Just as you are, we're getting tired of speculative propositions on the prospect of 3D printed weapons and try not to post on it, but we encountered an interesting question of this ilk on Quora.
The question read:
Could a small 3D printer be brought through security at an airport and then used to make a weapon?Is the scenario described in the question possible using a 3D printer like a Makerbot is used since it can be assembled from parts or probably even taken past security whole?
We think this kind of question is typical in that it ignores so many other aspects of the situation, including:
- The time required to assemble and calibrate your 3D printer, which could be many hours
- The tools required to build it
- The time required to actually print anything useful, likely many hours or even days
- The requirement of non-plastic components for use in almost any useful weapon that may not make it through security, particularly explosive material such as gunpowder
- The obvious question of exactly where you'd find "workshop" space to set up operations and still somehow remain stealthy
- The clearly unusual scenario of bringing all these parts, tools and material through security and using them for hours on end without raising anyone's suspicion
Nope, we can't see this happening.
Image Credit: Tim Musson