bronorb...... I also could not agree with you more. Particularly from your "institutional" perspective, monitoring of what goes on is crucial. There are way too many knuckleheads out there ready AND able to do some pretty stupid things with this new technology.
A good and timely discussion to have, nonetheless.....there are ALWAYS unintended consequences to be dealt with on both sides. Thanks.
shrimper, you can minimize the impacts of this all you want, but I work in an educational institution where many people have access to 3D printers. We now have to keep a more vigilant eye on what is being built and by whom. My main concern is not that someone is going to shoot up the place. I am worried that a curious student or staff member is going to print out these parts, assemble them, and then have it blow up in their face. Who do you think will get sued?
Others have made comments that technology has existed to make guns for many years and that is true. In fact, we have machine shops here for training purposes that have all of the equipment. The big difference is that it takes a certain amount of skill and time to make a functioning weapon out of steel. These 3D printed guns require nothing more than the knowledge to download the files, open them in the printer software, and assemble the parts when they are done. It is designed so that ANYBODY can do it.
I, for one, will be watching this very closely. Another thanks to Cabe for bringing this to our attention.
Ah, the consequences..... Just remember the vast number of EXISTING laws violated in the Newtown and Colorado, and in other similar events.. ......more laws , more regs do nothing but disarm the law-abiding. AND , don't forget what put an end to each incident...... good guys, WITH GUNS!
Of course, we'll now have the outcry for the government to once again protect us.... when the result will be just the opposite.
The media is full of dire warnings about 3D Printed weapons, and everyone is calling for new laws to address the issue. It is ridiculous to treat this as anything new, when this process cannot do anything that cannot be done using other methods which are readily available. Fully functional firearms can be, and have been, constructed from back-yard castings, CNC milled parts, and even hammered out of sheet stock.
Cabe, You bring up a very good point about regulation. It seems as though if all eyes are on a subject, say drugs, then the offenders become more active in trying to beat the system. So, if there is no regulation (attention), then maybe the offenders will not attempt to use 3D printers for wrong doings. It may just work.
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