I’ve written about 3D printing keys before, but now there’s an example you can try at home—the TSA master keys!
Last month (8/2015), the Washington Post published an article about baggage handling at airports. In it, they mentioned the TSA master key practice, and “innocently” included a photograph of the master keys on a keyring [not the censored version above.] (For those not familiar, the TSA in the States allows airline passengers to use TSA-approved locks on their luggage, all of which contain a back-door that allows the TSA to open your lock with a master key.)
If you can see a key, you can copy it. This is well known in the locksmith/lock-picking community, and once the master key photo was published, the community quickly realized its potential. [See Bruce Schneier’s post, TSA Master Keys, or BoingBoing’s Make your own TSA universal luggage keys.]
With the photo in-hand, designing 3D models was a straight-forward process.
The image above is from https://github.com/Xyl2k/TSA-Travel-Sentry-master-keys, an open-source project containing STL files for each of the master keys.
The legality of possessing these keys outside of your home is questionable, but if you need to get into your own luggage in a pinch, your 3D printer can now give you the key.