Stratasys 3D printer. Source: Stratasys
Stratasys 3D printer. Source: Stratasys

The FBI is purchasing a Stratasys Objet24 3D printer to inspect bombs. “The bureau has a requirement for a Stratasys Objet24 Desktop Personal 3D printer to support the advanced technical exploitation of evolving and existing high technology explosive devices,” the Federal contracting papers state.

“The 3D printer is cutting-edge technology that will be used by the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) to enhance their capabilities in exploiting improvised explosive devices,” or IEDs, FBI spokeswoman Ann Todd told nextgov.

The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) studies bombs collected by the military, police departments, and international partners. TEDAC uses innovative scientific tools and techniques to reconstruct the bombs to provide reports on terrorist activity around the world.

TEDAC has a partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the DoD Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. In 2013, ATF joined counterparts in Austria, Germany, and elsewhere to purchase 3D printers and to test 3D printed guns.

In the Federal contracting papers, the FBI states that “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.”