Why care?

Your neighbor’s kid can now copy your house keys using his 3D printer

Why care? Explained in 1 min
  • In the past high security keys could only be illegally duplicated by skilled thieves
  • Today even some of the highest security keys can be duplicated by 3D printing at home
  • What if I tell you that we bought the most expensive and secure systems available and that their 3D printed duplicates worked? Once printed, the duplicates can directly open your house lock (some even with a 1000CHF home 3D printer)
  • The issue is not the professional burglar breaking into your home, they can just use the windows. The problem is an ex-tenant, an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, an ex-housecleaning employee! No trace left behind
  • High security keys and their mechanical features have been compromised by 3D printing and 3D scanning by the masses
  • Even if you have a mechanical+electronic key, you should be aware that you only have one barrier left
  • Some lock manufacturers will tell you that the chip in the key solves the problem. Which is true, but the combination with electronic usually costs 500-700$ instead of 50$ and they bring convenience not security (do not forget the cumbersome annual change of battery). They are basically saying: “we did not deliver a secure mechanical system, so now you have to pay for our under performance”. Does not sound like a fair deal
  • The sense of security you paid for is now gone

Even some car keys

and Advanced keys too


Developers of the affordable Key that is safe against 3D duplication


Our Keys and Locks

The Stealth Key: unscannable security

The Stealth Key: Explained in 2 min

The Stealth Key – the ultimate security key

It cannot be simpler: a key which hides most of its mechanical security features internally – rendering the key unscannable. For millennia keys have relied on external features (yes, even the Egyptians and Romans used such keys), today thanks to 3D metal printing we turn the common house key inside out.


UrbanAlps is a multi-award winning high-tech startup based in Switzerland and developing the new standard of high security cylinder-locks and keys. A 3D printed metallic key which hides most of its mechanical security features internally During the last 2 years we have pushed hard to develop the first of its kind security system. Aiming at bringing the affordable solution against the 3D duplication threat.

We have developed a range of cylinder locks and un-scannable keys based on the Stealth Key concept. No matter how many pictures or home 3D scanners are used, it cannot be copied: the simplest and affordable key copy protection.

Move the bar to look inside!

Duplication difficulties

Standard Key
High Security Key
Stealth Key

3D metal printing keys means…

  • Less waste: because only the material that is needed is used, there is less than 2% material wasted when producing the keys
  • Mass customization is free: each single key can be completely different at no extra cost
  • Factory layout is reduced to its minimum expression: one machine produces nearly all the steps needed
  • Complexity is free: it actually costs less to print a complex part instead of a simple cube of the same size
  • Localization is simple: needing only 1 machine to produce all sorts of keys means manufacturing can be kept at critical locations close to customer

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Frequently asked questions


I do not care about the key being copied: the burglars will break the windows or the door…
The issue is not the professional burglar, but rather an ex-tenant, ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-cleaning employee….
Anybody can now easily duplicate high security keys.

Can somebody copy my key with just a picture?
Yes, if you have a simple key. That is what startups like key.me and keysduplicated.com make a living from.

How about the high security keys?
Those require to use a home 3D scanner to scan the key. In 2015 Intel integrated 3D scanners to phones and tablets. Apple will soon follow. Their motto: we live in a 3D world, you should be able to take 3D pictures of what you like.

But my key has movable parts that cannot be copied…
Unfortunately, keys with movable parts can also be copied.

But experts say that home 3D printers are not capable of printing a working key.
They are capable. We have used an Ultimaker 3D printer (<1000USD) among others and printed many of the existing keys.

But my key has also electronics, can it be copied?
The mechanical part can be copied, but the electronics will still avoid the lock from opening. You should be aware that you only have one barrier left and that the electronics are mostly for convenience rather than security. Actually, it is well known that RFID technology has also been compromised (the most common in key chips).  A determined attacker can purchase specialized equipment that can read and replay RFID cards.

There is already a solution: chip in the key!!
The electronic combinations are 3-4 times more expensive. For instance, a mechanical cylinder lock and keys costs circa 100-200$ in Switzerland, a combination of such system with electronics is in the 700-1000$ range. Do you want to be the one to pay because the lock manufactures did not deliver a secure mechanical solution? It is unfair that you pay for their under-performance.

My keys have magnets that cannot be copied.
Correct, but do you like magnets next to your credit cards and mobile phones? Furthermore, it is an expensive option and we believe that this is not the best solution.

My next lock will be operated through my mobile phone.
That solution exists since years, it is very cool and convenient. But it is neither reliable nor secure. Nobody believes that a phone is secure. Also think about the battery on the lock and on your phone. There is nothing that pisses off a customer more that not being able to get into his own house.
That is why 90% of locks sold worldwide are mechanical.

I am sure the 3D printed copy will break in the lock.
They do not, we have done it for 7 high security locks and the duplicates do not break.

I do not care if people copy my keys.
Fair enough. At UrbanAlps we help people who care about their security and their family. We want keys to be secure again, we want lockers at train stations to be safe again, we want people to feel safe while they are sleeping at home.

So what should I do about my keys?
1st step is to be aware that your keys can now be easily copied.

What do Insurance companies say about keys being easily copied?
We have met with them and shown our duplication studies. They confirmed that key duplication by the masses is a real issue that can change many things: did I leave the door open or was my key duplicated?
Most importantly they would adjust their rates for customers with un-duplicatable keys.

How does your solution work?
It is very simple: for centuries keys have had external security features, what we do is to place some of them inside. The Stealth key is an additively manufactured metallic key which hides most of its mechanical security features internally – rendering the key un-scannable. A patent pending key that cannot be duplicated. It is a purely mechanical solution that is very hard to copy. It uses no magnets and no electronics.

