Tech Soup  

3D printed guns on the horizon

As the gun control debate rages on in America a new technology is starting to hit the mainstream that could make obtaining a gun virtually as easy as downloading a file. That technology is 3D printing.

Likely the biggest public advocate of 3D printed guns is 24-year-old Cody Wilson who owns Defense Distributed.

Cody’s company has created a website called DEFCAD which contains different files that 3D printers can use to print different components of a gun.

A popular 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, once housed many of these same files on their website at Thingiverse.

When MakerBot removed all gun-related files from Thingiverse, Cody jumped into action in order to defend the freedom of information, a controversial move.

One day 3D printers will be as common as inkjet printers, and that day may not be very far away.

3D printers are already dropping in price substantially; in fact you can purchase the MakerBot Replicator 2 for $2,199 USD (http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2.html).

So as governments spend time and money trying to develop laws and regulations that keep traditional guns out of the hands of dangerous people, technology is leapfrogging their efforts and opening a whole new world of potential turmoil.

But any profound innovation comes with a dark side - the day we can purchase a 3D printer, and then print a second 3D printer for our friends with the original printer.

Oh wait, it looks like that day has already arrived!

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Each week, Tech Soup will be written by a member of the Okanagan's burgeoning first-rate technology community. We already have a few regular contributors, but if you're interested in writing a tech piece for this weekly column, send us an email to [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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