Could 3D printing threaten national security?

Not a day goes by without a story on a new advance or application in 3-D printing technology. While the technology promises cost and manufacturing benefits for many consumer, industrial, and medical parts, there’s concerns the technology might also get into the hands of adversaries building weapons to use against countries.

That’s the conclusion of a new RAND Corporation paper that suggests the access to additive manufacturing could enable military adversaries, violent extremists and even street criminals to easily produce their own weapons for use and sale.

Moreover, the study noted that 3-D printing technology is susceptible to hacking, which could enable hackers to maliciously instruct 3-D printers to introduce flawed instructions or algorithms into mission-critical parts of airplanes.

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