Commerce Department suspends export privileges of North Carolina 3D printing companies for sending blueprints to China

On June 8, the U.S. Commerce Department suspended the export privileges of three Wilmington, North Carolina-based companies for sending unauthorized technical drawings and blueprints used to 3D print satellites, rockets, and rockets to China. and defence-related prototypes.

The Department’s Office of Industry and Safety issued the 180-day Temporary Denial Order (TDO) to Quicksilver Manufacturing Inc., Rapid Cut LLC, and US Prototype Inc.

The TDO says the three companies, which share a rental mailbox, have received export-controlled designs from their domestic customers to 3D print certain devices. Then, without the consent or prior knowledge of their customers or the required permissions from the US government, the companies sent the designs to manufacturers in China. The devices, printed in China, were then imported to the United States for shipment to corporate customers in North Carolina.

The information sent to China included sensitive prototypes of space and defense technologies, according to the Bureau of Industry and Security.

“Outsourcing 3D printing of space and defense prototypes to China harms the national security of the United States,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod. “By sending their customers’ technical drawings and blueprints to China, these companies may have saved a few dollars, but they did so at the collective expense of protecting US military technology.”