I am a Fire Investigator, will this do what I imagine?

I am a fire investigator and am looking for a portable and affordable way to 3D scan a room that sustained moderate to sometimes extreme damage from a fire and have a nice way to look at it and hopefully at the same time take accurate measurements of it. Can your product do this?

At the moment I typically snap 50-100 photos of the walls, ceiling and floor and then do a rough sketch with my iPad and then pull out a tape measure or laser to measure every wall, distance between windows, ceiling height, distance between furniture, etc. I have to get as many measurements as possible since often the sketches, i will digitize, will be used for court.

Is your product accurate and capable enough to do something like this and also be used in court for evidentiary purposes and referenced too?

Id love to hear what you guys think and/or test out one of your products to see if it is capable of keeping up with the type of work I’m doing.


Hi Roger,

Occipital has an app called Canvas https://canvas.io that could possibly solve the measurement aspects of your use case. Here’s an article that discusses accuracy with Canvas: https://support.canvas.io/article/5-what-kind-of-accuracy-can-i-expect-from-canvas.

Occipital also offers a service for a fee for conversion of the raw scan data into CAD models https://support.canvas.io/article/14-what-gets-included-and-excluded-in-my-cad-model but thinking about a fire scene with structural building damage, this service might not be that helpful. They also have a “cloud reprocessing” option that adds color to the raw scan for $3/scan. I have not sent any scans from Canvas for reprocessing so I can’t speak to the color fidelity which I would think crucial for your use case.

Questions that come to mind:

  • Does the sensor / software meet your accuracy requirements in all environments including e.g., extreme damage / open roofs that let in lots of sunlight which can affect the accuracy of these types of sensors
  • Is the color fidelity of the scan model high enough for documentation purposes

Disclosure: I do not work for Occipital

Best regards,

Jim Selikoff