It appears that an enterprising young innovator named Cody Wilson has had the great vision to use 3D printing for gun making! He is part of a group who call themselves Defense Distributed http://defdist.org/. Pithy, non? The groups number one mission is to "Develop a fully printable firearm" they wish to "produce and publish information related to the 3D printing of firearms." followed by the need to adapt such a design and ensuring the safety of it's use. Lastly they have they great notion to "Become the web's printable gun wiki redoubt." this is gleaned from the About Us portion of their website.
According to the Forbes article they intend to release blueprints to used with a 3D printer (which retail for $1,000). They also intend to have a contest for best printable design with a cash award and claim to have received ideas from fans. They have an indigogo campiagn to rais $20,000 towards it's goals and their website is setup to recieve donations as well. The kicker is that his and his group's designs and production are legal provided these 3D guns are not used for profit (just personal use). But really what law official would know if these guns were printed for profit anyway?
In sense I would say this is inevitable. Any tool can be used for ill or good depending on the person who perceives that tools usefulness. However it doesn't mean that this kind of thing should be condoned. I think we can safely call this a slippery slope. Has this Wilson even thought of the implications of making this available on line? What if someone who he considers the enemy got a hold of these designs? Let's face it there are a number of criminal enterprises that would be only too pleased and capable of owning and using these printable guns.
At this point it appears (again according to Forbes) that only New York congressman Steve Israel is taking this seriously and is looking for ways to prevent this group from moving ahead or in the very least prevent the harm that will be caused by their actions http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygree… and the 3D printing company took back a printer it had rented to Defense Distributed.
I guess we'll have to wait and see but in the mean time I've got to admit this scares me just a little bit.