PC World takes a very deep look at some of the criminal possibilities of 3D printing in a recent article. We’ve been quite concerned about how this will play out, as have some others. When you have a machine that can create practically anything, what do you expect to happen?
PC World’s article details a few incidents we’ve seen before, such as the 3D printed handcuff key and the ATM skimmer replacement. The latest incident seems a bit more troubling: someone posted a magazine for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which then led to another creator posting a key part for the AR-15 rifle (the Lower Receiver), seemingly opening up the possibility of bypassing legal checks normally required when purchasing said rifle.
Much discussion ensued among blogs, and especially on the Thingiverse page where this item still resides. Is this a legal thing? Is it moral to post it or weapons in general? Will the part actually work anyway? What does the law say.
What do we think? We think you should read the lengthy comments at Thingiverse.