Everyone seems to be adopting 3D printing in one way or another. Whether it’s to make cool little doo-dads in your garage, 3D print a car, or fight terrorists, 3D printing is everywhere. Yes I said ‘fight terrorists’!
“The 3D printer is cutting-edge technology that will be used by the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center to enhance their capabilities in exploiting improvised explosive devices,” FBI spokeswoman Ann Todd told NextGov.com in an email on Friday.
With all the high tech devices on the market today, and several companies producing them, some may wonder why the FBI chose a $19,999 3D printer from Stratasys. The report discusses this in detail stating,
“The Objet24 Desktop Personal 3D printer is the only instrument capable of producing the high accuracy and resolution results to meet Agency testing standards. The printer also is the only one capable of meeting FBI support data recovery and thermal environment requirements. The Objet24 model is the only 3D printer that satisfies all the technical requirements of the FBI.”
The basic specifications of the Objet24 are as follows:
- Printer Size: 82.5 × 62 × 59 cm
- Printer Weight: 93 kg – 205 lbs
- Tray Size: 240 x 200 x 150mm
- Build Size:234 x 192 x 148.6 mm
- Layer Thickness: 28 micron
- Accuracy: 0.1mm
- Print Material Supported: VeroWhitePlus Opaque material
The FBI isn’t only looking for the base printer but several accessories as well. The complete order will be for the following:
- Stratasys Objet24 Personal 3D Printer – extended warranty
- Stratasys WaterJet – Small Format
- Stratasys Stand for Objet24 Printer
- Stratasys Objet24/30 Start-Up Toolkit
- Installation and Training
- Support Material Kit
- VeroWhitePlus Material Kit
- APC Smart-UPS 1500VA LCD 120V
Whether this is the first 3D printer to be put to use by the FBI or not, we do not know, however, there are no other public records that would indicate such a purchase by the Bureau. The entire solicitation report can be found here.
The exact details on how the government will use this printer to investigate various forms of improvised explosives probably will never be revealed. It could, however, be assumed that ‘improvised explosives’ could pertain to bombs, and bomb casings, 3D printed firearms, or perhaps both. Let us know what you think about this revelation in the FBI 3D printer forum thread at 3DPB.com.