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1 Political Atheist  Sat, Dec 22, 2012 6:38:12pm

This should be renewed. I don't think it's a near term threat for a regular pistol or rifle, an awful lot of parts still have to be steel. But as a single use hide away gun I could see it being made. Ceramic etc.

2 researchok  Sat, Dec 22, 2012 7:06:37pm

I can see the computers in Tijuana now.

Like the pharmacies.

3 lostlakehiker  Sat, Dec 22, 2012 7:15:56pm

For single-use, hardened leather, banded and reinforced, would suffice for a barrel. The Swedes actually used that for artillery a few centuries ago. It was the first truly mobile field artillery.

The problem, I guess, would be the bullet. Anything dense enough to serve as a bullet will be dense enough to show up on an x-ray.

Single-use weapons without metal parts can easily be without high tech. The snag is that without steel or something of similar strength and flexibility, your barrel will fail after a very few uses. And maybe on the first use.

4 goddamnedfrank  Sun, Dec 23, 2012 12:26:55am

You're also likely to need metal for the hammer/striker spring and both recoil and magazine springs if semi automatic. Plastic and acrylic materials have a pretty shitty Young's modulus, modulus in torsion (shear strength), and tensile strength.

5 KiTA  Sun, Dec 23, 2012 2:57:56am

re: #3 lostlakehikerThe problem, I guess, would be the bullet. Anything dense enough to serve as a bullet will be dense enough to show up on an x-ray

You're assuming bludgeoning damage -- that the mass is needed. What if instead of a traditional bullet they fire sharp ammo -- needles or arrowheads, of a style?

While more susceptible to body armor, a "gun" that fires what amounts to razor blades or other such shrapnel would be devastating to soft targets (flesh, for example) -- and said shrapnel could be made thin enough that it wouldn't appear on an xray.

Having said that, I think 3D Printing will be banned long before this particular use becomes mainstream -- although this may be the justification they use to neuter this new technology.

Because if I can download an iPod and make it at my Fab@Home or RepRap station, why in the world would I buy a real one made by slave labor in China?

For reference, some home 3D Printer kits:
[Link: www.fabathome.org...] Fab(ricate) at Home, the first home 3D Printer project I know of.
[Link: reprap.org...] RepRap. Project Thesis: "Human Technology has Progressed to the point that a Von Neumann Self Replicating Machine is possible to create." A project designed to make a 3D Printer capable of printing... Itself.
[Link: www.makerbot.com...] Makerbot: They make a basic kit that is very popular, and is spun off of the above two projects.

6 lostlakehiker  Sun, Dec 23, 2012 9:00:36am

re: #5 KiTA

The problem, I guess, would be the bullet. Anything dense enough to serve as a bullet will be dense enough to show up on an x-ray

You're assuming bludgeoning damage -- that the mass is needed. What if instead of a traditional bullet they fire sharp ammo -- needles or arrowheads, of a style?

While more susceptible to body armor, a "gun" that fires what amounts to razor blades or other such shrapnel would be devastating to soft targets (flesh, for example) -- and said shrapnel could be made thin enough that it wouldn't appear on an xray.

Having said that, I think 3D Printing will be banned long before this particular use becomes mainstream -- although this may be the justification they use to neuter this new technology.

Because if I can download an iPod and make it at my Fab@Home or RepRap station, why in the world would I buy a real one made by slave labor in China?

For reference, some home 3D Printer kits:
[Link: www.fabathome.org...] Fab(ricate) at Home, the first home 3D Printer project I know of.
[Link: reprap.org...] RepRap. Project Thesis: "Human Technology has Progressed to the point that a Von Neumann Self Replicating Machine is possible to create." A project designed to make a 3D Printer capable of printing... Itself.
[Link: www.makerbot.com...] Makerbot: They make a basic kit that is very popular, and is spun off of the above two projects.

3D printing doesn't have, and won't in the foreseeable future have, the ability to lay down billions of microscopic transistors. Nowhere close.

But just to suppose, what if we got to a technology where a MagicBox could take as input dirt and a tiny supply of trace elements, and output anything, however complex, and do it quickly?

Including itself? Or babies? Or trained soldiers? Well, everything would be different. All topics currently on our collective agenda would be moot.


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 Frank says:

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.