Skip to comments.Like It Or Not, 3D Printing Will Probably Be Legislated
Posted on 01/18/2013 12:56:41 PM PST by DBrow
As the race and its basically a race to release as many 3D-printed gun parts as possible heats up, its never been harder for me to come down on the side of the Freedom To Tinker crowd. Last weekend Defense Distributed, a group dedicated to releasing plans for a 3D printed gun, posted a video and description of their 3D-printed AR-15 thirty-round magazine. The video, which is, unnecessarily, full of snarky vitriol, shows that, on some level, the 3D printed gun isnt very far off. It also shows that the call for 3D printer legislation could soon overpower the call for freedom.
The problem with childish displays of firepower coupled with Hows that national conversation going? is that it proves that the folks who are doing this tinkering are less than responsible. They feel that this is a freedom of speech issue rather than a gun control issue. Its abundantly clear that the lads at Defense Distributed are enjoying their newfound notoriety and, like a boy band on their first tour, theyre ready to trash some hotel rooms. The resulting shenanigans have convinced Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) to call for the banning of undectable 3-D printed high-capacity magazines. He updated his website yesterday, writing:
The law would make it illegal to manufacture, own, transport, buy, or sell any firearm or magazine that is homemade and not detectable by metal detector and/or does not present an accurate image when put through an x-ray machine. It is a noble if quixotic goal.
Politics, as weve learned, is woefully unprepared to handle major technological advancement. While Israel means well, his ability to keep an 3D model off of Google is laughable at best and dangerous at worst. As a gun control proponent, I know that now, more than ever, we need sane and effective controls on weapons in our country. As a believer in the unfettered growth of technology, on the other hand, I will defend Defense Distributed to the death while hating their crass methodology. Israels efforts only serve to give the DD kids a frisson of the martyr while avoiding the real problem of non-3D printed guns that are far more prolific and far easier to obtain.
The danger in legislating 3D printers is that it is on one hand impossible and on the other hand potentially damaging to a nascent industry. We have no idea what these printers will be able to do in the future and the best a home 3D printer can do, really, is punch out something like this handsome Nokia case. That will soon change. Again and again I equate this technology to the way dot matrix printers eventually begat the desktop publishing features available to even the rankest of amateurs today. However, a printed page can never be used to kill someone.
To use a 3D printer is to understand the current limitations of the platform and the potential inherent in the technology. It is a wonderful feeling to watch a Makerbot churn out a little plastic figurine and I want my kids to understand this fascinating technology from the very start. The potential damage that could be wrought by 3D-printing legislation could, potentially, destroy the industry but I doubt it. In fact, Id say it would do the opposite. Technological advances usually route around damage and, in this case, legislation is damage.
But DD is going to keep at their project and benighted congress members will keep thinking they can, quite literally, nip this problem in the bud and they will be wrong. Whatever comes next for 3D printing, I doubt it will be very pleasing to those who are more worried about defending free inquiry
There may be a future where many common objects we used can be customized and printed at home, at need.
This won't happen if the government becomes afraid.
Bloomberg’s stooge Israel’s bill is DOA.
Probably. And Obama can’t win with the economy like this. lol
Someone will move to regulate 3d printers. A lot of the stuff we go to Target to buy could be printed in the near future, and the Targets, WalMarts, and Kroegers won’t like that.
3D printing could be the steam engine of a new industrial revolution. The U.S. is in danger of legislating itself right out of the race.
If you could poop C4 by eating a combination of foods, they would regulate that too.
Or handgrips for a 1911...
Another unenforcable lae
Ah! I see you have tried my venison chili.
Bwhaaaa! Congressman Dufus actually thinks the government has the power to remove something from the Internet! I guess he doesn't understand that nature of the Internet and the fact the once something is put out there it will NEVER truly disappears.
Well, one thing that used to be on the net was an article or two about Abbie Hoffmann visiting the Carter White House while on the FBI Wanted list.
Carter was instrumental in helping Abbie come clean, serve some time, and re-enter society. Abby dated Amy Carter for a while.
But try to find ONE reference to his meetings with Jimmy Carter! Scrubbed clean. It can be done.
On the other side, the possibilities are endless. Less waste, pick up your refill cartridges at recycle centers, pick up your print out at Walmart, etc. It could really change many things if it is carried out to the fullest.
Ammonium nitrate... terrorist.
Plastic cube... terrorist.
“Yes, the first to protest and urge ‘regulation’ would be the manufactures and companies that would be threatened.”
And in the article, it’s GUNS again threatening the CHILDREN, not home printers threatening the annual bonuses of CEOs.
I saw a video of an illegal firearms factory in either Pakistan or China. Small foundry, lathe, milling machine.
The sort of thing you could do in a garage.
They might make laws, but it won’t actually stop anything. I know people that make their own guns the hard way (with steel and effort), probably against the law already, doesn’t stop them. That’s the fun part about converting raw materials, if the materials are legal it doesn’t matter if the verb is or isn’t, people will do it. As long as there’s enough thing to do with 3D printing that the general populace wants that core technology available outlawing certain printed objects will be meaningless.
I agree. Until the oppressors grow so strong they can keep us away from fire and metal there will be guns.
I have those tools in my shop. I also have files and hammers. I'm a fairly dangerous man, I suppose.
Well, according to the article you are not really dangerous until you add a 3d printer.
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