Worries are beginning to accumulate on the popular applications of what used to be called “rapid prototyping.” A growing number of devices that create objects from design programs are coming onto the market, potentially allowing just about anyone to make anything at home or at a nearby copy shop. NPR reports about the new concerns over the potential of 3-D printers to make guns or weapon parts.
“You may have heard about 3-D printing, a technological phenomenon that uses a robotic arm to build objects one layer at a time. As people get imaginative and create items in a one-stop-shop fashion, one more creation has been added to the printing line: gun parts.
On the West Side of Manhattan, behind large glass windows, a dozen 3-D printers build plastic toys and jewelry. Hilary Brosnihan, a manager at 3DEA, an events company that sponsored a print pop-up store, says things are moving rapidly. ‘This [3-D printing] is coming down the line; it’s coming down the line very quickly’ Brosnihan says. She also works as a toy manufacturer. The technology has boosted her business, but the idea of printing a gun horrifies her. She says most of her colleagues feel the same way.
“‘They are more of an open-source community that’s about developing things that are useful. And in our terms, weapons aren’t really useful,’ Brosnihan says. ‘Creating a way to adjust your sink faucet so you don’t have issues with it — that’s useful.’ But a lot of Americans do think guns are useful.”
Full story at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/02/06/171154845/using-3-d-printers-to-make-gun-parts-raises-alarms
No, this isn’t a joke. A group of billionaires are going to launch a fleet of starships to mine asteroids. Then still in space they will make what they mine into stuff using 3-D printers. As Wired Science tell the story:
“Last year was thick with audacious private spaceflight company unveilings, including the announcement from Planetary Resources, Inc. of their plans to mine relatively valuable platinum group metals from asteroids. With the formation of Deep Space Industries, it seems that 2013 could see a new crop of private space companies with lofty goals.
“We are about prospecting, exploring, harvesting, extracting, and manufacturing based on the resources of space,” said Rick Tumlinson, founder and chairman of DSI, during a press conference on Jan. 22. Tumlinson has been an ardent space advocate for many years, helping foundMirCorp, which brought space tourist Dennis Tito to the International Space Station. Continue reading “Let the asteroid mining begin”
Everyone thinks the recent availability of 3-D printers is a great thing. Well, not everybody.
What if do-it-yourself fabricating was a ruse to allow manufacturing to be transferred from sweatshops into homes? Writing recently in Le Monde, Johan Soderberg reflects on the positive and negative implication of this emerging technology: “Recently, electronic machines capable of producing objects, functioning as three-dimensional printers are available to the general public. They arouse enthusiasm in a vanguard that sees the seeds of a new industrial revolution. But supporters of these DIY tools technology often forget the story that they were born.
“It would be the industrial revolution of the twenty-first century: what previously had to be purchased in store may now be made at home using tools such as a laser cutter, a 3D printer, a CNC Continue reading “Be careful what you technologically wish for”