UrbanAlps and Fieldmade to 3D print Stealth Keys on-demand for the military

UrbanAlps, a Swiss high-security company, and Fieldmade, a spin-off from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) have partnered to 3D print high-security Stealth Keys on-demand for military and energy-based customers. 

The Stealthy Keys will be produced using Fieldmade’s remote microfactories, rather than large factories which are open to threats of unauthorized duplicates. Alejandro Ojeda, CEO and founder of Urban Alps, stated:

“This collaboration marks the beginning of a new industrial era, where high-security mechanical keys are shipped digitally and turned into physical products at the customer’s location, no matter how remote the location – no shipping costs, no customs, immediately, and safe from unauthorized duplication.”

The 3D printed metal Stealth Key. Image via UrbanAlps
The 3D printed metal Stealth Key. Image via UrbanAlps.

Fieldmade Stealth Keys

Spinning off from the FFI in 2016, Fieldmade aims to develop, produce and sell fully-integrated additive manufacturing solutions for deployed military use. Its microfactory, the NOMAD, consists of a series of military standard mobile units featuring ISO/CSC certified containers, printer cells with environmental control, fully damped printer bases (AIR, SEA, and LAND transportable), and Quality Assurance and inspection tools.

The NOMAD systems utilize powder bed fusion, VAT polymerization, Direct Energy Deposition (DED), and material extrusion additive manufacturing technologies. As a future producer and present customer of the Stealth Key, Fieldmade will integrate Urban Alps’ technology as its lock system for NOMAD

Christian Duun Norberg, founder and CEO of Fieldmade, explained, “Fieldmade’s aim is to find innovative ways to bring more value to the customer, not just a revolutionary key but the benefits that novel additive manufacturing entails, for instance, a digital supply chain.”

Fieldmade's NOMAD microfactory featuring an Urban Alps Stealth Key. Photo via Urban Alps. 
Fieldmade’s NOMAD microfactory featuring an Urban Alps Stealth Key. Photo via Urban Alps.

Additive manufacturing under lock and key

During last month’s Formnext show in Frankfurt, the 3D printed Stealth Key took the top prize from the seventh edition of the Purmundus Challenge. Furthermore, earlier this year, Urban Alps began shipping the Stealth Key. It is a fully customized mechanical key which has a cylindrical covering hiding the unlock code. This means that bittings (the part the engages the unlocking mechanism) of the key cannot be photographed or scanned.

They are available in short and long size and can be engraved or affixed with color-coded keycaps for identity purposes. The locks work with the Stealth Keys include half-cylinder, double cylinder, double cylinder thumbturn, camlock cylinder and stealth padlocks made with the same superalloys in SpaceX rocket engines.

The 3D printed padlock, cylinder and keys. Image via UrbanAlps.
The 3D printed padlock, cylinder and keys. Image via UrbanAlps.

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Featured image shows the 3D printed Stealth Key by UrbanAlps. Image via UrbanAlps.