Distributed Defense

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:17 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, at a certain point of unpopularity, enforcement does become impossible. The citizens are many, the police are few. Remember when they tried Prohibition? That's an activity with similar popularity in the US, and they tried rather harsh crackdowns in many cases, with pretty poor success.
To be fair, prohibition was always kind of half-cocked, and we certainly didn't have the federal and legal infrastructure back then that we have now. But I also suspect we don't have the means for a cost-effective strategy to distinguish between illegitimate uses of 3D printing and legitimate uses--which means that if we end up allowing for 3D printers, we're going to have a hell of a time telling people what they can and can't make with them.

I suspect that the biggest limitation won't be legal, but simple feasibility; I can't imagine the guns created with 3D printers being at all reliable compared to an actual bought-from-a-store gun. Which will make the impetus to 'clamp down' on illegitimate uses even less frantic.

(Not that I don't expect pointless fear-mongering and cries of 'WHAT IF A CHILD PRINTS A NUCLEAR BOMB')

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:19 am UTC

Or even better: WHAT IF A CHILD PRINTS OUT A TERRORIST

WHAT IF YOUR CHILD PRINTS OUT OSAMA BIN LADEN

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:29 am UTC

I submit that piracy is perhaps a bit more widespread than jewel thieves.


You are illustrating my point. Different cases are different and it is silly to generalize from intellectual property theft to illegal arms manufacture.

Well, at a certain point of unpopularity, enforcement does become impossible. The citizens are many, the police are few.


Again, you're agreeing with me and you don't seem to be aware of it. Music files are desired by tens of millions of people, and the harm from an individual theft is small. On the other hand, manufacturing ricin is tricky, most people have no interest in it, and the government has a strong interest, supported by the public, in making acts of terrorism and violent crime more difficult to commit.

Is an illegal homemade firearm more like a digital music file, or more like other kinds of homemade weapons? And, no, I don't think the existence of a blueprint makes it like the music file. There are plenty of blueprints for biological and chemical weapons, but unlike the music file, the blueprint is not the thing itself, and the level of public interest (thank you for bringing that up) as well as the public perception of danger are quite different.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:38 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Again, you're agreeing with me and you don't seem to be aware of it. Music files are desired by tens of millions of people, and the harm from an individual theft is small. On the other hand, manufacturing ricin is tricky, most people have no interest in it, and the government has a strong interest, supported by the public, in making acts of terrorism and violent crime more difficult to commit.

Is an illegal homemade firearm more like a digital music file, or more like other kinds of homemade weapons? And, no, I don't think the existence of a blueprint makes it like the music file. There are plenty of blueprints for biological and chemical weapons, but unlike the music file, the blueprint is not the thing itself, and the level of public interest (thank you for bringing that up) as well as the public perception of danger is quite different.
What makes digital music so difficult to deal with is that there aren't a lot of methods to restrict them without restricting the internet. In other words, in order to get rid of something 'bad' (internet piracy), we must do damage to something 'good' (the open flexibility of the internet).

This all depends, then, on the ubiquity of 3D printers--if they end up being a huge thing--something you can imagine most people having--then preventing the printing of guns would be similar to preventing the download of pirated music. It would be relatively impossible without doing serious harm to the usefulness of 3D printers--because just as it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate downloads' from 'legitimate downloads', it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate print-outs' from 'legitimate print-outs'. And even if you figure out a scheme to do this, it's usually trivial to figure out another scheme to thwart your scheme.

Either way, I don't think fear of gun-printing will enter into the calculations at any early stage (beyond fear-mongering), because I don't think that gun-printing will be reliable or useful at any early stage.

Whatever happens, it's up to 3D printers to justify themselves as a piece of useful technology. If they can't do that, no one will care.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:43 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Well, at a certain point of unpopularity, enforcement does become impossible. The citizens are many, the police are few. Remember when they tried Prohibition? That's an activity with similar popularity in the US, and they tried rather harsh crackdowns in many cases, with pretty poor success.
To be fair, prohibition was always kind of half-cocked, and we certainly didn't have the federal and legal infrastructure back then that we have now. But I also suspect we don't have the means for a cost-effective strategy to distinguish between illegitimate uses of 3D printing and legitimate uses--which means that if we end up allowing for 3D printers, we're going to have a hell of a time telling people what they can and can't make with them.

