Will the Next Internet Freedom Fight be Over 3D Printing?

3D printing is already changing the world. It may change the world so quickly the government won’t be able to crush it. But the jury hasn’t even gotten to the courthouse on that yet.

Many people don’t know what 3D printing is.

Let me put it this way. Imagine you had a schematic for a toy, a car part, or even a gun. Now with the right materials a 3D printer can construct these things exactly for you. Moving parts and everything. Often at a fraction of the price.

What this means for society and businesses people are just beginning to think about. One thing though is clear, we can rest assured there will be a dust-up over 3D printing sometime soon.

If you are unfamiliar with 3D printing the attached video at the end of this post is pretty amazing.

And it looks like there is a printer selling for under $500 now. Time to make up the Christmas list.

(From TechCrunch)

“3D printers can also print guns and synthetic chemical compounds (aka drugs). In July, user HaveBlue reported on the AR15 forum that he had used a mid-1990s. 3D printer to create a fully functional .22 caliber gun. He wrote: “It’s had over 200 rounds of .22 [caliber rounds] through it so far and runs great!” The 3D printed portion of the gun was printed in plastic with a reported material cost of about $100.

The potential policy implications are obvious. If high-quality weapons can be printed by anyone with a 3D printer, and 3D printers are widely available, then law enforcement agencies will be forced to monitor what you’re printing in order to maintain current gun control laws. Otherwise, guns could become more widely available and firearms permits won’t matter to someone like James Holmes or Jeffrey Johnson. They can circumvent firearms laws by simply printing their weapons from a 3D printer for under $100.”