3D Printer to Defeat Combination LocksWith any evolving technology, the growth of 3D printing has been accompanied by a wealth of horror stories. In a matter of seconds \u2013 it would appear \u2013 someone with the right software can \u2018print\u2019 a thermonuclear device capable of destroying the world. Such were the quantity and level of paranoia of such stories, I\u2019m surprised I\u2019m even writing this, convinced I\u2019d have been vaporized by now, if not imprisoned by an army of robots printed-off by some Ukrainian teenager who now rules the world.Thankfully, our demise at the hands of a disgruntled youth with a 3D printer is yet to materialize, and we\u2019re free to continue doing whatever it is we do. This isn\u2019t to say 3D printers are not affecting our lives, and specifically, our lock picking. If you haven\u2019t heard, keys are already being \u2018printed\u2019 with these machines. Something worth bearing in mind, since to the trained eye, a key can be \u2018read\u2019 quite easily. A set of keys on a table in a restaurant can quite easily be decoded. A photograph of said keys makes this even easier. With a decent lens it wouldn\u2019t be too difficult to \u2013 from a distance - take a photo of someone\u2019s keys and glean the required information of not only the cutting code but also the brand of lock. From there it would be a simple matter of 3D printing copies of each key, effectively giving you access to all the locks in the targets house and vehicles. Yet this is not new to 3D printing. This threat was observed a long time ago, since cut keys can be made quite simply with a blank and a file. Looking at your house key I could probably guess it was cut to say 4,5,5,4,3,2 \u2013 and say, on a YALE 1A blank. I could then buy said blank and with a little file \u2018cut\u2019 the key to 4,5,5,4,3,2 \u2013 simple!So my interest in 3D printing and lock picking soon dried up. A couple of articles about printing bump keys momentarily piqued my interest, but again, this wasn\u2019t sustained since I have made literally 100s of bump keys by hand, and rather enjoyed it too. Also, machines already exist to do this, they\u2019re called key-cutting machines.Then I found out about Samy Kamkar, the friendly host of You Tube channel \u2018Applied Hacking\u2019. At first though, it was nothing to do with 3D printing. Samy had developed a technique that allowed you to \u2018read\u2019 or \u2018decode\u2019 the combination of Master Combination locks. Most of us know Master Combination locks aren\u2019t the most secure of devices. A firm strike with a hammer, or enough leverage with a large screwdriver will almost certainly free the shackle and provide access to whatever the lock was \u2018securing\u2019. But it wasn\u2019t the decoding that interested me \u2013 in truth \u2013 I already knew how to read a Master Combination lock. As is often the case with such locks, it\u2019s usually a matter of pressing (or the opposite, pulling) the shackle and slowly turning the combination. Small changes in feedback soon give-away the \u2018notches\u2019 or other relevant changes relating to the numbers. What got my attention was the small piece of software, the \u2018Online Calculator\u2019 that Samy had developed which will allow you to crack any Master Combination Lock in EIGHT attempts or less.It really is lovely. You use Samy\u2019s decoding technique to get a few numbers, input them into his online calculator and boom! You are given the combination. The calculator \u2013 via some wicked equations \u2013 does the work for you. Nice! (calculator video below)It really is fun \u2013 and it works. Get yourself a Master Combination lock and give it a try. It\u2019s fantastic, and will give you a good basis in how such locks work and how to defeat them non-destructively \u2013 the perfect foundation for your new journey into safe-cracking \u2013 I mean, you have to start somewhere!Samy\u2019s video was incredibly popular, acquiring literally millions of views in the hyper-competitive world of You Tube. People are interested in this stuff \u2013 and rightly so \u2013 because although this is only a cheap, relatively unsecure lock, it doesn\u2019t take a genius to work out how this technique and software can be modified and developed to work on more secure locks. It\u2019s all about the principle.And then Samy went beast mode on us! Some months later he released another video, this time automating the \u2018decoding\u2019 out of the process. Samy has invented a machine that does the work, including the maths of the previous online calculator for you \u2013 and, you guessed it \u2013 the machine is 3D printed! OK, fair enough, it takes some knowledge and experience in electronics, and even if you don\u2019t have this experience it\u2019s still incredibly interesting to watch. You put the lock into the machine, press the \u2018start\u2019 button and watch is awe as the machine goes about decoding, then opening the lock. It\u2019s the stuff of Mission Impossible, on your kitchen table.Yes I am a geek, and yes I am a lock picker, put the two together and Samy\u2019s machine is a work of art, a thing of wonder. And if you\u2019re still reading this, my guess is you\u2019re the kind of person that will be equally impressed by such a thing. So without further ado \u2013 here\u2019s the videos\u2026. Enjoy. (This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds!)The First Video "How to Decode"\u00a0The Second Video "The 3D Printed Machine"