3D printing is a technology of liberty, and its rise is now unstoppable. The control freaks in Washington will, of course, try to ban certain types of data or criminalize certain types of CAD plans (i.e. criminalizing data), but their efforts will be useless. They are obsolete. 3D printing turns information into physical reality, and information is ridiculously easy to smuggle anywhere at the speed of light.
May 10, 2013
Fabrication power to the People! Why no government can stop the 3D printing revolution
[Adams and many others exaggerate the liberty aspect.
Yes. Information is extremely easy to smuggle. But there are a lot of limitations to what can be built. I also believe there are ways governments could essentially put an end to the untraceability of printed guns.
I expect that within a year or two governments will attempt forbidding the sale of printers that do not have a means to trace parts back to the printer. With 4473 type “registration” the government could then trace a printed item back to the purchaser of the printer.
There could even be attempts at full blown registration of 3-D printers. The current excitement on both sides of the gun control issue will then be considerably dampened.
From talking to people that have connections into the industry it appears the industry is aware of such potential and as a group tend to have high end tailor-made Wookie suits. This could make things more challenging for the government.
We live in interesting times.—Joe]
How are they going to regulate the multitude of roll-your-own 3D printers? The powers that be are going to look like Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House.
Just like they try to regulate guns. Simple, low reliability, low accuracy, low safety guns are relatively easy to make. The best guns are made and sold on the open market. And so it will be with 3-D printers. The best printers will be made by those that want to sell them on the open market and will be much more subject to regulation.
The Reprap is a good example of DIY 3d printers
I note in passing that the Read Me instructions and description for the software package of the Liberator was available in English and in Chinese.
I have heard absolutely nothing about the repercussions of this technology, or this software, regarding the Chinese bastion of Communist government.
Conventional machine tools have been around for a very long time, and of course the best guns are made with those. For now. Good luck banning those.
As always, the Forces of Darkness can probably ban 3D printers and/or 3D printed guns from the LAW ABIDING PUBLIC and of course the worst criminals and the worst tyrants will have them anyway. That of course creates an imbalance of power, favoring evil. Everyone knows this, and so any attempt to go down that road is noting but a war on polite society. Know that, understand it, embrace it as a constant, and then you will understand the world.
“I expect that within a year or two governments will attempt forbidding the sale of printers that do not have a means to trace parts back to the printer. With 4473 type “registration” the government could then trace a printed item back to the purchaser of the printer.”
That sounds an awful lot like a recipe to wreck the whole industry. How do you fix a printer so that something could be traced back to it? Smells like microstamping all over again.
Color printers are required to embed the serial number of the printer in every document they print as a means to thwart counterfeiting. I expect something similar could be required of 3-D printers. Of course with open source software for the printers this becomes a silly request. But don’t expect politicians to have a firm grasp on reality.
The Makerbot class of printers is, roughly speaking, some rods that make up an X/Y positioning table, some more for the Z axis, lead screws and stepper motors for the above, plus a head which is little more than a hot melt glue gun fed from a reel of fishing line. The kit is a nice thing to make it all easy, but if you had to build one from scratch using parts available in any industrial supplies catalog, that wouldn’t be hard to do. So regulating 3D printers is not going to work, people can easily make their own.
Then again, with time and practice you don’t need a machine like this. After all, what do the Kandahar backyard gunsmiths use to make the AK-47s they sell? As I recall, their tools amount to a file and a vise, nothing much more than that.
The report that instructions came in Chinese is very interesting. Russian and Korean would also be good options.
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I endorse this variant of Wookie Suit.