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    Wow. Incredible.

    I suspect that this might not be as big a deal as some think; I reckon that the revolution in biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology occurring over the next few decades might make firearms about as useful as a bow and arrow.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=...ture=endscreen
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    I've seen some in use and they appear to be quite unreliable. Honestly, I would not want to just 3D print something to be mechanically sound. Many of the entry-level 3D printers out there are inaccurate or don't make a good bond between the layers. After a few shots, some of them just snap in half because the plastic can't take it.

    I'd be interested to know what sort of permission people would need to make their own though - Americans make have the right to bear arms, but not to manufacture them. For that, I think they still need to be registered gunsmiths.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    I've seen some in use and they appear to be quite unreliable. Honestly, I would not want to just 3D print something to be mechanically sound. Many of the entry-level 3D printers out there are inaccurate or don't make a good bond between the layers. After a few shots, some of them just snap in half because the plastic can't take it.
    I think the point is the principle, is it not? Or don't you think that 3D printers will improve, that materials science will advance, and so on?

    The subject of this documentary has already improved his AR-15 lower receiver from being able to fire a few rounds before failure to being able to fire 600 before failure.

    Presumably this will only increase, so the question isn't "Are they as reliable as a normal gun at this point?", the question is how should it be regulated, if at all, what will the social implications be of people being able to easily and quickly manufacture firearms in their own homes, etc etc

    I'd be interested to know what sort of permission people would need to make their own though - Americans make have the right to bear arms, but not to manufacture them. For that, I think they still need to be registered gunsmiths.
    Actually, there are no restrictions on manufacturing firearms for personal use in the US. You just can't sell them or transport them across state lines.
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    I watched this a few days ago, at the end they have a video of it reliably over 600 rounds without breaking.
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    Gun control's influence will be reduced, but it will still be important the same way selling C4 in ASDA would probably increase the number of explosions set off despite bomb recipes being readily available using household materials as it is.
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    (Original post by March)
    Gun control's influence will be reduced, but it will still be important the same way selling C4 in ASDA would probably increase the number of explosions set off despite bomb recipes being readily available using household materials as it is.
    If it was ASDA's own C4, nobody's in any trouble any time soon.
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    (Original post by CodeJack)
    If it was ASDA's own C4, nobody's in any trouble any time soon.
    Touché.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    I think the point is the principle, is it not? Or don't you think that 3D printers will improve, that materials science will advance, and so on?
    Principle? There are a lot of "gun principles" in the USA which I fail to understand. I'll get to the ones on 3D printing weapons afterwards.

    Sure, 3D printing will improve. I think there will be, on a whole, a benefit from this. I'm considering getting one in the next few years to help prototype some parts. At the moment, it's not something I'd really want to put in a mechanically intensive situation.


    For now though... It's probably too expensive for most to do this sort of stuff and it remains a good experiment. But it does mean they can be happy to know that the government can't take their guns, because they'll just manufacture their own. I suppose it's a win-win for them, but I don't see the point. I'd rather make brand new things with a 3D printer if I had one.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    Principle? There are a lot of "gun principles" in the USA which I fail to understand
    I think you've failed to understand my point as well. It was more about the social implications, how this will affect the way people relate to each other, than any technical issue or American legal doctrine.
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    (Original post by March)
    Gun control's influence will be reduced, but it will still be important the same way selling C4 in ASDA would probably increase the number of explosions set off despite bomb recipes being readily available using household materials as it is.
    Isn't the point that when you get to the point where people can print firearms, drugs, medicines, etc in their own homes, that they're unlikely to pay much attention to what laws are on the books?

    I don't think this is a situation where one can say, "Oh, we'll just pass a few extra laws". I think that fails to take into account that this will probably be as revolutionary as the internet has been.

    Then again, many people forget how the internet has totally revolutionised the way human beings relate to each other, in the space of just ten years or so (from pre-ubiquitous internet to internet ubiquity)
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    Isn't the point that when you get to the point where people can print firearms, drugs, medicines, etc in their own homes, that they're unlikely to pay much attention to what laws are on the books?

    I don't think this is a situation where one can say, "Oh, we'll just pass a few extra laws". I think that fails to take into account that this will probably be as revolutionary as the internet has been.

    Then again, many people forget how the internet has totally revolutionised the way human beings relate to each other, in the space of just ten years or so (from pre-ubiquitous internet to internet ubiquity)
    The people who want it at all costs, sure. But that's why I brought up explosives as a comparison; laws won't stop them, but reducing availability still drastically reduces their use.

    Anyhow, here's a scary thought; an open-source nuclear bomb. Assuming weapons grade Uranium is available on the black market, then it's a very real possibility.
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    (Original post by March)
    The people who want it at all costs, sure. But that's why I brought up explosives as a comparison; laws won't stop them, but reducing availability still drastically reduces their use.

    Anyhow, here's a scary thought; an open-source nuclear bomb. Assuming weapons grade Uranium is available on the black market, then it's a very real possibility.
    Uranium can be extracted from seawater, and with enough time and chemical expertise it could certainly be purified.

    I have no doubt that a primitive "gun-type" nuclear weapon could be developed by a non-state actor. But I suspect anything more than that would be outside the capability of a non-state.

    A friend of mine used to work for AWE Aldermaston and he said he went on wikipedia to take a look at what was open-source. He said that it clearly conveyed a theoretical understanding of the structure and design of a nuclear weapon, but he was surprised at actually how much it missed out in terms of basic principles (let alone a whole lot of things that you can't find out without extensive testing... manufacturing and fabrication processes, certain classified geometries and shapes, design pitfalls etc).

    Having said all that, I suspect it will be the little things that people are able to manufacture in their homes (drugs, body implants, electronics, nanotechnology) that will be most revolutionary
 
 
 
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