Whatever you think we should do about 3D printed guns, this isn't it

Never say never. The full-density selective laser melting and the MIG-welding style additive machining are pretty promising here.

Then there’s the electrical discharge machining method that I intend to experiment with, first for “etching” circuitboards and thin sheetmetal, later 3d machining. Not 3d-printing per se, but still manufacturing of 3d parts using an off-the-shelf printer hardware. Will likely be slow if it works but could run on standard cheapo mechanically weak printer actuators.

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Well, a CNC mill can do it better than you can already, but that’s not something scary and new like a “3D Printer.” I’d allow as additive machining might get you gun parts as good as what you can make in a machine shop, but since you can make parts about as good as anything out there with an end mill and a lathe, I don’t see them making anything better, or at least not enough better to make any real difference.

The point is that anyone with even basic machine tools has always been able to make gun parts, and 3D printing hasn’t, and won’t, significantly change anyone’s ability to make guns.

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I should also point out that, most places in America, you could get in your truck, drive to the gun store, and come back home in an hour with a literal truckload of guns and ammo, which makes it pretty clear that, for the people with a problem with this, it’s really about trying to control new technology, not about guns.


Technologies in general. The Man doesn’t like that cutting edge signal processing software can be placed on github with impunity, that highly capable technologies are placed on hackaday.com without asking for permission, and the future will be yet more interesting.

The Suits want to keep the more interesting technologies under a tight lid. They know well that the tech is not some magic reserved to elite priests in a hierarchical order, but that anybody these days can come and take what is out there and add their piece and make things better, and the better is available for an American, Chinese, Russian, Iranian, anybody regardless of the current status of the geopolitical farce, regardless who is a friend this week.

And We the People must not allow them this control.

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I get the sense that this is because the kind of people who comprise “The Man” generally realize at some level that the kind of people who are able and inclined to go around improving these technologies are:
a) smarter than they are
b) don’t like assholes like them very much


Cory, I luv ya and am glad yer here.

I’m hardly the first person in the thread to say this, but obviously the US government is worried about technology but not about guns. Technology is this big scary amorphous entity that could do anything. A gun made the good, wholesome, old-fashioned way are good, wholesome and old-fashioned. But these technology guns… well, who knows what they might do?

But maybe the real problem is that that old-fashioned way of making guns is making them at a gun factory owned by a large corporation who has money to spend on lobbyists. How does people sharing information that allows them to create their own guns in their own homes line the pockets of lawmakers? It doesn’t, so better ban it.


Given time, everything manual can be automated.


And that’s a good thing. Manual work is fairly limited by human dimensions. Robotic manipulators can be engineered in any dimensions desired - big enough to dismantle a house, small enough for submicrometer work. While they can be operated manually, using a conventional or telepresence interface, once the robotic part is in place all sorts of control systems can be tacked on for added fun.

excellent points! we do make a small fortune on weapon exports so that makes sense.

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Don’t forget protecting the sacred profits of gun manufacturers

Not an issue. The lower is a $50 retail part. They make a lot more money selling milled aluminum accessories at large mark ups.


You speak as if regulations were passed by people who understand what they are regulating!

Some US lawmakers might understand guns and gun manufacturing but they probably don’t have any idea what 3D printing is. While we regularly have debates around here about the right and wrong of gun laws, they most likely explanation for why gun laws are the way they are is the money of the gun lobby. 3D printing is probably perceived as a threat by nearly all manufacturers of anything. Fighting 3D printing of guns is something that the gun lobby and anti-gun reactionaries can agree on (and nearly everyone here regardless of opinion on gun issues thinks is stupid - we’re such a monolithic echo chamber).


And that there is the problem with Congress, IMHO. That and how many laws do they pass with little to know knowledge on what is IN the actual bill.

I am not saying these people are stupid per se, but they act stupid. All the time. From the people who have no clue about modern technology to those who refute science based on no evidence, etc. And WE keep electing them?

I am 100% for term limits. I mean the next person might be an idiot too, but if we can maybe upgrade to someone who doesn’t use a Nokia brick phone, we will be making SOME progress.

I mean - this guy is STILL in the House, IIRC.

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