|CPL's MakerBot Replicator 2|
Lower end machines such as the MakerBot Replicator 2 run a couple thousand dollars and produce low quality, low resolution items, mostly suitable as models. At the top of the line, you'll find machines such as the Fortus 400mc, which can produce high quality objects and will run you about $60,000--pretty cost prohibitive (for the curious, creating any sort of weapon or gun is prohibited within the walls of think[box]--I know, I asked). I saw the Fortus printing with the same hard plastic used to make Legos; and while there are other options for input material, most metals require a little more muscle than the Fortus 400mc can muster. As for a study in polymers, I have no idea what sort Glock uses or if a 3D printer could process a such a material. Nonetheless, I think it's safe to say that 3D printed guns ain't quite here yet, but they're coming.
The one entity that will do everything within its power to stop that is the NRA.
|Fortus 250mc and 400mc at CWRU|
Want a precedent? Enter Big Tobacco. That lobby was all indignant and in-your-face over smokers' rights when the bans started coming down. It was also the first one to throw smokers under the bus when roll-your-own cigarettes became a viable and less expensive alternative to their product. Tobacco lobbyists claim roll-your-owns "evade federal and state cigarette taxes and don't comply with state fire standards for cigarettes. They also don't bear the congressionally mandated Surgeon General warning labels and do not meet other FDA regulatory criteria."
It won't be so easy for the NRA. Big Tobacco always billed itself as Big Tobacco. The NRA slithers around beneath the guise of a pro-gun owner organization. Thus far, LaPierre & Co., haven't had much trouble fooling gun enthusiasts (and a slew of others) into believing that the protection of their "rights" looks exactly like the protection of the interests of the gun industry. Unfortunately for LaPierre & Co., those two schools of thought will part ways when the viable DIY gun comes to fruition.
So to the gun campers, I say this: the NRA couldn't give a damn about your rights, buddy. It's all about the money.
Man, is this going to be fun to watch.
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