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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:26 PM

So, 3D printers

What should gun laws look like in a world where anybody can download the schematics of a gun and print out a working model in a few minutes?

(That world is probably 2 to 3 years from now.)

18 replies, 1984 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply So, 3D printers (Original post)
Recursion Dec 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #1
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #7
aikoaiko Dec 2012 #12
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #15
aikoaiko Dec 2012 #16
Moonwalk Dec 2012 #2
jeepnstein Dec 2012 #3
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #4
wandy Dec 2012 #5
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #6
jeepnstein Dec 2012 #13
aikoaiko Dec 2012 #17
holdencaufield Dec 2012 #18
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #8
Recursion Dec 2012 #10
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #14
mwrguy Dec 2012 #9
Recursion Dec 2012 #11

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:33 PM

1. I have a basic Dimension 3D printer, it won't do guns, BUT...

There are others out there that do metal in a sintering process.

I don't see printing rifled high strength barrels anytime soon, not more easily than a simple metal lathe can do right now (and has been able to do for over hundreds of years).

To people who worry about 3D printers printing guns, I suggest they don't have to wait and can worry right now about existing machine tools.

But digital fabrication always makes for interesting discussion!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:32 PM

7. Yeah, the metal stainless steel printers wouldn't be good for barrels.

You still want it forged for safety.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:12 PM

12. What about AR lowers?


Polymer AR lowers have been working well for a long time.

I wonder if the plastic is comparable.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

15. Yes you can print them. No, it's not comparable.

Last edited Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:50 PM - Edit history (2)

The Dimension and most 3D printers (except for stereolithography) use ABS plastic, not nearly as tough as phenolic resin or acetal resin or reinforced thermoplastics.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:34 PM

16. You're right. That was weak sauce.


Thanks for sharing.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:40 PM

2. Well, not anyone. Such scanners ain't going to be cheap....

...meaning it'll still be cheaper to buy a guy at a store or gun show than scan one up. Not only will the scanners cost an arm-and-a-leg but each scan will cost a lot. You think buying new ink for your printer is expensive? That ain't nothing compared to this.

So while I grant you that corporations and millionaires might have such toys in a few years, I think it's going to be a while before they trickle on down to the masses, and certainly a lot longer than that before some hoodlum in a cheap apartment can "print" one up off the internet.

What happens when we get to that point will be interesting--because you have to remember that with each such step in that direction we're also making new internet laws. It's the old rule of writing good science fiction--nothing happens in a vacuum. A space traveler isn't going to be running around with a sword (or if he is, you'd better explain that it's part of his religion). Technology breeds both technology and cultural change.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:55 PM

3. The only answer is to ban them for private ownership.

Or at least register and highly tax them. Anyone who can't afford the tax probably doesn't have any need for such a printer anyway. You could always go to a company that owned one to do any legitimate 3D printing that you might need done. I just don't see why anyone needs such a printer.

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:10 PM

4. The U.S. doesn't have a Dept. of Needs.

We don't have to justify our purchases to the government. If we did, alarmists would have long ago made sure that you had to demonstate a need for a computer way before they became so useful.

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

5. By this reasonong home computers should also be banned......

Because you can use them to by parts and build you're own gun..
http://www.ar15builder.com/
Oh wait, you want to kill quietly, order up an online crossbow...
http://www.cheaperthandirt.net/ItemListing.aspx?catid=10262
And if we banned home computers people couldn't order things like this.....
http://www.allegromedical.com/?campaign=google&net=s&src=&adid=12468991398&bkw=medical%20supplies&gclid=COHw46-ou7QCFcU-MgodfjcAow&utm_expid=44248-1&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

Why do people think that printing themselves up a gun is the only reason to want a 3D printer?

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:31 PM

6. Trollin, trollin, trollin :)

Hey, you got two fish on!

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:36 PM

13. Just sailing the seas of cheese.

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:39 PM

17. The early 90s was great for music.


rawk!!!

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Response to jeepnstein (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:04 AM

18. Are you being ironic? I can't tell.

 

If you were -- then well done. You're spot on.

If you weren't then --- ummmm, sorry?

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:35 PM

8. You can't print out a working model.

Several parts in the gun must be made out of metal, and not just any metal, but forged, heat treated metal. Other parts also need to be metal, not to withstand pressure, but to withstand elastic strain and shock.

There are parts you can make out of plastic or printed metal, but only some of them. For instance, an AR lower. That can be done today. The quality isn't great, but it's there. But the parts inside are still going to be metal. And that's only about 1/3 of the gun right there. The upper needs to be a lot stronger to handle the strain of the bolt slamming back and forth, to say nothing of the bolt itself, the chamber and barrel, etc.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:25 PM

10. Moore's law

Give it 4 years

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:57 PM

14. You could couple the printer with a forge, which is easy enough for the mechanically inclined

and use the 3d printer to make your molds. So, there's that I guess.

In four years, I don't foresee home-level metal printers of the type that can make the barrel and chamber. Perhaps the other parts. We shall see.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:21 PM

9. Anyone with a Dremel tool can build a working firearm.

3D printers are just a fancy method.

Right now there are guys in Pakistan making AK47s with a drill press and some files.

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:26 PM

11. Not with one button push

I mean, yes, I realize that, but this could be a quite different thing in just a few years.

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