I suspect that the biggest limitation won't be legal, but simple feasibility; I can't imagine the guns created with 3D printers being at all reliable compared to an actual bought-from-a-store gun. Which will make the impetus to 'clamp down' on illegitimate uses even less frantic.

(Not that I don't expect pointless fear-mongering and cries of 'WHAT IF A CHILD PRINTS A NUCLEAR BOMB')


Yeah, I think we're on the same page overall here. The illegal stuff is gonna get the hubbub, mostly for the least practical things possible, but the average person is gonna be using it for things nothing at all related to that. The nifty designer dice and such are really what 3d printing is best at...the small quantity manufacturing of unusual things. Plastic is a poor medium for guns.

EMTP wrote:
I submit that piracy is perhaps a bit more widespread than jewel thieves.


You are illustrating my point. Different cases are different and it is silly to generalize from intellectual property theft to illegal arms manufacture.


First, I dislike the use of the word theft. It's imprecise, and certain a bad term to describe file sharing in general.

Secondly, distribution of plans IS simply file sharing. It is technologically indistinguishable from sharing torrents of...anything else, really. So, it's a very, very good analogy, because it's close. Jewel theives, on the other hand...not so much.

Well, at a certain point of unpopularity, enforcement does become impossible. The citizens are many, the police are few.


Again, you're agreeing with me and you don't seem to be aware of it. Music files are desired by tens of millions of people, and the harm from an individual theft is small. On the other hand, manufacturing ricin is tricky, most people have no interest in it, and the government has a strong interest, supported by the public, in making acts of terrorism and violent crime more difficult to commit.


Er, a homemade firearm is not much like ricin. People in the US ARE interested in firearms. They're not interested in ricin. It's true that very few people make their own firearms...but the same can be said for beer. Still, both products are very popular, and restricting them will be viewed dimly by a lot of people as an encroachment on a hobby they enjoy...regardless of if that restriction will apply to them personally.

Is an illegal homemade firearm more like a digital music file, or more like other kinds of homemade weapons? And, no, I don't think the existence of a blueprint makes it like the music file. There are plenty of blueprints for biological and chemical weapons, but unlike the music file, the blueprint is not the thing itself, and the level of public interest (thank you for bringing that up) as well as the public perception of danger are quite different.


The printer is also required, yes. However, restricting manufacturing is gonna hit some heavy opposition. Automation is basically the #1 way that American manufacturing stays solvent. They certainly can't compete with china and such on worker salary. So, I'm not seeing a lot of people that are gonna benefit(or think they will), and a LOT of people with something to lose. That's a good indication of where popularity goes.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EMTP » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:53 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:This all depends, then, on the ubiquity of 3D printers--if they end up being a huge thing--something you can imagine most people having--then preventing the printing of guns would be similar to preventing the download of pirated music.


It doesn't "all depend" on that, but it's a necessary condition, and it hasn't been met today. This is what I'm saying. It all comes down to the specific social circumstances, the technology, etc.

It would be relatively impossible without doing serious harm to the usefulness of 3D printers--because just as it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate downloads' from 'legitimate downloads', it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate print-outs' from 'legitimate print-outs'. And even if you figure out a scheme to do this, it's usually trivial to figure out another scheme to thwart your scheme.


Now I feel like you're drifting back into libertarian fantasy land. Most Americas have phones that can give up our location. The government can also spy on your internet history, if they really care. If this became a concern, the fix might be as simple as chipping all 3D printers to keep a record of their output. Or simply throw in some random audits backed by lifetime prison sentences.

Either way, I don't think fear of gun-printing will enter into the calculations at any early stage (beyond fear-mongering), because I don't think that gun-printing will be reliable or useful at any early stage.


Uh, exactly? Just say no to technological determinism. The world is more complicated and unpredictable than that.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:13 am UTC

EMTP wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote: It would be relatively impossible without doing serious harm to the usefulness of 3D printers--because just as it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate downloads' from 'legitimate downloads', it's nearly impossible to distinguish 'illegitimate print-outs' from 'legitimate print-outs'. And even if you figure out a scheme to do this, it's usually trivial to figure out another scheme to thwart your scheme.


