TED Conversations

J Chang
  • J Chang
  • Houston, TX
  • United States

Creator / Founder, Houston Shakers TEDx talks

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Can we find a way to prevent an imminent threat for guns produced by 3D printing?

I read an article today in "The Atlantic" by Philip Bumb that brought up an issue that I have never thought about: the ability to make guns with 3D printers. Please let me start off by stating that I am very ignornant with this technology, but I am quite fascinated by the possibilities and good that it brings. However, think about this: As the 3D printer technology gets better, smarter, and more accessible to the masses, the threat of an even greater gun related violence is there.
People will no longer need to go through the regulations and background checks to purchase guns (not that they have had a huge dent in the violence), they would just need to get a blue print (internet DIY), click, and print.
Yes, I do understand that the technology is not quite there, that the materials to produce these weapons are more complex that non tech people think. However, there's no denying that it will happen.
My question now is there anyway that we can implement a device, chip, or whatever that wouldn't allow certain items to be printed?
Thank you and pardon my naivety on this subject matter, I'm eager to see what your solutions are.


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  • Dec 20 2012: At some point in the future, someone will develop a technology that will make the current most advanced 3D printers look like children play toys, when that technology reach the masses, anyone will be able to print anything from kitchen knifes to airplanes, guns included. Under those circumstances, any legislative attempt to control guns will be doomed to failure, so the only effective gun control would be that embedded in the citizens minds, and I am not talking about an implanted chip on the brain but about a good education based on empathy, responsibility and self discipline.

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