Good article, Cabe and good discussion. I think it is very important that we are all aware of the progression of this technology into the arena of gun manufacturing. A lot of the discussion is around the fact that an actual firing gun cannot be created with a 3D printer,... yet. As the technology moves ahead, it surely will be possible.
As an instructor in a college where we use 3D printers every day, I have to be aware that students may be downloading files from the internet and building inherently dangerous objects such as these. I really can't think of a student of mine that would use this technology to harm others, but how do I really know for sure. The Sandy Hook killer was just a guy with some mental issues before that tragic day.
The 3D Printed cat is out of the bag. This article increases our knowledge-base on the capabilities. Be aware, people.
So you agree that it is the person and not the object that is irresponsible, so why is it "unfortunate" that a 3-D printer can print said object? If I have a 3-D printer capable of providing me a competive product (that is protected from government infringement as clearly stated in the 2nd amendment), why is it not economically good for me? Can I not use my resources to provide for myself?
And by the way, I do not believe 3-D printers are used to make child's toys (except maybe in prototype engineering for toy companies). This same type of technology is being used to prototype and produce military hardware!
redandgearhead, I agree. Guns aren't the problem but irresponsible people who used them. The 26 deaths that just occured in Newpoint, CT is a good example of how irresponsible and unstable people are. Giving them access to print guns make these concern not hysterical, but a dangerous REALITY. Like all things created for the benefit of society, those who are unstable will find a dark side application for them. Its unfortunate that a good machine like a 3D printer can now be used to make weapons instead of a child's toy. Speaking of a child's toy, my prayers go out to all the parents, family, and friends that have lost their children, and co-workers in such a senseless act of destruction.
Arguments aside, will 3D printing change the manufacturing world? In particular, the weapons makers of the world?
This person's experiment shows that the materials needed to make the gun work is not what is readily available. Is glass filled plastic for printers is an option? Even if the gun's critical areas are metal inserts, the surrounding plastic would warp easily.
I think 3D printing may still stay in the prototype/concept/model area for some time to come.
This is the beginning of the end of government control of everything. As we move down the chain of size, we will be able to print or fabricate anything, regardless of government, public or other opinion.
It's this thing we call freedom.
Just avoid the thrashing tail of the government dinosaur. You know the reason politicians hate the idea of uncontrolled weapons is that they will be the primary targets. We have a near infinite supply of politicians, so we may eventually get some honest ones.
The frame, grips and magazine shell can be made of plastic. I few other low-stress parts could be as well. However, the parts of the gun that make it a firearm can't be made of plastic. At least not the plastics we have today. We're not talking about metal inserts, either. The chamber, barrel, hammer and firing pin, plus various pins and springs must be made of metal.
Real weapons manufacturers might consider 3D printing for initial prototyping, but I doubt they would concider them for manufacturing. It's far cheaper and faster to cast plastic parts than print them.
Alright, so you don't think that it's note worthy. That's your opinion and I don't see anything in the article that supports your assumption as there are references to other articles on the subject. The article is a good overview discussion of the legality of use of 3D printing to manufacture a gun - it points out accurately the legal issue of producing a gun without metal.
I think that your opinion is clouded by your ideology and that inhibits your ability to engage in a discussion as there is nothing in the article that demonizes 3D printing nor even guns - saying that guns are deadly or that a catastrophic event could kill is merely stating fact. That you see demonization implies that you are more concerned with projecting your will than anything else.
Yes, culture underpins freedom, and government is the product of culture. The bottom line here is this... I have no opposition to debate if the original premise is legit. However, in this case, the article begins with the completely false assumption that the 3D printing of a weapon is a noteworthy development. I would easily argue that in fact it is not. People have developed hundreds if not thousands of methods to hurt [or terminate] each other since time began. It's a product of the culture. As such, the only common denominator to all those methods is the human being. So, in summary, I will not accept even a suggestion or hint that the wrong item be termed causal and then summarily demonized, limited, restricted, or regulated on the false premise that it'll somehow make us all "safer". THAT, my friend, would be an unintended consequence of a paranoid and squeamish culture. And, for the record, there wasn't any "belly-ache" in my previous post. Nothing but love and enthusiasm, buddy. Have a nice day.
I don't feel sorry for you but those you know. You didn't comprehend my post so of course you don't get it. What was that diatribe about? First you don't want to talk about the implications of the 3D printing of guns and then you spill your guts about what you believe, which is nothing but singing the praises of your "freedom" (whatever that means) loving, and more important, tough self. Wow! You're not afraid! Thanks for letting us know.
The fact is that guns don't guarantee "freedom" (whatever that means), culture does. This article is not a wate of time as it forces a discussion of things that are a consequence of engineering and are thus part of engineering. Of course you could "debate", but you haven't. All you've done is belly ache about you.
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