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Fingerprints in 3D for forensics

Capturing hands in 3D is popular among our customers because Artec Spider and Space Spider can provide hi-res details of human skin and nails. For instance, check out this mesh at Sketchfab.

But some forensics projects require extremely hi-res detail that includes recording the 3D geometry of fingerprints. Let’s take a look at how it should be done.


Before you start scanning:

  • Place a finger in front of something (an object or a shape) — for example, the text on a simple business card can serve as an additional texture reference.
  • Micro-movements and even the pulse under the skin may affect the result, since the Space Spider captures extremely hi-res data. Therefore, keep the finger you’re scanning as immobile as possible.
  • In one project, we used a piece of tape to stick a business card to the finger, thereby keeping the finger immobile relative to the background while we performed the scan.


When scanning, adjust the “Sensitivity” to the middle of the scroll, then record 25–30 frames per finger.


After capturing a raw scan, run global registration in “Geometry + Texture” mode, then launch sharp fusion with a resolution of 0.1–0.3 mm, depending on how much 3D detail you need.

We usually create several 3D meshes with different resolutions. Below are a couple screenshots from one of our forensics projects:



Note: See the bottom of this page for links to full-size photos.


We are here to help! If you have any questions or issues, please do not hesitate to contact our team by emailing or by clicking on "Ask Support" button on the upper part of the screen. We will always be happy to assist you and will get back to you as soon as we can.

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