3D printers are great, they have its practical uses and it has its novelty uses, and lately criminals seem to have found malicious use for 3D printers as well. This isn’t really new as back in September, criminals managed to steal more than $400,000 from ATMs using ATM skimmers (which are fitted over ATM card slots and are used to steal debit/credit card information).

They managed to achieve this by using a high-tech 3D printer to make the skimmers for ATM machines look as real as possible, but why stop there? Not too long ago a member from a German lock-picking grop, Sportsfreunde Der Sperrtechnik, used a 3D printer to replicate a key to unlock handcuffs used by the Dutch police. Amazingly he managed to achieve this from a photo of the key hanging from the belt of the police officer, and through some basic math to gauge the size, he managed to produce a workable key, which he then put the model online for anyone to print it for themselves.

Granted this could be a quick and efficient way for regular folks like you and me to replicate house keys and what not, but considering it didn’t exactly seem like a complicated process to replicate a handcuff key based on a photo alone, who’s to stop criminals from replicating our car and house keys in the future?

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about , , and .

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