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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 27 2012: I struggle to see the argument here. The fact that people can grow marijuana at home hasn't affected the legislation, so why should printable guns affect the laws regarding firearms?
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      Nov 30 2012: The best analogy is probably music piracy. In the days before high-quality MP3 formats people could pass along recordings made on tape cassettes. Piracy there was limited by the distribution of the physical media. The Internet exploded this as on person or a group of people could upload millions of songs on peer-to-peer networks allowing millions of people to download them subverting the normal market. As 3D printers become ubiquitous as I would expect them to be one day, the designs for these guns will be available on the Net either through public websites or through more covert peer-to-peer networks. It will be far easier for someone to fabricate a gun.

      Yes, quality control is a big issue as they note in the video but my expectation is that 3D printing is going to be so popular that companies are going to pour money into them and soon they'll be able to print in far greater strengths, possibly sintered metal as Peter points out below.

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