Are 3D Printer Gun Models A Menace?

GSV144 Are 3D Printer Gun Models A Menace?

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Geek Smack: Using 3D Printers to Make Guns

A couple weeks ago I watched an episode of CSI where the crew deduces a gun that killed 2 people was fabricated with a 3D printer. This idea is not impossible; the other day someone made a fun and fired a few rounds out of it. Now Rep Steve Isreal has called for a ban on making firearms using a 3D printer. Will that be enough?

3D printers have been growing in popularity in the last few years. They can make prototypes of products or parts for your inventions almost instantly. Newer ones have been more accurate and come out with less mistakes.They have made everything from chess pieces to replacement parts for broken items. They also been used to make 3D versions of child memes.

There are two sides to this coin – one is the 3D printer you can now buy at Staples and use it for making parts. Then there are those who can buy the parts and build their own 3D printers. There are websites that have open source designs you can input into your printer and make. That could include a design to make a gun. Just download the file on a USB drive and insert into your printer.

What Isreal is looking to do is have a DCMA takedown of any design that comes up on the Internet. Only problem is – once the design is made people will find ways to get it. There is also a proposition that the 3D printer could recognize a gun design and stop printing.

Unfortunately that could be over-ridden by a tech-savvy programmer. It’s a concerning proposition – if a gun can be made from a 3D printer with no metal parts, it could possibly go through scanning systems without detection. Therefore, you could go through security systems with your 3D gun model (taken apart) then put it all back together when ready to use it.

Can you stop something like that? Is there even a way? All you need is a couple thousand dollars and you can make a very crude but useful arsenal.

The only saving grace is the bullets still have to be made of metal.


Geek Smack! is a weekly video show and podcast that comes out every Tuesday evening. Your host: Jeffrey Powers – talks tech news, IT news and geek news for the week. Geek Smack! is ©2012 under a Creative Commons no-deriv license. Never take candy from strangers. If you would like more information about what is technology, recent news, Geekazine, and Jeffrey Powers, feel free to contact him. Jeffrey Powers does interviews, just ask!

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About Jeffrey Powers - @geekazine

I am a podcaster and V-Caster. I love to go out and talk tech with anyone. I enjoy talking with startups because they have new and innovative technologies. You can find Geekazine at Google+ and me at my page. I also have shows at Day in Tech History, iPad365, This Week in Google Glass and a Podcast Coach at How to Record Podcasts. You can also sign up for a Helpout