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News & For Sale “3D printing a firearm” by Amanda

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John Booty 6 years ago on 05/09/13
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
Reading my posts above, I don't think I made my point very clearly. 3D printing is fucking awesome, don't get me wrong. It's so cool for so many things.

But I can't help but think that some of our exuberance is due to the fact that America generally doesn't make its own physical stuff these days, and most of us have zero firsthand experience with commercial manufacturing

Even looking at something simple like the flashlight on my desk, it's not just made from a more advanced material than we can currently print at home. It's made from:

- Milled aluminum
- Some kind of shatter-resistant glass or plastic
- An LED diode
- A couple of rubber rings
- A reflector
- A rubber coating on the power button
- I'm guessing some kind of Teflon bushing on the twisty part?
- If you want to include the battery, there's a whole bunch of rare earth minerals in there
- I believe there are some voltage regulation chips in there

And that's a $19.99 flashlight from Target, nothing very high-end. You'd need a large variety of fabrication devices just to print/manufacture something like this at home. Straight-up, that's kind of never happening.

And even if you had the requisite roomful of fabbing devices (or one extremely advanced one, I guess) there'd still be material costs and the time/skill required to assemble your homemade flashlight. We're decades away from home technology (particularly the skilled assembly part) being any kind of a rival to manufacturing consumer goods that are more complex than a refrigerator magnet.

I'm not even sure we should be comparing the effect of 3D printing to the disruptions caused by VCRs and mp3s. Napster let you copy the most elaborately-produced album ever made for zero dollars and zero effort: you could copy a Michael Jackson album with 300 guest singers and producers as easily as some demo tape recorded in a garage.

3D-printing things at home will always incur assembly time and material costs that ramp up quite quickly as you try to reproduce anything made from multiple materials, parts, etc. Like, you're just straight-up not going to ever print a laptop or a Mercedes at home.

It's 3D printing revolution is probably best compared to the impact of laser printers and photocopiers. They enabled new things more than they disrupted any existing printing industry(2).

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(1) You're cheating if you're reading this. There's no (1) in the text above.
(2) Very specific business niches were wiped out, I'm sure. Anecdotally, I'm told that photocopiers did nuke the sheet music printing industry).
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Chrispy 6 years ago on 05/09/13
Equipped: The Most Annoying Fairy Ever named "Hey! Listen! Hey! Hey! Listen!"
Sheet music was killed by the jukebox, actually. Back in the Tin Pan Alley days, sheet music was the one way popular music was distributed. You'd buy the newest songs and perform them at the family piano after dinner.

Then the jukebox was invented as well as vinyl records, and kids could hear the newest thing at the local watering hole.
 
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Achtung! Wafflesnatchers 6 years ago on 05/10/13
DEFCAD, the site that is hosting firearm related CAD files(in response to Makerbot Industries banning such files), is now having to take down files at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.
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Moonage Daydream 6 years ago on 05/10/13
Equipped: Link's Boomerang named "I wish I knew how to quit you"
Sound Insect said:
DEFCAD, the site that is hosting firearm related CAD files(in response to Makerbot Industries banning such files), is now having to take down files at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.


"For once in your life, why don't you tell the truth, you chain-smoking son of a bitch!?!"

"I speak nothing but truth, Agent Mulder, and deep down you know this. You know many things deep down. For instance, you know already that men crave freedom on a highly superficial level, as a prize to flaunt, but that few men will take responsibility for that freedom, not entirely. In fact, presented with this responsibility, so many are more than happy to pass it off to those who will not waver quite so readily."
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Amanda 6 years ago on 05/10/13
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
Sound Insect said:
DEFCAD, the site that is hosting firearm related CAD files(in response to Makerbot Industries banning such files), is now having to take down files at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.


So is this in response to a concern over export control? Presumably there is a country or two that we actively do not want to supply firearms to and this is a bureaucratic extension of that DoD policy?
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pamelaNeko 6 years ago on 05/10/13
Equipped: Devo Hat named "uncontrollable urge!"
Kumba said:


Regardless if the output medium is plastic or not, the concern is more over the blueprints and 3D design files. Companies obviously store these on their internal networks, but probably not in a super-safe fashion. One employee's computer gets compromised, and that cat will be out of the bag forever. ...


Why would you assume that digital IP is stored insecurely?
 
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Achtung! Wafflesnatchers 6 years ago on 05/10/13
A few people in this thread seem to have the idea that Kumba and I are cooking up conspiracy theories and fearmongering about "the man." I don't think "the man" is up to anything or is going to take away our 3D printers, or that we're not ready for the technology. I am mostly concerned about how legislation over IP law will be carried out, as well as how companies will begin to focus on copyright law as patents begin to expire. I am far from the only person who wonders about this. Here is a good whitepaper on this subject: http://publicknowledge.org/...tingPaperPublicKnowledge.pdf

If you guys are just talking about someone making a flashlight in their own home, that's probably why Kumba and I sound like we're the kinds of people who buy gold and stock up on canned goods.

