using GelSight. In the interview, Dr. Lilien emphasizes that this project is the forensic community's system, as it is a product of forensic collaboration, with a main partner being Todd Weller of the Oakland Police Department, who has extensive expertise both in forensics and technology. Deployment studies have been conducted with several State and local labs. The group intends to have a commercial product available in early 2014. The system will incorporate all functions developed and refined through current research efforts. Purchasers will be eligible for all software updates and subsequently added functions.

Date Published: March 1, 2014