While 3D printing presents promise and opportunity for saving lives, it presents danger and peril when placed in the wrong hands.
We all know about the mysterious dark web; the place to go for anything “above the law.” A prime example is Silk Road; the infamous site for buying illegal drugs with cryptocurrencies that was busted by the FBI a few years back.
Now that 3D printing is becoming more affordable and accessible, printing gun parts is not a far-fetched concept.
A recent report by Rand Europe attempts to quantify dark web arms and explosive sales. The study identified 811 product listing for arms-related products (only 0.5% of the total number of listings collected). Of these 811 listings, the second most popular product category is represented by digital products including how-to manuals for manufacturing firearms and 3D models to print gun parts.
As stated in the Rand report:
“The availability of 3D models for additive manufacturing of parts, components or full firearms has been recognised by the international community as a major source of concern. With the improvement of commercially available 3D printers (e.g. increased accuracy, better quality of materials used for the printing), the possibility of producing at home viable substitute parts to replace, for example, those bearing identification markings on a firearm may hamper the ability of tracing illegal firearms back to their last legal owner, identifying the point of diversion.”
While I am all for the right to bear arms, people need to go through the proper channels to obtain a license. 3D printing is enabling anyone who can afford a printer to produce these gun parts, presenting major concerns for safety and welfare.
At D3CRYPT3D we are working every day to offer a foolproof solution to ensure only authorized parties can print these gun parts.
We would love to get your feedback on this issue. What do you think about 3D printing gun parts?