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back to article 3D printer produces working house keys

3D printing tools have been used to roll out working house keys, meaning trips to the hardware store could soon be replaced by a straightforward PC set-up. Apple software engineer Nirav Patel generates a key's blueprint with the manufacturer's lock code, which contains all the relevant bit dimensions. This information is fed …

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Facepalm

Derp

Excellent! So now when I get home without my keys, I can run off a set on my 3D printer which is in my spare room... oh, hang on...

Mind you, something like this issued to the RAC/AA/ whatever rescue service with secure access(!) to a database of car key patterns might be handy for anybody whose locked their keys in the boot (yes, like me...)

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Anonymous Coward

No need

Car manufacturers are in the habit of leaving back doors to their central locking systems anyway. They are normally a mile wide such as if you remove the ******* take the ***** touch it against the ****** and then all the locks on the car magically open! Why they think this information will not fall into the hands of thieves is beyond me.

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Alert

Did somebody say secure...

and database in the same sentence???!!!

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 10:16

Like hell they are. Name one current manufacturer that does this? If you think that your car can do it then take it back to the dealer, the locks are fucked.

The only "back door" to bypassing a locked car door is to use the brick through the window technique.

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Boffin

@Micky 1

I used to have a Ford Focus which was build in 2003. Whilst out shopping the wife managed to lock the keys in the boot.

Called out the AA who promptly arrived, unscrewed one of the lights (I won't say which one), removed the bulb and connected a small box of tricks to the connections in the bulb socked. Pressed a button and the central locking unlocked all the door.

Time taken to from start to finish was about 2 minutes.

So there you go. Ford named as a manufacturer that certainly has done this in the past and probably still does.

Admittably you would still need the small box of tricks but I would imagine it was nothing special and any self respecting car thief would have one of these in their arsenal.

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Facepalm

Hang on just came over all stupid for a moment there

Micky 1 you are 100% correct if ever you lock your keys in your car that's exactly what you should do, what was I thinking.

Anyone else might want to call the AA and watch what they do and shudder at how easy it is, or in some cases phone the manufacturer who will unlock it for you over the phone.

But Micky 1 a brick through the window is definitely the only possible way of getting into your car and the special cars of all the special people like you.

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Shh... stop talking about 3D printers...

...otherwise the politicians will freak out about what they are capable of, spurred on by those industry types with a vested interest in not wanting home users to be able to print spare parts for their products or outright copies. Before you know it they will be illegal to own!

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright

So can you copyright a 3D object?

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Depends...

If it's an artistic expression, yes. Otherwise no. But, it could also be patented, trade marked or a registered design. Of these registered design is the one most likely to catch you out.

see http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ for details.

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Silver badge

It's worse than that, Jim

HM.Gove will convince themselves that next week someone will be using a 3D fax machine to remotely send keys to a 3D printer.

Or t'Mail will have found someone who wants to do 3D versions of the 'photocopy tits or knob' game.

Or the Taliban have found a way of faxing IED's.

Don't tell me it couldn't happen, there's every chance, we are doomed.

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Silver badge

A Cory Doctorow story

http://craphound.com/?p=573

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Bronze badge

Print in wax

Then use in a lost wax casting.

Chrome plate the result...

Overkill for a one off entry (such as that required by the AA, or a thief)

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Probably easier

for simple locks at least to use the 3d-printed version as a master for cutting a metal key using traditional key copying techniques (as found in your local shoe repairers).

Though higher-security locks will use proprietary (patented) keys that you can't get cut on the high street.

And as long as you have glass windows without security bars/shutters you can never make a house very secure.

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3D Print in Stainless steel

You can already 3D print in stainless steel at Shapeways http://www.shapeways.com/materials/stainless_steel

I am guessing it would cost around $10 to 3D print a key

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Someone pointed out

Someone pointed on the original site out that you could use the printed plastic key to make a mould, although then you'd be mucking around with molten bits of metal which might be a bit dicey if you don't know what you're doing.

But.. it's scary that anyone with a sufficiently powerful digital camera could clone your keys if you leave them in public view.

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Thumb Up

re: mucking around with molten bits of metal which might be a bit dicey

Not at all!

Refer to wiki search for Woods Metal.

Ideal for making teaspoons out of.. (yes I have a few) its priceless when you ask someone to examine the metal spoon, poor the kettle and stir the water... wtf it melted... yup.

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Pirate

@AC 10:56

I sincerely hope you don't let your victims drink the resulting brew. Lead and cadmium? Yummy!

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Silver badge

Old chemist trick

Mould a spoon out of gallium and get the victim to stir their coffee with it. It looks like stainless steel but has a melting point of 30C.

Now such hilarity is available to the masses:

http://www.disappearingspoons.com/

Mind you I've been in some labs where the coffee can melt a stainless steel spoon.

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Bronze badge
Happy

You crazy boffins and your whacky spoon-based lab-pranks!

Hmmmm

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Bronze badge

Lead and cadmium

Use Field's metal instead. Indium, bismuth and tin. Pricier, but much less toxic. And incidentally, I have copied keys with it (just for fun of course).

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Combination locks on all windows

and biometrics on all the doors

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and the combination is....

12345, obviously

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Silver badge
Happy

Brick Mk1

plus crowbar V2.145 will do the trick.

'A bit of the old inout'

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Facepalm

re: Combination locks on all windows

My windows don't allow keys on the outside.

Simples.

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My windows don't allow keys on the outside.

Do they allow bricks?

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Facepalm

Only key cutting ?

If you can't also repair shoes with this device, it'll never catch on...

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Stop

Print a new one!

Easy once you have one shoe blueprint, the other is mirror'd.

And if your feet differ slightly in size (length/width), that's easily adjusted too.

I'm dumping my stock in Simpson's as we speak.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

You could also

use the recreated key as a template to cut a metal one.

Then again, a small c-mill machine could do it from the input direct without the middle-object.

Nice demo, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Bump Lock Keys unimpressed

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-5177213949300140850#

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FAIL

I bet

You could have a shedload of keys cut commercially for the cost of the 3d printer.

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Happy

That's a nice high resolution 3d print job.

I've not seen a RepRap print that is that high res before. I would love to have a 3d printer that could work at that resolution. Very impressive work. :)

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Hi-res

Hey asgard,

Check out Shapeways for high res 3D prints..

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Duplicate high security keys?

I'll wonder if they can duplicate high security keys as well. You know, the ones with little holes and dimples in the key instead of hills and valleys on the edge for the pins?

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FAIL

Concept

OK, so as a concept, full marks.

But let's look again. You are "using the manufacturer's lock code, which contains all the relevant bit dimensions" to generate the pattern. FAIL! Why wouln't you just use a standard digital key cuttting machine hooked up to the same database - then you'd get a genuine metal key.

There is ZERO reason you would use a 3D printer to make a key when there are many other ways to make a metal key using the same information to hand.

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