Being the Stealth key a hollow key I fear it might break when you drop it
No, it will not break. It is a metallic key with more than 99% density. Newest airplane engines from GE have similar 3D printed metallic parts inside.

How about dirt clogging the cavity, will it still work?
Yes, it still works. We have done many dirt tests and designed the key interior to be self-cleaning with operation.

How expensive is your solution?
We are proud to say that we have managed to develop a system in a similar price range as current systems but which plays in a superior league.

When will I be able to buy your security systems?
2016 will be the product launch and probably through a Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign. We plan to arrive to certain European countries by 2016-2017.

How will I then get duplicates of your key?
At your local locksmith with a similar ID-card procedure as current systems.

Is your cylinder lock compatible with my door?
Our current products are based on the Swiss cylinder profile and also the European profile. However, we plan to adapt to more markets later on.

The team behind UrbanAlps

Meet the people reinventing the mechanical key

Alejandro Ojeda BW flip

Alejandro Ojeda

Co-founder & Managing Director

Alejandro comes from the sunny Canary Islands (Spain). He is a mechanical engineer with 2 Master degrees and since a kid he always loved creating useful mechanical inventions. He has won many design competitions from Roman catapult designs to scaling pantographs or Formula 1 base bleed designs. He  consistently ranked #1 during his studies in Oxford, Torino and Spain, winning more than 10 personal awards, three F1 competitions including 43k€ Fernando Alonso grant, 3 patents and also 3 scientific publications (ETHZ). Additionally, he has more than 5 years of professional experience as project manager in R&D departments at Fortune 500 companies (Alstom and Nissan). He is the engine behind UrbanAlps.


Dr Felix Reinert BW

Dr. Felix Reinert

Co-founder & expert in 3D metal printing

Felix is a Swiss citizen who holds a PhD in Laser Physics from University Bern and a Dipl. Ing. Mikrotechnik from EPFL. He is our expert in 3D metal printing and owns a 500k€ metal printer machine since more than 3 years, having the rare combination of strong theoretical knowledge of laser processing with priceless hands-on experience at the machine. Prior to that he gained more than 7 years of working experience in the technology sector as Cluster manager of “Novel manufacturing technologies”, always excelling as a world class innovator. Having been awarded patent of the year and Top Innovator several times in a Fortune 500 company, he never ceases to pursue innovation in every project he works in.
Felix founded ProtoShape in 2012, a service bureau for professional metal additive manufacturing. Since 2015, Felix coordinates the AM research at Innocampus in Biel as Research Director in Advanced Manufacturing Technologies.

Peter Mazanowski

Peter Mazanowski

Freelance Precision Engineer

Peter is a Swiss freelance engineer with many years of experience in precision manufacturing industries. He has held several positions at Swiss companies such as Swatch, Flextronics, Ascom, Disetronic to name a few, working in the development of the most intricate and precise components that have made Switzerland world famous for precision, reliability and superb quality.

Nestor Ubay Perez software engineer

Néstor Ubay Pérez Rodríguez

Freelance Software Engineer

Nestor is a freelance mechanical engineer born in the Canary Islands (Spain). He has a Master of Advanced Studies in Industrial Technology. Although specialized in the design of structures and having more than 9 years of experience in the construction sector, he has a passion for FEM modeling and engineering related software development.

Personal Patents

Personal Awards

Financing rounds closed

Our Advisory Board

Hans Oury

Hans Oury

UrbanAlps’ Startup CTI coach

Founder at expert group AG
IT entrepreneur since 1997
Expertise in Corporate finance / M&A, Business coaching and Innovation management

Nils Hagander 150 150

Nils Hagander

UrbanAlps’ Strategist

Serial entrepreneur and co-founder at a-connect
Vice Chairman Secheron Hasler Intl.
Former director with McKinsey & Company


Joakim Westh

UrbanAlps’ security industry specialist

Board member in Saab AB, Swedish Match AB, Absolent AB and CGI Inc.
Former Group Vice President and member of the Executive Management Group, Assa Abloy AB. World leader in door opening solutions.

Interested in joining us?

  • Are you insanely passionate about creating new products?
  • Do you want to ride the next 3D printed industrial revolution?
  • Are you willing to make an impact in today’s world?
  • Are you ridiculously optimistic? Things will go wrong, that’s for sure, it’s how you react that is important.

We currently have no open positions available, however we are always eager to receive spontaneous applications from security industry professionals

Awards that helped us move forward

Supporting our efforts to improve security

19.05.2016: Winner of the W. A. de Vigier award 2016
10.03.2015: CTI Innovation Cheque
CTI Coach AcceptanceCTI Innovation Cheque granted!
26.11.2014: Venture Kick Stage 3
venturekick_logoUrbanAlps wins the final Venture Kick Stage 3 and is awarded 100’000 CHF,  totaling 130’000CHF.
A fantastic award for a remarkable evolution.
28.03.2014: CTI coaching acceptance achieved
CTI Coach AcceptanceCTI coaching acceptance obtained
more info: http://www.ctistartup.ch/
12.03.2014: Venture Leader 2014
VentureLeaders_Gold_LogoUrbanAlps has been selected to be part of the Swiss National Startup Team 2014.
The team will travel to Boston and New York to discover the exciting entrepreneurial scene of the United States of America in a 10 day business development program
more info: www.venture-leaders.ch
05.03.2014: Venture Kick Stage 2
venturekick_logoUrbanAlps has been awarded 20’000 CHF and moves to Stage 3 of the prestigious Venture Kick competition
22.10.2013: Venture Kick Stage 1
venturekick_logoUrbanAlps has been awarded 10’000 CHF and moves to Stage 2 of the prestigious Venture Kick competition


Developers of the most revolutionary keys and locks


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