Gunpowder was invented in China for idling and research purposes, mainly for fireworks. However, it did not take long before it was used in a new and more weapon-oriented manner. On September 14, 2020, police arrested a man with an illegal 3D printer workshop in Spain. When it comes to judging an invention, a new technology or a scientific development? We must first think about whether it is really the fault of the object or the use that it is being given.
3D printers are becoming more affordable by the day and there will come a point where 3D printers, like traditional printers, will be used in most households for recreational use and for more specific tasks. And if it is not regulated which things can and cannot be printed, very harmful consequences can arise, such as the example of this headline.
The protocol that is run for a good 3D print is quite complicated and requires little knowledge on the subject as with the right plan for what you want to create, the necessary materials, and a little patience you will work out simple things like baseballs can. Toothbrushes, key rings, even knives; It all depends on how it’s used, and in this case, misusing one and with a little knowledge of gun assembly, you can find your way into an illegal gun shop pretty quickly.
Several ways are suggested to solve this big current problem that will determine the future of 3D printers:
The first possible solution would be to control the purchase of printers and that only companies with industrial use can tamper with them so that the controls can be carried out more easily. In my opinion, it is a very bad idea because it prevents future development in this world for people who can use it very nobly, such as a private person named Guillermo Martínez who bought one at the age of 23 and began to develop Prostheses for an orphanage in Kenya, where he volunteered. I think if he’s banned from experiencing something as interesting as 3D printers firsthand, a lot of progress could be lost in the near future.
Another proposed solution would be to develop a stopping mechanism for suspicious impressions such as banknotes in which the scanner itself inserts white bars when an attempt is made to scan them, thereby invalidating a subsequent impression. This solution would be the most valid, but the most complicated, since a weapon, unlike the more common banknotes with the “EURion Constellation” pattern, has many possible designs. Also, most illegal garages print by parts rather than the gun in its entirety, and identifying certain small parts such as a trigger or silencer is more complicated as they can be of different formats and sizes.
The last attempt to stop this misuse of printers would violate the protection of personal data, since it would consist in transparently publishing the use we give printers and routing them through a unit that is able to Purpose of every printed product to be recognized since then It’s easy to tell a brush level apart from that of a charger. This solution, in turn, would create privacy issues as it would be known what is being printed and how often.
Whatever the decision is made, it should be applied as soon as possible as there are already cases of organizations seeking to manufacture and sell weapons through these manufacturing processes that are difficult for the police to find. If these acts are not stopped, things will get worse and worse and the consequences could end in school shootings as a 16-year-old boy can buy a new 3D printer for free for $ 200 with his monthly payment to get a plane with a basic weapon capable of killing at medium range, and all of this could be done in just a week.
Good measures that can stop this type of event are essential to ensure that such a useful and educational invention doesn’t go bad or bad and, if so, that it doesn’t have as much impact on everyday life.
Raúl Cañizo Novelle (DLTCode consultant)
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