The recent attempt to unlock a mobile phone by 3d printing a murder victim's finger, to help solve a murder mystery, has failed. Instead, a simple 2D solution was the key that allowed law enforcement to open the phone which may help them find the victim's killer.
Authorities needed to unlock a phone which they believed could point them in the right direction of a suspect but the phone belonged to the murder victim, so a team at Michigan State decided to 3d print replicas of the victims fingers and try to use them to access the phone.
“We don’t know which finger the suspect used,” said PhD student Sunpreet Arorahe, who was assisting on the project, earlier this year. “We think it’s going to be the thumb or index finger—that’s what most people use—but we have all ten.”
It turned out that the fingerprint data taken by police of the victim during a previous run in with the law was too damaged to create a workable and accurate 3d model of the finger needed to unlock the phone.
Instead, the Michigan State team generated a 2D image of the fingerprint using special software to fill in the gaps of the damaged police data, and then used conductive material applied to the fingerprint on paper in order to successfully unlock the phone.
Hopefully this will help police crack the case.