Estimated reading time: mins

Alicona InfiniteFocus 3D-Scanner Product Review

Forensic Firearm Examination 3D Scan - Alicona Infinitefocus Review 05:46
There is a niche field of forensics that deals specifically with crimes committed with firearms. Forensic ballistics, as this field is known, uses forensic techniques to analyze crimes perpetrated using firearms. The 3D scanner Alicona InfiniteFocus can be used for forensic ballistics. We made our way to Braunschweig to the company “a3Ds” to show how this can be done. By comparing 3Dscanned fired cartridges, we can match them to the rifles that fired them.
Table of Contents

The InfiniteFocus 3D scanner from Alicona uses a very interesting 3D scanning technique: The focus
variation. By varying the focus of the camera, the 3D scanner can measure the distance to a point on
the surface of an object.

Rifle shooting on the range
Swann Rack / Holocreators Test on the shooting range

How does the Alicona InfiniteFocus 3D scanner work?

Let’s take a look at how the Alicona InfiniteFocus 3D scanner works specifically by using the cartridge
casings from our forensic ballistics experiment as an example.

The cartridge case is mounted inside the 3D scanner. The scanner is equipped with an automatically
focusing optic which focuses on a single point on the cartridge case. After the first point has been
measured, the case is moved slightly on the XY axis and the next point is selected. Compared to the
previous point, this point will likely have a slightly different Z-axis height. To bring this new point into
focus, the optic has to adjust. The height of each point is then derived from the different focus
planes. This creates the data needed for your 3D scan.

Alicona infinite focus 3D scanner is 3D-scanning a bullet casing
Swann Rack / Holocreators Cartridge Case mounted inside scanner

This 3D scanner is particularly good at 3D scanning small parts that have minute differences in
height, such as a coin or the back of a cartridge case.

The Live Fire Test

For our test we went to the shooting range and shot ammunition with caliber 308 Winchester from
two different rifles.

Cartridge A could be assigned to Rifle 1 and Cartridge B could be assigned to Rifle 2. A third
cartridge–Cartridge C– was fired without us knowing which rifle was used. Using 3D scanning
techniques, we were able to determine which rifle shot Cartridge C.

Swann Rack is holding three bullet casings between his fingers
Swann Rack / Holocreators Fired cartridge cases A, B and C

Comparing the Fired Cartridge Casings

Forensic ballistics makes use of an intrinsic characteristic of cartridge cases. When a firearm is fired,
the firing pin of the weapon leaves a very distinctive imprint on the primer of the cartridge case.
To match Cartridge C to one of the two rifles, we captured the 3D scans of all three cartridge cases
with the InfiniteFocus 3D scanner and then compared the scans inside the computer. With a
deviation analysis we could visualize and analyze the deviations between the different 3D scans.

3D scan of a firing pin indentation on the percussion cap of a bullet casing
Swann Rack / Holocreators Deviation analysis on the computer

Thanks to this deviation analysis, we can say with a high degree of probability that cartridge C was
fired from the same rifle as cartridge A. This result is further strengthened by the comparison of the
color information of the 3D scans, which the InfiniteFocus also captures. Cartridge A and C showed
the same color gradients in our test.

Deviation analysis between bullet casings B and C
Swann Rack / Holocreators Cartridge cases B and C in comparison, with striking differences in height
Deviation analysis between bullet casings A and C
Swann Rack / Holocreators Cartridge cases A and C in comparison, with almost the same height pattern

Download All of the Project Data

We have prepared all of the pertinent project data for you to download:


The InfiniteFocus 3D scanner from Alicona works through focus variation. The device is perfectly
suited for making high-resolution 3D scans of small and flat objects. This 3D scanner can also record

Do you need a very accurate 3D scan with the Alicona Infinite Focus?

Holocreators offers professional 3D-scanning and reverse engineering services. We also offer 3D
scanning with the InfiniteFocus 3D scanner from Alicona. We would love to help you with your
project. Please call us at +49 40 481133 or send an email

Swann has been enthusiastic about everything 3D for many years. His roots lie in analog holography, which brought him to digital 3D-modeling in 2011.

The rapid progress of various 3D-scanning techniques fascinated himso much thathe founded Holocreators together with his brother Miro Rack in 2015.

Ready to get started?
  • JPG, PDF, or PNG max 100 MB
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, jpeg, Max. file size: 100 MB.
    You may be interested
    Estimated reading time: mins
    With the help of specialized 3D scanners, you can 3D-scan people and animals. This allows you to create 3D models that can be 3D-printed or used for 3D animation. We'll show you three different devices that make such 3D scans possible.
    Estimated reading time: mins
    Kitbashing is associated with model making. It is composed of the words "Kit" and "Bashing". “Kit” refers to "model kit". So, when a model maker is "kitbashing", he blends parts from different model kits. Similar to a collage. The model maker combines several individual models into an entirely new model.
    Estimated reading time: mins
    A NURBS model consists of points connected by curves. A polygon mesh consists of thousands or millions of small triangles. CAD surface models are usually created using NURBS surfaces, while 3D scans are typically exported as a polygon mesh. The conversion from a polygon mesh to a NURBS model is called "reverse engineering".
    Estimated reading time: mins
    Reverse engineering enables us to create a copy of an object. For this purpose, the part is 3Dscanned, then the 3D scan data is converted into a CAD format, and finally, the part is manufactured. All these steps result in noticeable deviations. If an error adds up over multiple steps, then we call this error propagation.

    Thanks you!

    Our representative will be in touch with you soon

    Thanks you!

    We are glad that you have subscribed to our newsletter