Over the last couple of years there has been many great stories in the news that involves 3D printers technology and the advances they have made, many people believe that we are about to witness some of the greatest changes since the birth of the internet itself. 3D printing technology certainly has a lot to offer; already we have seen advancements in the building industry, Medical uses, Food and drug industries and a whole host of other industries are all researching 3D printing of one kind or another.
Recent announcements in the technology world have brought us amazing things such as plans for buildings being 3D “printed” on the Moon, Skin tissue to aid burn victims being “printed” using 3D technology, 3D printers that can print a whole range of drugs and food in war zones or areas of famine and severe poverty, these are just a few of the things that have been announced recently and there are many more out there.
All of the above projects are still in the early days of development but it’s exciting to see the potential of this upcoming technology and the changes it will bring to the world as we know it. All of the projects above seem to offer up a positive change to mankind has a whole but the problem with technology is that along with the positives you tend to get negatives too.
Technology often has a dark side to it, at one side you will have great minds contemplating what good can be done with this great new bit of technology that has been discovered, but as always with us humans, there is always someone somewhere who looks at the dark side to see what bad can be done too, and today, in my opinion I have seen, or at least read about, the dark side of 3D printing.
Today I read a story on the BBC News website titled “Working Gun Made with 3D printer”. Some readers may already be aware of this as it has been well reported recently, but if you are not here is a brief overview.
A group or company called Defence Distributed based in Austin Texas, USA came up with the blueprint that would enable them to print a gun using a 3D printer purchased from EBay, the story has ran for some months now and it caused quite a stir around the world as they announced that they would release the blueprint online so anyone who had access to a 3D printer could use it to manufacture their own gun. The story has moved on a little now with Defence Distributed announcing that they have actually manufactured a gun using a 3D printer, furthermore they have actually had this gun operational in the shooting range firing live rounds.
This is the thing that amazes me is why a gun? And why call the gun a Liberator!!!
I’m not sure how the average American feels about this as the USA has very different laws when it comes to guns. Many states in the US allow people to carry guns for self- defence but here in the UK, and from my point of view, the thought of any Tom, Dick or Harry being able to arm themselves with a gun that you can print at home is pretty scary, and can only lead to chaos.
If I am being honest I would say that developing and printing then releasing the ‘How To’ info to the general nutcase on the world wide web is a pretty irresponsible thing for these guys to do, as if things aren’t already bad enough in the world, let’s all print our weapons. In fact why stop there, maybe we should all start enriching uranium in our basements and have a real weapons party.
The gun that these guys have printed is actually manufactured or printed from a hard plastic, every part of it apart from the firing pin, which can also be made from plastic. This obviously makes it totally undetectable to airport security and probably interesting to terrorists too.
Once you allow your mind to delve into the potential dark side of 3D printing a whole host of devious items can be made. It’s not the technologies fault; it’s the people behind it that do the harm. In my opinion a gun is made for the sole purpose which is to kill and try as I might I can’t seem to get a positive from that fact.
It’s a real shame that already the innovation of 3D printing has been tarnished, how long will it be before we read headlines like, “Man shot dead by homemade Gun printed at home” or “ Plane hijacked by terrorist with plastic Gun”.
Someone once said “With knowledge comes responsibility” maybe someone should point this out to the inventors of this gun…..
Since releasing this blog it has been announced that the US government has demanded that the blueprints be taken offline to stop them from being downloaded. A demand that is a little too late according to Cody Wilson, founder of the company Defense Distributed and co-creator of the Liberator. In his own words “the Genie is out of the bottle”. The blueprints were released through Pirate Bay with Cody reporting since that this story broke around the world the download rate has simply soared.
The story continues…..
Michael is a content writer for www.cartridgeexpress.net. He writes blogs and articles on many subjects including industry news, recycling and printer cartridges.