Forbes Magazine

Breaking into phones using 3D printed heads

With facial recognition becoming part of our day to day lives, from unlocking your phone, to verifying your identity online to passport control it’s becoming increasingly hard to avoid.

We were approached by Forbes to find out if we’d be up to the challenge of trying to 3D scan one of their journalists and 3D printing his head to see if we were able to fool the facial recognition on some of the latest mobile phone handsets.

Of course, we said YES!

Thomas Brewster from Forbes visited us in the summer of 2018 and using our 96 camera photogrammetry rig we took a 3D scan of him capturing over 10 million data points.

The resulting digital model was then 3D printed on our full colour multijet 3D printer, producing a life like physical face.

We sent the head to Thomas at Forbes and he went ahead and tested the 3D printed head on 5 different phones.  The 3D printed head fooled 4 out of 5 phones – for the full breakdown of results, read the full Forbes Article here.


Working with FACIAL