A new technological innovation has recently become available to the public called 3-D printing. 3-D printing is literally a printer that, instead of printing ink on paper, prints plastic or sometimes metal in three dimensions. This creates an opportunity for people to download blueprints of products from the Internet and print them in their home whenever they want. These objects range from coffee cups to little trinkets or, as has recently made the news, guns.
Blueprints for 3-D printed guns have found their way onto the Internet and created a situation where the government wants to regulate the sale of 3-D printers to the public.
These “guns” are really no more than hunks of plastic with a firing pin and a chamber for the bullet. For all intents and purposes these are guns, however, being made of plastic they are only good for a single use.
While they have the potential to produce catastrophic failure, these guns are nowhere near as deadly as the guns we see frequently in the news. Because of this so-called weapon, there could be regulations on something that could really revolutionize the way that we live.
While I do agree with the push for increased regulations on the distribution of actual weapons to the public, I could not agree with 3-D printer regulations any less. Stifling the development of 3-D printers would have only negative consequences for the public.
We would be missing out on something that could really change our day- to-day lives. With the development of this technology, we could potentially eliminate our need to go to the store for anything that we could print at home.
Another very interesting type of 3-D printing that could come to fruition in the future is 3-D printing for medical purposes. Recently, scientists have been working on printing working human organs that could be used in transplants.
The process works by replacing the plastic used with human cells to build or print organs. Scientists have recently created a working human liver in the lab that works for about 16 days. This will change the way that transplants work, and hopefully save thousands of lives as the technology improves.
I have a great amount of faith in the 3-D printing movement, and I know if it is allowed to grow and evolve, great things will happen. We should not be held back by an overreacting government that will stop us from properly utilizing this impressive technology.
Only time will tell if we will have a 3-D printer in every home, but I can say I hope if and when we get them they will work better than the paper printers we have today.