Prior to the large-scale deployment of any biometric system it is necessary to have a realistic estimation of its performance. In the domain of fingerprint biometrics, three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint scan technology has been developing very fast. However, there is no 3D fingerprint database publicly available for research purposes. To evaluate the matching performance of 3D fingerprints and the compatibility of 2D and 3D fingerprints comprehensively, a large fingerprint database using two commercial fingerprint sensors is established. The database consists of both 3D fingerprints and their corresponding 2D fingerprints. Several verification experiments using a commercial fingerprint identification software are carried out. The results serve as the performance criterion of the database, which will be released publicly together with the database in late 2014. © 2014 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.