When lock maker Schlage imprinted the words “do not duplicate” across the top of the keys for their high-security Primus locks, they meant to create another barrier to reproducing a piece of metal that’s already beyond the abilities of the average hardware store keymaker. One group of hackers, of course, took it instead as a direct challenge.
At the Def Con hacker conference Saturday, MIT students David Lawrence and Eric Van Albert plan to release a piece of code that will allow anyone to create a 3D-printable software model of any Primus key, despite the company’s attempts to prevent the duplication of those carefully-controlled shapes. With just a flatbed scanner and their software tool, they were able to produce precise models that they uploaded to the 3D-printing services Shapeways and i.Materialise, who mailed them working copies of the keys in materials ranging from nylon to titanium.
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