Company: Engineering Company Nickl (accident documentation)



Using 3D technology, traffic accidents can be documented and afterwards reconstructed. For this purpose, the traces and the final positions of the involved vehicles are preserved and documented with all details in a scaled sketch. The dimensional sketch serves for reconstruction of the sequence of events leading to the accidents whereby not only the vehicles’ directions but also the collision and driving speed are determined. Using the results, the injury severity of the occupants can be found out. By highly accurate – preferably three-dimensional – images of vehicle deformations, comparisons concerning deformation patterns known from crash tests are possible.

The engineering company Nickl uses the 3D laser scanner FARO Photon 120 for accident reconstruction. The scene of the accident is captured point by point with the scanner in a short time. By the software FARO Scene, the single laser scanner positions are merged to a registered model, a point cloud. Moreover, interference points, which are captured during scanning due to passing vehicles or pedestrians, are removed from the scans with software by FARO. Furthermore, the accident analyst can look at the scans and measure the single distances.

The processing of the laser scanner data is effected in the software PointCab Forensics. PointCab automatically generates dimensional sketches and any desired terrain sections out of the point cloud (FARO workspace) which serve as a basis for the reconstruction. All traces are documented in position, shape and size. Even a 3D scenario of the accident can be created whereby the visibility of the accident victims can be examined, too. The data for, for instance, court, police or public prosecutor’s office is reviewable at any time with a free viewer. The proportion between time needed and data quality is unbeatable.


  • Accident documentation and basis for reconstruction
  • Dimensional sketch of the scene of the accident (orthophoto)
  • Fast survey of the scene of the accident: ca. 1 hour with a two-man team (5 scans)
  • Fast data processing with FARO Scene: ca. 30 to 60 minutes (5 to 6 scans)
  • Detailed documentation (traces, markings, traffic signs, splinters etc.)
  • Three-dimensional deformation patterns at vehicles

Why PointCab?

  • PointCab can read and process all common point cloud formats
  • Automated data processing of the point cloud
  • Generation of terrain sections (incline, transverse gradient, profile of the surrounding of the scene of the accident)
  • Free choice of sections for longitudinal and transverse gradient
  • Open data format -> subsequent processing in simulation software possible
  • Simple handling and batch-mode processing
  • Documentation of detailed traces

The fastest way from the point cloud to a dimensional sketch for accident reconstruction.

Ingenieurbüro Nickl