Now I feel like you're drifting back into libertarian fantasy land. Most Americas have phones that can give up our location. The government can also spy on your internet history, if they really care. If this became a concern, the fix might be as simple as chipping all 3D printers to keep a record of their output. Or simply throw in some random audits backed by lifetime prison sentences.


I'm pretty sure that Hippos not libertarian, on the basis that I am, and we disagree pretty significantly over economic matters and the like. At any rate, I suspect he's not in anything like a fantasy land on this score.

Recording output is inherently a hard task. What, you're going to have illegal shapes? Stuff that looks like a hollow tube is going to throw a red flag? That's kind of a ludicrously common shape. It's not as if models have some serial number or something to track them, it's essentially impossible to record everything printed and review it in any sort of rational way. Let's consider my printer...in the first point, I can print from wi-fi, so all the usual defenses that apply to file sharing with regards to IPs, etc also apply. In the second point, I roll my own models most of the time. Any firearm(as well as many other pieces) are going to consist of many individual parts assembled post-printing. Many of those parts can easily be designed in such a way as to work in many roles. Sometimes, the printer will mangle a part, which you have to junk, so tracking total number of a given item printed is also impossible to do accurately. Lastly, my printer has jack-all for tracking, and it's in my physical possession, and it works offline. So, even if it DID have tracking stuff, the sort of people who fiddle with printing wild stuff tend to be VERY comfortable modifying hardware.

You can absolutely slap on ludicrous sentences...but that doesn't make it enforceable.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:18 am UTC

EMTP wrote:It doesn't "all depend" on that, but it's a necessary condition, and it hasn't been met today. This is what I'm saying. It all comes down to the specific social circumstances, the technology, etc.
Then I agree with what you're saying.
EMTP wrote:Now I feel like you're drifting back into libertarian fantasy land. Most Americas have phones that can give up our location. The government can also spy on your internet history, if they really care. If this became a concern, the fix might be as simple as chipping all 3D printers to keep a record of their output. Or simply throw in some random audits backed by lifetime prison sentences.
This only becomes a 'concern' if 3D printers turn out to work like gun factories. At which point, the government wouldn't 'chip' 3D printers--it would start treating them like meth labs. With (well-deserved) public support. The last thing any (reasonable, intelligent, responsible) person wants is a country full of unregulated gun factories.

But that's moot, because 3D printers aren't going to turn into gun factories. And if they ever do, that's so far down the line that it's silly to speculate about--because we don't know what the problem will look like, and we don't know what tools we'll have to address it with.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:23 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:This only becomes a 'concern' if 3D printers turn out to work like gun factories. At which point, the government wouldn't 'chip' 3D printers--it would start treating them like meth labs. With (well-deserved) public support. The last thing any (reasonable, intelligent, responsible) person wants is a country full of unregulated gun factories.


*shrug* They haven't done that with the lathe, so I don't think it'll even get to that level.

But that's moot, because 3D printers aren't going to turn into gun factories. And if they ever do, that's so far down the line that it's silly to speculate about--because we don't know what the problem will look like, and we don't know what tools we'll have to address it with.


I suppose it could happen at the point at which we can nicely use several materials addatively fairly inexpensively. It's a ways down the road, but the technology does exist...it's just really expensive at the moment. As it matures, price drops are pretty reasonable. However, this opens up localized manufacture of a TON of things...and thus we get back to the lathe. It ain't gonna get banned because it's one possible bad use on something with a million good uses. Cars get used for all manner of crime, but nobody is going to propose banning them.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:31 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:*shrug* They haven't done that with the lathe, so I don't think it'll even get to that level.
Lathes aren't gun factories, though.

I should clarify: If 3D printing technology could feasibly pop out a functional, reliable, and lethal sidearm for a low cost, I would be worried--and I would expect the government to treat 3D printing technology like the black plague. Heavily regulate who has access to it, under what situations, etc--just like you regulate any highly dangerous material. Treat it like you treat a meth lab: Toxic, explosive, capable of devastating the local community.

