Dangerous side of 3D printing technology

Indian law prohibits owning a firearm without a proper license. Similarly, the US law forbids the purchase of guns by convicted felons.

On May 6, 2013, a video surfaced on the internet showing a young man in blue jeans and a black polo shirt firing a single bullet from an off-white, plastic 380 single-shot pistol called “the Liberator”, fabricated by him with a Stratasys 3D printer bought on eBay. That young man was Cody Wilson – a Texan law student, who overnight turned into a cult figure and garnered headlines worldwide. After test firing, Wilson published the blueprints of the gun’s design online, which was downloaded in excess of 120,000 times in two days. Following this, the US Department of State clobbered a restraint order against Wilson and his company ‘Defense Distributed’ which was overturned in August this year, allowing him to once again freely publish designs of 3D printed guns and share the same with one and all on the internet. 

These blueprints would potentially allow anyone with a 3D printer to make an untraceable, unregulated gun at home.

These blueprints would potentially allow anyone with a 3D printer to make an untraceable, unregulated gun at home. The 3D blueprints are today also available on several CAD (computer-aided design) repository sites and can also be downloaded for free from torrent sites. Thirty seconds of googling are all one would need to fish out these files. It’s kind of creepy to envisage that in our country today, we have no clue as to how many of our citizens possess a 3D printer, how many of them have downloaded the blueprints of 3D guns and how many of them are in possession of 3D printed guns? 

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