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Greg Worden

Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business, Worden Associates

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Is Gun Control Over? New 3D printers threaten to make the issue obsolete.

The rise of the Internet and three dimensional (3D) printers will remake manufacturing. As the prices of 3D printers fall and their quality and capability gradually increase we'll be able to make increasingly sophisticated objects. Companies are working on the ability to print electronics as well as increasingly stronger plastics and resins. Thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/) from MakerBot is a great place to find ideas and designs that can be downloaded.

What if you could download a design to print a gun? What would that do to gun control laws?

Not possible? Check out WikiWeapon at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ6Q3BfbVBU

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  • Nov 26 2012: "Is Gun Control Over? New 3D printers threaten to make the issue obsolete."

    Try to fire a gun with a plastic barrel, just make sure you're wearing a bomb suit...
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      Nov 26 2012: I take it you've never fired a Glock?
      • Nov 26 2012: Don't confuse the exterior of a gun with its interior: a Glock may have plastic components but I can assure you the barrel is made out of metal.

        @ below

        Not only do you need a metal barrel, you also need a metal trigger hammer, metal bullets and probably metal parts for the chambering and reloading mechanisms.

        One thing about gun regulations that could change is that serial numbers will in the future be required to be put on necessarily metal components such as the barrel.
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          Nov 27 2012: I get that. But the idea is that if you have a barrel and a firing mechanism you can build your own weapon. Any weapon. Think about that.

          What would that do to registration laws?

          I could see the McGiver episode now...
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        Nov 26 2012: Just to elaborate on what John said:
        Plastics do not handle heat well: they melt at low temperatures and are poor thermal conductors. Cordite has a flame temperature of ~3000C, while Dupont has a high-temperature plastic that can withstand 230C, and as you approach the melting point of any solid its tensile strength approaches zero.
        • Nov 27 2012: Also, chamber pressures can be very high. For a 9mm it's approximately 30,000 .. 35,000 PSI.
          And, Glock barrels are definitely made of high quality steel.

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