Unshredding Software Is a Thing
The intrepid folks at Safe Guard in Tel Aviv, have developed Unshredder, a shredded document reconstruction system. How well does it work? I downloaded a trial version of the software tonight to find out.
The trial version doesn't allow you to test it out with actual shredded paper (a license costs $90 per month, and Litigation Support Tip of the Night is a one man, no budget operation) but it does demonstrate the process.
As the user manual makes clear, but the web site does not, the software merely renders shredded strips of paper into paper, which the user must arrange into a reconstructed page. It does not match up the shreds of paper automatically. It merely saves you the trouble of handling individual shards of shredded paper. The workflow facilitated by Unshredder clearly first requires someone to isolate shredded pieces from a single page of paper into one digital set of images to be arranged.
The user works with an original scanned page containing the 'puzzle pieces' to be fit in, and a working page in which the whole is reconstructed.
Unshredder may make a very laborious tasks somewhat easier by avoiding damage to shards as they are manipulated, and allowing them to be arranged more quickly, but it does not take the guesswork out of reassembling torn up paper.