3D printed keys open "high security" handcuffs


23 Responses to “3D printed keys open "high security" handcuffs”

  1. dragonfrog says:

    Does the picture actually show the key pattern for a “high security” handcuff?  A single diagonally slanted tooth?  That’s surprising to me.

  2. nixiebunny says:

    Handcuff keys are dirt simple. The standard Smith and Wesson one has a single square bump, and the high security has a second bump somewhere on it. 

    In their defense, the police aren’t usually locking up people with 3d printers in their bedrooms.

  3. show me says:

    Security by obscurity almost always fails in the long (or sometimes short) run.

    • dragonfrog says:

      Really, the security model of a handcuff is: “Sure, it would be trivial to open with a hairpin, if you had unobstructed use of both hands.  But we searched your back pockets for hairpins, and then handcuffed you.  Your move.”

    • SoItBegins says:

       As a developer, I learned THAT one a long time ago— when working on my first WordPress site.

  4. mccrum says:

    In B4 “You guys are only helping the bad guys!”

  5. CSBD says:

    I can’t wait for the head line: “3-printers of mass destruction will allow all terrorists to escape gitmo!”

  6. Robert Holmen says:

    Every time I see video of police cuffing protestors they’re really using something like a zip-tie that doesn’t use a key. I suppose you could 3D print yourself a scissors.

  7. stillcantfightthedite says:

    From the photo, it looks like these shapes were cut out of an existing sheet of material, not 3D-printed.

    • Nonentity says:

      From the article quote: “he precisely measured them with calipers and created CAD models, which he used to reproduce the keys en masse, both in plexiglass with a friend’s standard laser cutter and in ABS plastic with a Repman 3D printer”

      I assume the picture is the first of the two.

  8. eagleapex says:

    I made one for my dog: https://twitter.com/eagleApex/status/225334875236990976

  9. dmillecc says:

    Any thoughts on what might happen if you actually unlocked your handcuffs?
    Probably not good.

    • mccrum says:

       I think it depends on how fast you are and how distracted the people who cuffed you are.  If twelve people suddenly dropped their cuffs while being herded by two cops, pretty good chances for most of the escapees.

      I imagine if you’re willing to plan to bring a key and commit to this kind of behavior after you’ve been nabbed you’re not going to be pretty aware of if and when your chance is going to come.

    • dragonfrog says:

      I suppose in theory you could do something like, wait until you’re not watched, ditch your drugs or other incriminating material, and then re-cuff yourself.

      A person who is totally not me tells me that she once got nabbed over a small bag of weed, cuffed, quickly patted down for obvious weapons, and put in the back of a cruiser.  There she managed (without removing her cuffs) to reach a concealed bag of pills and stuff them into an inconspicuous corner of the car.  The cops searched her more thoroughly a few minutes later, and then let her go with a warning.

  10. 20thCenturyVole says:

    Plastic key, perfect for concealment (taped to the inside of a belt, for ezample), won’t show on a metal detector.

    • There are numerous options for the plastic buckle types of belts (such as the ones you’d use on a DIY paracord belt) which conceal breakaway plastic cuff keys.

    • billstewart says:

       The “won’t show on a metal detector” feature is the important trick here, because it’s what makes this potentially more useful than a standard metal handcuff key.  (That, and it’s good for blog cred :-)

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