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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 18 2012: "Can we find a way to prevent an imminent threat for guns produced by 3D printing?"

    Yes: you can't print all parts because some parts, like the barrel, have to be made from high grade metal. The threat of 3D printers isn't so much that you can make a working gun with them (you can't), but outdated regulation allows for the serial number to be printed on parts that don't have be made from metal and can therefore be made with a 3D printer, so the answer is changing the regulation so that the serial number has to be printed on the barrel.
    • Dec 28 2012: Without understanding a lot I know that there are many 3d printers that do print metal parts
      • Dec 28 2012: Sure, in factories, but they wouldn't fit in your garage and they're not exactly affordable.

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