ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3D Printer Gun Controversy and Future

Updated on November 23, 2013
Are 3D printers the wave of the future or a dangerous technology?
Are 3D printers the wave of the future or a dangerous technology? | Source

3D printers are a relatively new technology that print programmed objects.

But recently, a group in the United States created a gun made via a 3D printer.

Although this prototype was rudimentary, it was able to be fired.

According to BBC the group plans to make the blueprints for the 3D gun available online.

What are the implications for America's gun control debate, regulations and the future of 3D printers?

What is a 3D Printer?

A 3D printer can print functional objects that are programmed using a digital file.

It then prints or creates the object painstakenly, through each layer, until it is complete.

People have used 3D printers to make tools, machine parts and other objects.

The technology is very new; many people have not even heard of a 3D printer, but the implications are enormous.

In the near future, developers believe that many households will own and use 3D printers to create everyday objects, replacement parts for machines and now, possibly working weapons.

How Did the 3D Gun Get Created?

According to Tim Walker of The Independent, a group known as Pirate Bay of 3D Printing created the blueprints for a 3D gun.

3D printers can print using different types of materials including plastics and metal.

The 3D gun was created layer by layer in the printer.

After the gun was created, the group tested and successfully fired it in Texas on May 6, 2013.

The group wants to make the plans available to the public for free on the internet.

Citing open source rights and a wiki mindset, the group seems unconcerned about the controversy this may cause both in the United States and in the world.

What Type of Controversy Does the 3D Gun Create?

In the United States, gun control is a hot button issue and the implications and ability to print and use one without any kind of licensing or registration further muddies the waters.

  • Pro Gun Control

On the pro gun control side, groups are advocating for a reduction in automatic weapons and in making sure guns do not get into the hands of criminals or those with a history of mental illness.

This group wants there to be background checks and registrations for all purchases.

Advocates on both sides of the gun control issue will have new points to consider for 3D printed weapons.
Advocates on both sides of the gun control issue will have new points to consider for 3D printed weapons. | Source
  • Against Gun Control

On the other side, advocates point to the United States' Constitution and its second amendment as to why there should not be government control of buying or selling any kind of gun.

This group believes that criminals do not obtains guns by legal methods anyway and that gun control will only hurt those who are trying to purchase and use the weapons legally.

Privacy vs. Safety

If guns are able to be quietly and discreetly printed in ones own home, other weapons are likely to follow.

At the fast pace of technology and advancement, these will likely only get more sophisticated.

It creates a problem where there is no clear answer or solution. Should anyone have the ability to create anything they want to behind closed doors?

Americans have always valued personal freedoms and the right to privacy. But in the future of 3D printing technology, does the right to privacy infringe on others' rights to safety and security?

Does this new technology create more problems than it solves?

Clothing made from a 3D printer.  Will there be more good or bad from this new technology?
Clothing made from a 3D printer. Will there be more good or bad from this new technology? | Source

What Good Can Come From 3D Printer Technology?

According to Liam Boylan-Pett, 3D technology has fantatstic, future implications for the average consumer.

Items such as a working bicycle that is strong but lightweight have already been made. Clothing can be created and possibly even food as the technology progresses.

Muscians can make new musical instruments or create replacement parts. And in the future even usable buildings may be created using 3D printers.

Other items already being made include purses and even toys such as Legos.

Basic printers can now be purchased at a starting price of around $500.

Just like all new technology, as it develops, the price will likely go down, making it an option for most homes and families.

3D Printers Are Here To Stay

Like all new technology, there is always a mix of good and bad.

3D printer technology will likely bring out the good and the bad of humanity.

Being able to create useful items, tools, and clothing any time you want will very likely impact the way we live, work and consume.

But the dark side is that some will use the 3D printer for unsavory purposes.

Is the good side of the technology worth trying to figure out how to combat the problems it will create?

What do you think about 3D printers?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • thranax profile image


      5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      3D Printers are a great technology, and with all great technologies there are ways to exploit and abuse them. I think the thought of everyone having a 3D printer is an epic idea, and will inspire a lot of creativity.

      As for the gun, it doesn't really matter. If someone wants a gun or weapon theres many ways of getting them besides 3d printers. The time, effort, and cost of making a gun on a 3d printer will easily offset the actually accumulation of them in the public.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)