According to The Guardian, the most recent effort to smuggle 30 kilograms of methamphetamine from the United States into Western Australia included the use of 3D printers. The estimated street price for 30 kg is AU$45 million ($30 million).
The two smugglers, who are allegedly a member of an international criminal gang, seem to have been utilizing Flashforge Creator 3 FDM 3D printers to carry an estimated 30 kg of cocaine. The two were apprehended as part of Operation Ironside, a joint effort between the FBI and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). For over three years, the agencies kept an eye on communications made on the An0m encrypted site. When one communication on the site reportedly said that one of the couples had organized around 30 methamphetamine importation into Australia in 2020, the AFP became aware of the situation.
Intelligence indicates he and his syndicate were attempting to import quantities of up to 100kg at a time.
We suspect they were operating long before we started monitoring them and were involved in multiple other drug trafficking plots targeting Australia.”
-AFP assistant commissioner Pryce Scanlan
Before the drugs got to Western Australia, where they were intended for, the authorities caught them in the US. Late in July, one of the two was taken into custody in New Taipei City, and in October, the other was taken into custody in Taoyuan City. Both people are facing life in jail in Taiwan if proven guilty of the unlawful shipment of “category 2” drugs for which they have been accused.
It seems that the Flashforge Creator 3 was selected since it is an enclosed 3D printer with a door that can securely contain things inside. The printer is now being sold at a reduced price since it has been discontinued, unlike other printers. The Flashforge Creator 3 has a construction capacity of 300 x 250 x 200 mm and measures 627 x 485 x 615 mm. A savvy individual may optimize the quantity of goods contained inside by including the additional space surrounding the axis motors and the area set aside for the control board and PSU.