It would be a shame to see this technology get a bad rap before it even really gets started. I can see the media grabbing hold of this headline for it's 'lightning rod' reactions.
This is a fascinating topic. I am torn because I do not believe in super strict gun control, but I do believe in firearm registration. 3D printed firearms could pose a real threat to public safety. Very interesting.
This was bound to happen sooner or later. I hope that temperate minds will prevail before corporations wake up and lobby 3D printers out of consumers homes for a long time.
My guess is that OEM replacement parts will be the next big obstacle for the 3D printer industry. At least when it gets in a more consumer segment.
Great Article Seth. I want to know more now about this case. I look forward to updates on this site.
Excellent story and one that I knew would happen quickly once the technology became more mainstream.
There's plenty of issues with the freedom that 3d printing provides and absolutely no solutions to them except to not allow 3d printing to go mainstream. You might not like the idea but the only way to prevent the majority of issues would to be industry regulation, even that would have flaws.
"Amidst this complex issue is a simple one: you have to be either very brave or very stupid to fire a plastic gun that you printed at home."
This one comment pretty much sums up this misunderstanding, or lack of forward thinking, on the pro-3d-printing side.
Not all plastics are created equal. Some are a lot stronger than you think. A mainstream approach to 3d printing would undoubtedly drive a push in plastics technology so yeah it may be that right now today, the plastics that work with these printers is not up to scratch but consumer demand for something bigger-better-stronger would change that.
Not all 3d printers work with plastic, as this technology becomes more mainstream the ones that can handle metals will become more affordable and then your regular Joe Bloggs will have access to ... whatever their heart desires, limited only by their moral stature.
In conclusion, I'm not trololollling, I love the idea of 3d printing, but the potential for it to be abused well beyond the scope of it's original intent is mind-boggling really.
I personally wouldn't have a problem submitting a design to a registered provider to be printed. I'd expect that as a registered provider they would check the design against some no-go designs, and I would receive my object back in whatever timeframe was stated by the provider. But thats just me :)
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