Print your own drone, a pandora's box

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A proof of concept drone printed out on a 3d printer and made with off the shelf parts of $2500. This puts drones within the reach of many questionable groups. Since the drone if being printed, much of the design cost has been eliminated.

This has opened up a pandora's box. A terrorist group has 10,000 members scattered across USA. Over a 6 month period they each individual aquires a 3d printer and enough off the shelf parts to build 2 drones. The instructions on how to build the drones are sent to each individual over the internet.

Each member on a set date releases the two drones to attack targets of opportunity in his area. This is 20,000 drones that appear out of nowhere.

This is a pandora's box which can not be closed.



We have 3-D printed keys, guns and shoes—now a research team at the University of Virginia has created a 3D printed UAV drone for the Department of Defense.

In the works for three years, the aircraft, no bigger than a remote-controlled plane, can carry a 1.5-pound payload. If it crashes or needs a design tweak for a new mission, another one can be printed out in a little more than a day, for just $2,500. It’s made with off-the-shelf parts and has an Android phone for a brain.

“We weren’t sure you could make anything lightweight and strong enough to fly,” says David Sheffler, who led the project. Sheffler is a former engineer for Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce who now teaches at the university. After he created a 3-D printed jet engine in one of his classes, the MITRE Corporation, a DoD contractor, asked him to create a 3-D printed UAV that could be easily modified and built with readily available parts.



www.wired.com/2014/09/military-grade-drone-can-printed-anywhere/
 

WebMaster

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#2
But it cant be armed can it be?

 

Scorpion

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You can also print your own gun. There is a 3D gun printer as well.
 
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I doubt they can go far with 3d printed drones. Do you think they posses a real threat for the population?
 
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2500 USD seems kind of expensive for a drone if you ask me. The helicopter drones come significantly cheaper and I would have expected planes to be cheaper than helicopters for some reason. Also, they probably need bigger drones if they are to use them to inflict some real damage.
 
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You can also print your own gun. There is a 3D gun printer as well.
I saw a post where someone had mounted a 45 I think on a model helicopter. This probably would not be that effective since the drone does not have enough weight to make it a stable gun platform. I imagine the recoil of the 45 would do a number on the drone.

The biggest problem with chemical and biological weapons is dispersion. Anthrax, nerve agent or radioactive material needs to be spread over a large area to be effective. That terorist group in Japan that attacked the subway was that effective because they could not disperse the nerve agent. Load it up in a drone, fly the drone around and spray it all over the place.

The drone could also be used like a cruise missle so it could be armed with a small warhead. It could then be used to take out small targets.

I am pretty sure the bad guys can dream up all sorts of other uses.
 
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I saw a post where someone had mounted a 45 I think on a model helicopter. This probably would not be that effective since the drone does not have enough weight to make it a stable gun platform. I imagine the recoil of the 45 would do a number on the drone.

The biggest problem with chemical and biological weapons is dispersion. Anthrax, nerve agent or radioactive material needs to be spread over a large area to be effective. That terorist group in Japan that attacked the subway was that effective because they could not disperse the nerve agent. Load it up in a drone, fly the drone around and spray it all over the place.

The drone could also be used like a cruise missle so it could be armed with a small warhead. It could then be used to take out small targets.

I am pretty sure the bad guys can dream up all sorts of other uses.
The solution to the issue in your first paragraph could be solved using recoilless guns. Sure, you'd lose quite a lot of its power, but if you got close enough to the target it could still do plenty of damage. Either that or a recoilless grenade launcher.
 
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I think there is still a long way to go before these home-made drones can be armed in any sort of meaningful way. In my opinion, the threat lies more in the dangers of having many un-monitored drones flying around, whether there is malicious intent or not. These things could be a nuisance around airports, helicopter flight paths, buildings, traffic, etc.
 
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I think there is still a long way to go before these home-made drones can be armed in any sort of meaningful way. In my opinion, the threat lies more in the dangers of having many un-monitored drones flying around, whether there is malicious intent or not. These things could be a nuisance around airports, helicopter flight paths, buildings, traffic, etc.
Just from looking at model airplane/helicopter enthusiast sites, what these guys can do is pretty amazing. Stuff like face recognition, GPS etc can be all programmed in an android smart phone.

