DRM in 3D Printers?

Jeff Soyer reports on a company that claims it has built in firearm component detection into its software. You can’t stop the signal. I predict this will be about as effective as Digital Rights Management has been at preventing people from copying video games, movies, and music. I suspect 3D printer makers are concerned that hysterical politicians in states like California and New York may enact restrictions on their product if the printer manufacturers don’t act first. This is not an unreasonable fear, given that both these states have an instinct to ban scary things first and ask questions only later, and then not very intelligent questions at that.

6 thoughts on “DRM in 3D Printers?”

  1. So it has a library of “potential parts” used to ID actual stuff being printed. Could they end up cross-threaded with ITAR over that info? That would be fun.

  2. Here’s the important part:

    Instead, it aims to prevent people from “accidentally” printing out a gun, something aimed more at deflecting liability than actually stopping gun manufacturing.

    Emphasis added. I think this is aimed more at the commercial 3D printers or companies who use 3D printers for rapid prototyping than for individuals.

    It prevents company owned printers from creating guns on the weekend for the senior engineer.

    1. That’s actually sort of reasonable; except that it automates oversight, which is never a good idea; and gives people bad ideas.

  3. How much you wanna bet, all these websites pop up to “jailbreak” your printer.


  4. Stuff like DRM to hackers is like red flags to bulls. Give it 30 days and you’ll have your choice of jailbreak methods. After the initial cycle new printers with DRM-like restrictions will probably have the hack fix out before the printers are in stores.

  5. My guess is they got a provisional patent already filed so that when Uncle Susie says we gotta use gun DRM in all 3D printers, they will cash out.

    Or something.

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