Are 3D Printers Scary?

By on May 16th, 2013 in Ideas

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We’re reading a post by Shelly Palmer of Huffington Post entitled, “3D Printing is Way Scarier Than Plastic Guns”. Palmer describes the recent 3D printed gun scenario that we’ve covered in several posts and then goes on to suggest that the knee-jerk reactions of various politicians are misguided, sensational and “like putting a Band-Aid on a heart attack”
He feels these machines are indeed scary because, for example, one could 3D print guns not only in plastic, but in metal if you happened to have the right kind of 3D printer. And you can print any type of weapon imaginable, even those not even imagined yet.  He says: 
Plastic guns?  Seriously. How about guns printed in steel, guns printed in carbon fiber, guns printed in, you name it – there’s a 3D printer that can print in the medium.  In a world of 3D printers, there is no such thing as gun control – people who are so inclined will print all the guns and ammo they need – untraceable, no serial numbers, no markings about point of origin, no trade marks, nothing! 
He goes to propose that notwithstanding the potential problems, the “benefits of 3D printing are overwhelmingly positive”.
We agree with this assessment. Over time 3D printers will become more capable and with vastly increased availability. At some point they will be commonplace and society must catch up, or at least react in some sensible way.  
Being able to create any object on demand is powerful. But like any technology, it can be used for good or evil.  
Think about it. What happened when suddenly everyone could write and say what they thought?
That didn’t turn out bad, did it? 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!


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