I was quite interested to see this article that British engineers want to try to print an entire aircraft wing, rather than fabricating it through traditional methods. This is a technology that should revolutionize industries where the products being made don’t need to be produced in huge quantities. Aircraft manufacturing could be among those industries. But another is firearms manufacturing. I’m particularly fascinated by selective laser sintering technology, which has the ability to lay down metal, ceramic and glass, in addition to plastics.
The cost of these printers is under $1000 bucks. If you’re looking for objects to print for your personal 3D printer you can go to the Thingiverse. Obviously home 3D printing is in its very infancy, but these products are bound to get cheaper and more sophisticated. Commercial printers can already lay down different types of material at the same time.
So why do I bring this up? Because to the extent that CNC technology has made gun control an unworkable pipe dream, 3D printing technology makes it laughable. When anyone with four to five figures worth of machinery can download plans for a gun and mill/print it, there is no controls you will create that’s going to stop determined people from getting their hands on firearms in a world where you can print them in your basement, unless the Brady Campaign wants to campaign for control of CNC milling machines and 3D printer. And yes, once you can print and mill guns, you can print and mill ammunition and magazines too. We already know we can have polymer ammo cases.
If Airbus can produce an aircraft wing using this technology, the Brady Campaign’s only “faster and cheaper” away from having their positions about banning this or banning that being a laughable mockery.