Amanda said:


So is this in response to a concern over export control? Presumably there is a country or two that we actively do not want to supply firearms to and this is a bureaucratic extension of that DoD policy?


This is likely the case. A lot of people are seeding the CAD files as torrents, but I find it funny because most people are freaking out about how information wants to be free or something of the sort.

pamelaNeko said:


Why would you assume that digital IP is stored insecurely?


I don't know how much it's changed, but that kind of shit was remarkably insecure for a good while. Companies had to be careful when they realized that while uncommon, foreign workers(sometimes in the country with H-1B's) would be able to pull all kinds of information off workstations. Eventually they started making sure to check what was up when various workstations were pulling lots of information at one time. I believe I remember a situation where a worker from China was caught burning stacks of CD's.

Now the main focus is cyber security, as many companies have reported constant attempts from China to compromise networks and data. Part of this was what ACTA was trying to address.
PS: Correction, ACTA wasn't trying to address that specifically. I was thinking of some elements of CISPA, but that bill was just ridiculous.
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The Operator 6 years ago on 05/13/13
Equipped: Guyver Unit named "McGuyver, the robot detective"
See, my only issue with this is the fact that the article mentions how the company had to add a certain amount of metal to the gun so that it would set off metal detectors. Now, I'm not one of those people who is all "ban every gun ever made", but the idea of individuals manufacturing a gun that can be designed to bypass a security system with relative ease is a bit scary.
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seggs 6 years ago on 05/13/13
Equipped: All-New, Portable, Take-Anywhere Llama named "Tina"
this whole thread has me wondering what the social response will be when we get a successful proof of concept for a replicator.
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Frito 6 years ago on 05/29/13
Equipped: Issue of Newtype
So did anyone figure out why the australian police tests failed? Were they using the wrong plastic or something?

http://theregister.co.uk/...nted_gun_catastrophic_failure/
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seggs 6 years ago on 05/29/13
Equipped: All-New, Portable, Take-Anywhere Llama named "Tina"
dont have the link handy but i saw an interview posted on youtube about a guy who was 3d printing ar15's to prove a point to those unwilling to discuss gun control with civility and maturity.

the only thing he is printing is the lower receiver, which is where the whole "automatic weapons" debate is centered.

his first attempt printed the ar15 lower receiver exactly as it exists. but, because he made it out of plastic instead of forged it out of steel, the gun fired two rounds and jammed and then fired a 3rd before snapping clean in two just behind the lower receiver. when he saw how it broke, he was like, "oh. well, duh."

for the second iteration he doubled the thickness in the schematics where the previous version broke. he made a bunch of those so he could test a little more effectively. he averaged like, 40 rounds before the piece snapped in the same place.

the third iteration made it to about 100 rounds for the interview. he was expecting to fire 150 round from a single printed lower receiver before the item failed.

tl;dr: the reason the test guns failed was not because it was the wrong plastic, but because it was plastic, not metal.
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Imaginos 6 years ago on 06/01/13
Equipped: A Really Sharp Pointy Thing
seggs said:
dont have the link handy but i saw an interview posted on youtube about a guy who was 3d printing ar15's to prove a point to those unwilling to discuss gun control with civility and maturity.


Well the AR-15 is not an "automatic" weapon. The significance of the lower receiver is that is what is defined as a "gun" by the government. ie i can buy the upper receiver, firing pin, barrel, stock, trigger all without any restriction, the lower receiver is what has to have the serial number and activates the guns laws so to speak

Moderator John Booty Says:

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seggs 6 years ago on 06/03/13
Equipped: All-New, Portable, Take-Anywhere Llama named "Tina"
it was an ar15 lower receiver because thats where the serial number goes and it was the weapon used at sandy hook.

digging for link. hope i can still find it
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John Booty 6 years ago on 06/04/13
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
The Operator said:
See, my only issue with this is the fact that the article mentions how the company had to add a certain amount of metal to the gun so that it would set off metal detectors. Now, I'm not one of those people who is all "ban every gun ever made", but t...

Practically speaking, the ammo would still have to be metal. Rubber bullets can still be lethal or at least incapacitating, especially at short range, but.... y'know.

On the other hand, getting small bits of metal stuff (like bullets) past a metal detector seems trivial unless you're entering an area like a jail that forbids metal objects completely. Just hide the metal contraband inside a "legitimate" metal object like a belt buckle, or the metal part of the wheels on your carry-on bag, etc.

