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UK cartridge retailer discusses counterfeiting

January 25, 2016

A 3D-printed gun (Credit: Courier Mail)

A 3D-printed gun (Credit: Courier Mail)

Cartridge Discount wrote an article for PCR about counterfeiting in 2D and 3D printing.

The article looks at “when printing goes bad”, and at “the problem of how printers and 3D printing can be used for counterfeiting”, adding that printing “is an industry in a constant state of flux” due to digital technology’s development. The company notes that as offices “are going paperless and ditching their systems for cloud-based computing”, 3D printing is keeping print “exciting and ever-relevant”, but that printing is still a “source of controversy thanks to its ability to reproduce”.

This includes through “counterfeit cash [and] 3D-printed weaponry”, but Cartridge Discount focuses on “identification”, a “lucrative area” for counterfeit printing in the UK, where over 30,000 fakes IDs “are in circulation”. This affects even large office retailers, with UK chain Currys PC World withdrawing a printer costing £750 ($1,069/€988) from sale “after detectives discovered it could print replicas of EU driving licenses and ID cards”.

Alongside giving tips on detecting fake IDs and passports, the article reflects on consumer goods, with children’s Pokémon trading cards having “been illegally reproduced” a number of times through “the misuse of print”, one shipment of 33,000 fake cards worth $200,000 (€184,834) being destroyed by US authorities in 2012. 3D printing technology however, Cartridge Discount notes, is “the most worrying for anti-counterfeiting authorities”.

This is because it allows users to “print a huge array of objects”, with “all manner of illicit goods” produced already, including card ‘skimmers’ that “can steal details from your bank when using a cash machine”, as well as the 3D-printed gun produced in 2012 on a consumer 3D printer costing only £5,140 ($7,332/€6,776). Cartridge Discount concluded that “it’s clear that as technology improves, your own vigilance and ability to spot fakes will grow increasingly important”.

Categories : Around the Industry

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