questionswhat do you think about printable guns becoming a…

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Cool in concept, potentially dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.

That being said, overblown. As this becomes more available, 3D printers will likely become extremely regulated, or plans for weapons will fall in the lines of the Anarchist's Cookbook.

Given that 3D printed guns seem to be a few years off, I feel that some sort of regulation will be formed by the time they become easily producible. At least, I hope so.

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I think it's an interesting idea but, as the article states, it's not going to be easy to do.
The plastics used in 3D printers just don't have the strength to adequately contain and direct the pressure that is generated when a bullet is fired.

@thedogma - I really hope that you're wrong about extreme regulation of 3D printers. Yes, they might be able to be used to create weapons. But so can a whole bunch of various parts available at your local big box home improvement store, kitchen knives, baseball bats and a variety of other items. We don't need more regulation to keep us safe because someone might use a 3D printer to make something that might be able to be used as a weapon.

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lathes and machinists tools are far more likely to be used to build a firearm from scratch. right now, not in some years-away hypothetical future.

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Quite gripping, really, when you think about it.

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I don't see it happening anytime soon, if at all.

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I think it is interesting, but not practical from a firearm standpoint. Such a firearm would be useful for only a few shots, it would have little longevity. Of course such a "plastic" gun would be more concealable, but current body scanners would still likely detect it. It is already possible to machine parts to produce such a weapon today without hassling with this future and likely inferior technology for this type of purpose. It would, however, be quite useful to print parts for a prototype firearm that would then be refined and machined out of more sturdy materials.

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@gt0163c: That's a pretty good point, I hadn't thought about that. I could also see them programming the printers to prevent them from producing certain items/ shapes.

This of course would be readily hackable, but with the right precautions, could deter a large population from trying.

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yeah, because printers today can't be used to counterfeit money. Oh, wait....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7enjABApKWE

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"Yo! As soon as this is done printing, give me your wallet!"

..."PC Load Letter? What the %#$& does THAT mean?"

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The ATF says is already legal to manufacture a firearm without a license so long as you follow a few simple rules.

You have to be legal to own a gun.
You can't sell the gun you made.
You can't build "non sporting" guns from imported parts.
It can't be an NFA* item (unless you pay your taxes).

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/general.html#gca-manufacturing

*NFA items include things like silencers, full auto (neither would be reliably printed), short barrel riffles/shotguns (you can shoot out of a plastic barrel while I stand way over here) and destructive devices (not sure how you are going to print a live rocket/grenade out of plastic).

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When "printable guns" moves to being able to print the entire firearm and not just the lower receiver/aesthetic parts, then we'll talk. Until then, "printable guns" are a gimmick not worthy of the general public's time.

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I've followed the 3-d printing noise for quite awhile now, and the potential to produce unlimited prototypes before production without having to involve a machine shop is a big deal. Whoever got the 'plastic gun' concept in their head and decided to make it a problem is so far out of line it's ludicrous.
Already, anyone who thinks they want a gun can and will get a gun, so this is really a moot point.