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A Comparison of Gunshot Wound Trauma Between Physical Crania and 3D Printed Models

NCJ Number
Date Published
1 page
Using 3D printing, this study assessed cranial gunshot wound trauma to determine the replicability and accuracy of 3D printed models.
Computed tomography (CT) data is often used in the assessment of skeletal trauma, providing a comprehensive view of injury. In conjunction with three-dimensional (3D) technology, the researcher is granted access with a virtual model to an unaltered perspective that may further provide substantial forensic evidence. In the context of gunshot wound trauma, information such as the location and dimensions of the gunshot wound(s) and in situ fragments are illustrated with a 3D model created using CT scanned data. In order to determine the accuracy of the 3D printed models regarding entrance wound dimensions, the current study evaluated the 3D models alongside the original specimens to account for variability and observer error. This study found that there was less than a 2-millimeter difference in the entrance wound diameter between the original crania and 3D printed models. Additional statistical analysis using multiple t-tests further suggested that there was no significant difference between the original crania and the 3D printed models (p > .05). The study concludes that CT scans, along with 3D replication of skeletal trauma, provide multiple advantages: reproducibility, objectivity in analysis, as well as the localization of bullet and skeletal fragments in situ. The possibility of 3D modeling and printing models provides a researcher with a non-destructive approach to replicate trauma for research purposes. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019