The West Yorkshire Police (WYP) force has installed a DeltaWASP 40 70 Industrial 3D printer in its Wakefield HQ. The machine was provided by 3D printer materials and hardware distributor Hawk 3D Proto, based in Bradford, and will be used by the force’s Regional Scientific Support Unit (SSU).
3D technologies go before a judge and jury
As previously reported on 3D Printing Industry, 3D technologies have proven to be a valuable addition to law enforcement. 3D scanners are effective tools for creating a digital equivalent of crime scenes, helping judges and juries visualize an offence.
With the support of a dedicated Imaging Unit, the Yorkshire and Humber region in the U.K. has been using 3D laser scanning technology to help solve crimes since 2008. The addition of a 3D printer then seemed like the next logical step, as explained by Daniel Sharp, Crime Scene Surveying Supervisor WYP, speaking to TCT Magazine, “It was a natural progression, therefore, to be able to recreate the crime scenes in solid 3D. This would enable judge and jury to hold the crime scene in their hands.”
Sizeable 3D printed structures
The 40 70 Industrial model was introduced by WASP at the 2017 MECSPE B2B manufacturing conference in Italy. It has a build volume of 400mm x 400mm x 700mm (X x Y x Z), a heated print chamber, and ventilation. These features allow the 3D printer to work with materials that require a controlled environment, as in large scale ABS plastic, and Nylon. WYP plan to use these functionalities on a project for one of its government partners, and encourage its use in appropriate crime situations.
To give an example of what the machine is capable of, at the MADE Expo in Milan a farm of the DeltaWASP 40 70 Industrial’s predecessor (simply called the DeltaWASP 40 70 – without technical improvements and metal casing) was used to create the lightweight, architectural Trabeculae Pavilion. Designed by Italy’s largest technical university, Politecnico di Milano, the Pavilion was 3D printed to demonstrate the structural and flexible capabilities of rapid fabrication technology and computerized design.
Featured image: West Yorkshire Police Wakefield division HQ. Photo via westyorkshirepoliceimaging on Flickr