Interesting 3D-printing use of the week: Making handcuff keys (uh-oh!)
Posted by David Brooks | Monday, July 16, 2012
When I wrote about 3-D printing and other "additive manufacturing" methods for the Telegraph, I made sure to note that it has bad as well as good applications, like any distriptive technology. (You can run your eyes through the gentle rhythms of my prose by clicking here.)
Today I found a new bad application: Making keys to help bad guys escape from handcuffs. I read it in Slate, and so can you. Here's a snippet:
This is a serious problem for handcuff makers, because police departments typically use the same keys to unlock all of the handcuffs made by a given manufacturer. And while determined crooks have always been able to reproduce keys at metal-working shops if they have access to the originals, 3-D printing makes it possible for just about anyone to churn out their own copies if they have access to the digital blueprint.
Access to the digital blueprint is the key to 3-D printing, which some has described as "the Internet of things" rather than the Internet of bits. Download the CADCAM design from a BitTorrent site, print it out, and viola!