I do not know what the payload of these model aircraft are an the range. Lets assume it can be fitted with extra fuel tanks to increase the range to 5km and it has a payload of 1kg.

A payload of 1kg equals two M67 grenades each having a fatality radius of 3 meters. Fly one of these contraptions into a baseball stadium or other crowded play, it will do a lot of damage.

Most android cellphones have 3G capabilites which means the drone could be operated from a distance. The device could be flown close to ground level, house hopping or something. That way it is harder to detect and if am attempt is made to shoot it down, there will be collatoral damage.

The terrorist gets 20 of these drones, with 20 operaters and flies them into a baseball stadium. Each drone has a killing radius of atleast 3+ meters. Each drone targets a different part of the stadium. A lot of people are going to get killed from the initial explosions. More people will get killed and injured from the panic that ensues.

The goal of the terrorist is to create terror and disrupt things. People will be scared to congregate in large groups.

I don't know much about these devices. I am sure the terrorist can think up a lot more nasty things to do.
 
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Just from looking at model airplane/helicopter enthusiast sites, what these guys can do is pretty amazing. Stuff like face recognition, GPS etc can be all programmed in an android smart phone.

I do not know what the payload of these model aircraft are an the range. Lets assume it can be fitted with extra fuel tanks to increase the range to 5km and it has a payload of 1kg.

A payload of 1kg equals two M67 grenades each having a fatality radius of 3 meters. Fly one of these contraptions into a baseball stadium or other crowded play, it will do a lot of damage.

Most android cellphones have 3G capabilites which means the drone could be operated from a distance. The device could be flown close to ground level, house hopping or something. That way it is harder to detect and if am attempt is made to shoot it down, there will be collatoral damage.

The terrorist gets 20 of these drones, with 20 operaters and flies them into a baseball stadium. Each drone has a killing radius of atleast 3+ meters. Each drone targets a different part of the stadium. A lot of people are going to get killed from the initial explosions. More people will get killed and injured from the panic that ensues.

The goal of the terrorist is to create terror and disrupt things. People will be scared to congregate in large groups.

I don't know much about these devices. I am sure the terrorist can think up a lot more nasty things to do.
Thanks for your post, it was very enlightening. I never really knew how easy it was to arm drones with easily-accessible store-bought technologies. I certainly hope it is harder than it sounds to implement it.
 
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Thanks for your post, it was very enlightening. I never really knew how easy it was to arm drones with easily-accessible store-bought technologies. I certainly hope it is harder than it sounds to implement it.
The key is in the implementation. Obviously a person can not walking into a store and buy a hand grenade. So he would have to figure out how to make high explosive. A teenager in Holland recently lost his leg making TNT, he just liked to experiment, he didn't have any dark motives, but from his own account it took him several years before he figured out how to make TNT.

For the drone itself, again it would take years of experimentation. A person would have to figure out how to program stuff etc.

So for a dedicated group of people you are looking at several years of hard work. These people would need to have a large grudge to dedicate that much work to the problem.

Most terrorist/insurgency can be linked to economics and inability to get promoted. Give the potential insurgents the ability to make lots of money, and they will figure out how to make money with drones.
 
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#12
It is amazing the 3 d printer can make this, although the cost is a bit higher and would take time to make the drone as there is experimentation that will be needed to be done. Unless the group has, good knowledge and good software my take less time and would be able to make the drone more faster than some people. It seems easy to fly, these guys would of taken a long time to do this as there would have been mistakes and malfunctions in the process of doing this.
 

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#13
That's pretty scary when you consider who could get your hands on it but cool if you think a country with 'good' intentions was able to get it. It does seem ridiculously expensive, though. With some of the budget that terrorist groups have been seen with lately it wouldn't be impossible for them to create something digitally, they certainly can get people who do it.
 
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We're in a new world. Nefarious groups can get their hands on weapons that can kill thousands of people. We live in age of nuclear terrorism. 3D drones are really the least of worries. When you consider the amount of damage that could be done by a terrorist group that gets ahold of a nuclear weapon, especially.
 
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I am still trying to get my head around the 3d printing but could you imagine what kind of weaponery would be made and sold if this was a possibility? A poor country would be ablw to get a hold of a 3d printer and make weapons of mass destruction to sell to others or worse to use on their neighbour or enemy. How terrifying and an example of human nature!
 
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