An optical profilometer has been used to obtain 3-dimensional data for use in two research projects concerning toolmark quantification and identification. In the first study quantitative comparisons between toolmarks made using data from the optical system proved superior to similar data obtained using a stylus profilometer. In the second study the ability of the instrument to obtain accurate data from two surfaces intersecting at a high angle (approximately 90 degrees) is demonstrated by obtaining measurements from the tip of a flat screwdriver. The data obtained was used to produce a computer generated "virtual tool," which was then employed to create "virtual tool marks." How these experiments were conducted and the results obtained will be presented and discussed.
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