The ability to print out your own 3D objects from open source schematics in your very home is absolutely the future. But technology enables all kinds of gray areas, such as people printing out homemade weapons. In this case, one guy managed to print himself parts for an assault rifle using a 3D printer.
Amateur gunsmith “HaveBlue” is reported to have successfully printed functional AR-15 rifle parts using blueprints from CNCGuns. HaveBlue claims that despite a few kinks, the rifle functions mostly like a real one.
HaveBlue didn’t just print 3D rifle components, he also wanted to see whether 3D sharing sites like MakerBot’s Thingiverse would object to him posting his weapon designs online for all to download. Naturally, MakerBot said it was frowned upon, but didn’t disallow HaveBlue from doing so, so he tossed it up. MakerBot responded by banning the sharing of weapons designs.
So, is it only a matter of time before laws regulate what can and can’t be printed at home?
If you’ve never heard of 3D printing before, here’s an interesting tidbit where you can see Anthony Atala talk a bit about 3D printing in his TED talk while a human kidney prints on stage.