Hide a box-cutter blade inside a lead belt buckle, plus a wood or plastic handle in your bag. Congrats, you're armed as well as the 9/11 hijackers.

And obviously something like strangling wire would be trivial to smuggle past a checkpoint. Heck, hide it in plain sight: just use it to stitch part of your baggage or clothing and then pull it out when you need to use it.

I dunno. It just all seems like "security theater" to me!
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Imaginos 6 years ago on 06/05/13
Equipped: A Really Sharp Pointy Thing
John Booty said:

Practically speaking, the ammo would still have to be metal. Rubber bullets can still be lethal or at least incapacitating, especially at short range, but.... y'know.

On the other hand, getting small bits of metal stuff (like bullets) past a...


They added the metal because it is is against the law to make or possess a gun that has less than a certain amount of metal in it. The original law was a reaction to Glock introducing guns based on polymer frame, and congress took this as the 1st step to a plastic undetectable gun.

It really is more about theater, for example you can already get knives made from ceramics and there are plenty of non metal materials that can be sharpened.. This is part of the push for the back scatter scanners and such in airports since many of the current threats don't need to be metal.

The whole story of the law can be found here
http://...cnet.com/...irearms-act-and-3d-printed-guns-faq/
 
 
Fajrolumo 6 years ago on 06/06/13
Ok - I'm going to chime in with a more than I'd like enthusiastic/emotional response, and probably talk about myself more than I'd like to a little.
- There are no 'cons' to 3D printing; only pros.
The subculture that is still in its grass roots, I hope soars to a level that receives an immediate corporate response so that people can print out not just plastic weapons but clothes, blankets and actual metal weapons and our own solar panels and yes; metal weapons[there is a company that can now print metal just like plastic]. The creator of the raspberry pi chimed in on what he thought our future would be like and he says he hopes to see a not to distant future where we can do such things. I strongly concur. I hope 'Made in America' in the future means; 'I CAD'ed it yo!' shhheck it out!
Manufacturing just like farming needs to be brought to the home front not the corporate front. Words can not describe exactly how enthusiastic I am about this technology and the 'users' that do 3D printing... their net neutrality astounds me. That isn't to say that all of them agree with weapon printing but I for one do. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is about as American as Hot Dogs and French Fried Butter. We[more people] need this in our lives[3D printing at home]. I don't think there is anything anarchist about it what-so-ever. To me printing items for use in our lives is the same as the electric company selling energy servers bought by bloombox. It is just a change in the way we do 'business'.

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John Booty 6 years ago on 06/06/13
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
I think it's great, and will eventually shift some amount of power back into the hands of people. On the other hand, what most people are short on the most is time, not material goods.

We're being pressed to work more hours than ever. For decades we've been trending toward convenience and not home-crafting things.

Printing out clothes and blankets is a nice idea, but we can already get a nice blanket for next to nothing from the store down the road.

3D printing is going to make it easier to create some niche products - things that can't be affordably mass-produced in an economical way. It will also allow us to produce things the government wants to outlaw which, I guess, generally means weapons.

3D printing won't replace anything that's already mass-produced in a high-quality, affordable way. You're not going to 3D-print a pair of socks for the same reason that you don't print a novel on your inkjet printer instead of buying that novel from the store: the book you buy from the store is going to be nicer, cheaper, and less work for you. The giant offset presses and binders operated by the publishing companies are orders of magnitude more efficient than the printer sitting on your desk, and they buy ink and paper in absolutely staggering quantities so they get it orders of magnitude cheaper than you.
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Amanda 6 years ago on 06/06/13
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
This is only relevant to 3D printing as a whole, and not the specific topic buuut if you guys ever get the chance to watch an EOS machine go, umm, yeah I definitely recommend it. It's cool as hell! http://www.eos.info/systems_solutions/metal

It lays down a layer of powder and then lasers a layer into place. I've watched cobalt-chrome and tool steel parts come out of one and I'm not sure what else materials you can use. But still, tool steel additive manufacturing is pretty neat.
 
 
Fajrolumo 6 years ago on 06/07/13
I forget exactly where I saw it but there is a company that is trying to create a printer that will recycle the material of clothes after you print it; you just feed it back. If affordable mass produced items can be printed, then it reduces the over all footprint (of an entire company) which is why I mentioned it. But I do understand your point via your novel analogy, but if you're the type that has a library sex fetish and enjoys the smell of books instead of latex... after you've had your word porn printed, you could just feed it back and make napkins.
But yea... Mr. Booty, you're right... being pressed to work more hours etc. and rely on conveniences... its a hell of a hump to get over.
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Mark Argent 6 years ago on 06/08/13
Equipped: King of Genius-Level Retards Crown named "COME TO FUCKING EPPY"
"no homo"

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