Earlier this year a group of American firearms enthusiasts demonstrated the first 3D printed gun, which caused quite a stir despite the fact that the weapon itself was rubbish.
First of all it wasn’t exactly practical and bleeding heart liberals were quick to point out that it could evade metal detectors, conveniently forgetting that bullets tend to contain plenty of copper, lead and brass.
The State Department promptly ordered everyone to delete all 3D files related to the gun, forgetting that kindly asking the internet to delete something doesn’t really work.
New York City’s lawmakers than tried to push through legislation that would render the production of 3D printers illegal, unless the producers are licensed gunsmiths.
Of course, copying movies and music is also illegal and we all know how well banning that works.
For Europeans the whole mess was rather amusing, but they eventually decided to join the fun. Danish 3D printing outfit Create it REAL came up with a simple software solution that would identify any attempt to print 3D gun components and stop the printer cold.
The software looks for specific firearms characteristics and since any 3D gun would have to use off-the-shelf ammunition, this should be possible to do.
For example, the printer could detect a shape chambered for popular cartridges, or other components such as magazines, receivers and so on. It’s not like everyone needs 9mm printed tubes or strange plastic containers for 5.45x45mm rounds, with some springs at the bottom.
Of course, the approach is not foolproof, as all sorts of software can be tampered with, but it’s a start.
The company acknowledges that the feature is intended to prevent people from “accidentally” printing a gun, so it sounds like a way of deflecting liability, reports Tech Dirt.