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If the US government can’t stop the 3D printing of AK47s, what hope does the manufacturing industry have of fighting piracy?

A US firm plans to start enabling the manufacture of weapons, including AK47s, by distributing the schematics for free on the web and allowing people to manufacture their own weapons using 3D printers.

The business expects to get authorisation from the US government before the end of the year.

I was aware of this organisation but have not yet dug into the details. However, this report from the Guardian is fascinating. Most importantly, Distributed Defense is sharing across the web manufacturing schematics that many would like to have tightly controlled, and those plans would enable people to print weapons in areas where access to firearms is tightly controlled.

I suspect we are a long way from the doomsday scenario of criminals creating weapons cheaply whenever they want, but it is a sign of the pace of change in the 3D printing world.

Nicholas Lovell