3D Printing is a technology my brain has a hard time wrapping around. As a long time Star Trek fan I have pondered the societal ramifications if a working replicator could be built. If the average person could own a replicator would they ever have to work again? If not what would a fellow do with all that leisure time?
Is a 3D printer our replicator? Currently they are large machines but soon there may be small more portable versions. Will the survival kits we carry while hunting or hiking in the back country soon be these printers? Supplying any need we may have. Or imagine the day we carry a 3D printer about the size of a backpack so instead of setting up camp we can simply print it into existence.
Here is a video of a 3D printed rifle that shot 14 rounds before cracking.
Should we develop regulations on this technology or let it develop unfettered. Laws and regulations have a history of unintended consequences while smothering and crushing creativity.
Is a product from a 3D printer a manufactured one or just a print, much the same as a printed document? This is important where firearms are concerned because there are regulations concerning the manufacture and sale of firearms. Where as, there are no regulations controlling the printing of products. At least none that I am aware of. Stay tuned, something tells me that is about to change.