Watashi, your information about costs backs up my assertion that presently 3D printers are not going to be a dangerous new source of weapons. Too expensive, too techincally demanding, and way to slow.
But of course 3D printers are a new technology and get a lot of attention, and the hysterical bleatings of the unknowing do make a lot of noise. Which is unfortunate, since those of the limited attention span will never get to the conclusion of the discussion. Thus public opinion is lead "down the path."
Making weapons in a shop is nothing new. Back in 1959 one person made a zipgun in our junior high school shop class. Of course it was not very accurate and not very safe, and in addition it was a single-shot weapon, but it could be made by a thirteen year old using only a bandsaw, a grinder, and a drill press. So the clandestine production of firearms is certainly nothing brand new. Besides that, what about the price of that metal 3D printer? For a lot less than that purchase cost one can buy quite a few AK-47 weapons in working condition, if one uses the underground market. And more common weapons are available much cheaper. So it is not some huge disaster that has suddenly appeared because of 3D printing becoming available. Criminal types determined to do criminal activities will find a way outside of the law to do them, that is nothing new. And those terrorist types bent on causing death and destruction to the innocent will not be deterred in any way by whatever laws and restrictions are forced upon other decent people.
Consider that those choosing to operate outside of the laws are willing to break any of those laws to accomplish their goals.
It is still easier, faster, simpler, and cheaper to purchase a weapon of any degree of sophistication, although $18,000 for a minicannon and a hundred rounds and no guarrentee is quite expensive. But at least around this corner of Michigan weapons can be purchased by any who have cash. And one must first have a design before the 3D printer can make anything. And as others have pointed out, there is a large difference between some plastic hardware and the steel barrel. A plastic gun made with any of the commonly available plastics would not be very accurate, and would probably not last very long.
But a knife made out of a good grade of circuit board material will pass right through all of those metal detectors easily. But for a simple and deadly weapon that is completely innocent looking, conside a half dozen new #6 pencils recently sharpened.
The skill and patience needed to produce a useable firearm are more than most nut-jobs can muster, and with the ready availability of other means of obtaining them there is no real need to use a 3D printer, especially when there are thousands of conventional machine shops around. So the 3D printer is only one more tool among thousands.
It is interesting that there is no move to ban box cutters, but 12 years ago they seem to have been the weapon of choice on 3 airliners...
As far as dangerous weapons - How about the Papermate or Bic stick type pens? Properly (improperly?) applied they can be used as a very effective and deadly weapon.
As with any "weapon" the real problem is the human being that is in posession of it. I know of many firearms that have never been used to threaten or kill anything. Their total use has been for target shooting of one form or another. And the folks using them have developed a set of skills that can be very impressive.
It is easy to call a firearm deadly, but what of those who have poisoned bottles of painkillers, or would taint the food supply. Those would probably be far easier than we would care to admit (the various salmonilla scares) and can spread harm over a much larger area.
How about the harm that is spread by the abandoning the teaching of morals and ethics? That dirty word "Values" that we have to be careful about teaching our children in the schools. We have created a far more dangerous country and world by doing that than any gun or knife could ever create. We have become a nation that thinks that everything is someone elses fault and that "someone" must pay for my every percieved injury. When I was in school (graduated in 1976) most of the highschool boys had a pocket knife. And there were no knife fights because we still had a sense of personal responsibility. We knew that we would suffer bodily harm if we even thought about using that knife as a weapon. Fear of Dad resulted in respect for other authorities.
This was such an ignorant article. The lower reciever is a low pressure component which is easily obtainable for about $20 so why put $30 in materials into it? Note the upper receiver/firing chamber was the original so it was no suprise that it fired normally.
The two shot all plastic 22 cal from last month that fired with NO Metal except the cartrige with the brass case and bullet was much more of a milestone for 3D printed firearms but I have seen a ball point pen with one 22 cal bullet and a firing mechanism inside is more of a security threat for terrorist activity. Or a length of nylon cord is an easier to conseal as a deadly weapon, Chill out on the Firearm Anxiety! To protect yourself study personal defense methods like hand to hand combat. You can increase your defence capability 500% with a one day class....
RURC, The run-on may be an issue with the default font that your web browser uses, or possibly the character set. I have seen that in postings that came from other parts of the world, far away from where I live. Unfortunately I was not able to reconstruct the document after I pasted it into Word. So I have an interesting description of an interesting chemical process that requires a bunch of assumptions to interpret. Oh Well.
But my comment was made because I have seen things like that on other sites made as a means of hiding inappropriate comments from the filter. Hence my upset.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.