"The permissive liberal is a myth. They will be willing to chase this through the Internet and cut through every single civil liberty they can in the name of 'safety.'" Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed
There are laws that cover the manufacturing of firearms; even un-serialized ones built by hobbyists at home. Also frames have been made from injection molded plastic for a long time now. This issue really has nothing to do with guns. It is about what restrictions the can be put on computer data, and how far the government is able to go to control the data you access.
Cabe, My point exactly. Individuals who are committed to the life of crime will use surrounding/availabe resources for destruction. Its unfortunate that a machine designed to unleash creativity and allow imaginative freedom to make wonderful products may fall under government regulation scrutiny. What a sad day in the Maker community when the event happens.
Nothing will stop the production of weapons. I can whittle a knife out of wood or plastic. I could pound a pipe down, sharpen the now flat edge, and make a sword. I could just take the pipe as use it as a club. The possibilities are endless.
What I want to know, how can the average person profit from this worrying trend? Sell parts. Start a regulatory business. etc
bronorb, I agree the article Cabe wrote is a good one. Based on the conversations this topic of 3D printing guns is quite controversial. If Ford Motor company can use 3D printers to make engine parts through casting via molds, guns are quite trivial to make using this technology. Again, guns don't kill people but irresponsible individuals do.
My guess is that if guns are produced by the 3D method, that they won't be sold for legal,use anyway, so it is very unlikely that patent law vilolations will enter into the mix, even if they are blatant. But that could be one way to nab the bad-guys, I suppose. It seems that most bad-guys don't choose to be very public about announcing their tools.
I think the bigger problem here is the gun manufacturers intellectual property is being made willy-nilly. Guns are not open-source. So, I am sure people who print them may get prosecuted if they try and peddle their wares. Same goes for any object.
However, to the model builder, this is the ultimate evolution.
I am amazed that any plastic material could stand up to the chamber pressure of a gun. Of course it seems that the one used had a lower chamber pressure than most military ones.
Perhaps the legal definition needs to be revised a bit.
Of course many of those other matal parts could be made from a ceramic material, which would probably not show up on a metal detector. I know that knives made of FR4 circuit board matrerial, and of polycarbonate material, don't show up at all. The polycarbonate knife does not hold a decent edge very well, but the FR4 one will stay sharp long enough to cut up a cheap steak. They both resharpen with an ordinary sharpening stone.
Don't ask how I know, I forget the names of those who carried things as a test.
Take a chill-pill pal. I merely suggested that the article has some legitimate points about the fact that dangerous items may be produced with 3D printing and I feel that it is important that we keep up on that. As an instructor, I have to guide my students and make sure that they do not do anything inappropriate. For example, our students can get in big trouble for surfing porn on school computers. Using our 3D printers for creating potentially lethal items is another thing I will have to watch out for. They can "utilize their intelligence" in a less destructive direction.
I would also suggest that you are the one getting a little "emotional" here.
Are suggesting beware of the printed object or the people with mental issues? Because I would not fear an object and would not object to students utilizing their intelligence for exploring their interests (or 2nd amendment rights).
Somehow the "cat is out of the bag" tripe is emotionalizing something that is just a technology no different that machining the same components. These are the facts and trying to place an emotional connotation to a legal engineering venture is political haymaking!
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