May 11, 2013

The Downloadable Gun

The distributors of 3D gun technology got a predictable surprise this week when the U.S. Dept. of Defense demanded they cease distributing the templates.  With 100,000 downloads to date, it feels like the genie is out of the bottle. But, if history is any guide, the technology of 3D printing will probably change so much that, should those who downloaded the current template actually buy an expensive 3D printer, the machine — and the design — will be outdated and useless in approximately two weeks (see the cellphone).

On the other hand, technological evolution being what it is, this might just be a preview.

Still, if you look at the top picture, it looks like a disassembled staple gun. Benign. Until you look at the videos (available through this NPR report). The Liberator.  Download today (because the attack is coming….but good luck shooting down WWII era bombers with your plastic toy). The template maker’s video even uses ominous music to underscore their point. Of course, the photo below feels a little more deadly.

(Photo Credits: WikiWep DevBlog.)

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Karen Donley
See other posts by Karen here.

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