But I really, really doubt that this is the case. I doubt it will be the case for a good, long, while. And if it ever does become the case, I expect at that point we will have a whole host of other problems anyway, so it's silly to worry about it.
Tyndmyr wrote:I suppose it could happen at the point at which we can nicely use several materials addatively fairly inexpensively. It's a ways down the road, but the technology does exist...it's just really expensive at the moment. As it matures, price drops are pretty reasonable. However, this opens up localized manufacture of a TON of things...and thus we get back to the lathe. It ain't gonna get banned because it's one possible bad use on something with a million good uses. Cars get used for all manner of crime, but nobody is going to propose banning them.
Cars aren't efficient when it comes to cheaply killing people and then getting away with it.

But inexpensive, reliable, disposable firearms? They're pretty much perfect for that sort of thing.

I'm actually curious if ubiquitous 3D printing will lead to a flood of nonfunctional gun facsimiles.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:35 am UTC

The printer is also required, yes.


No, it isn't. You could achieve the same (actually a much better) product with a Milling machine, Lathe or even just a drill press. Heck, you can smash together a good portion of an AKM with a hammer and a riveter. Just look at the cottage gunsmiths of the Khyber region and Chechnya.

Lathes aren't gun factories, though.


They make much better 'gun factories' than 3d printers do.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:38 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:They make much better 'gun factories' than 3d printers do.
That's my point; 3D printers aren't efficient gun factories (and neither are lathes). If 3D printers were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them. If lathes were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them.

But these things don't produce reliable guns at a low cost (either in skill or in materials), so we don't care.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:40 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:*shrug* They haven't done that with the lathe, so I don't think it'll even get to that level.
Lathes aren't gun factories, though.


It sort of is. It's the essential piece of a machine shop, from which you can bootstrap to everything else you need. And frankly, making a basic firearm doesn't require that much.

I should clarify: If 3D printing technology could feasibly pop out a functional, reliable, and lethal sidearm for a low cost, I would be worried--and I would expect the government to treat 3D printing technology like the black plague. Heavily regulate who has access to it, under what situations, etc--just like you regulate any highly dangerous material. Treat it like you treat a meth lab: Toxic, explosive, capable of devastating the local community.


Meh, private gunsmiths already exist. If you have the cash, and want some exotic, never previously made firearm, it's entirely normal in the US to do this. It's not actually that big of a deal even if this happens, which I doubt. Hell, cncguns.com already allows you to grab AR plans for your local CNC machine, and those aren't that unreasonably priced. It's just not a big deal because...why bother? They're widely available on the private market, so it's not as if it's really a big supply issue.

But I really, really doubt that this is the case. I doubt it will be the case for a good, long, while. And if it ever does become the case, I expect at that point we will have a whole host of other problems anyway, so it's silly to worry about it.


Yeah, it's by far not the best tech for it. More reasonably, it'll serve as a scare piece for people interested in delaying the technology for other reasons if it comes up. Perhaps an industry hit hard by people pirating it's designs.

Cars aren't efficient when it comes to cheaply killing people and then getting away with it.

But inexpensive, reliable, disposable firearms? They're pretty much perfect for that sort of thing.

I'm actually curious if ubiquitous 3D printing will lead to a flood of nonfunctional gun facsimiles.


Probably. I could make a pretty solid nonfunctional toy gun right now. That said, that's also the kind of thing that's available pretty cheaply on the open market, so it's not something I'm particularly interested in pursuing. Im sure the first time someone gets caught doing a robbery with a 3d printed gun, it'll make slashdot, though. Any first X with a 3d printer seems to.

The Great Hippo wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:They make much better 'gun factories' than 3d printers do.
That's my point; 3D printers aren't efficient gun factories (and neither are lathes). If 3D printers were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them. If lathes were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them.

But these things don't produce reliable guns at a low cost (either in skill or in materials), so we don't care.


Technically, all you need are hand tools, really.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:47 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Meh, private gunsmiths already exist. If you have the cash, and want some exotic, never previously made firearm, it's entirely normal in the US to do this. It's not actually that big of a deal even if this happens, which I doubt. Hell, cncguns.com already allows you to grab AR plans for your local CNC machine, and those aren't that unreasonably priced. It's just not a big deal because...why bother? They're widely available on the private market, so it's not as if it's really a big supply issue.
Because private gunsmiths are witnesses; because they require access to certain materials; because you can't drag a private gunsmith around with you; because it takes time for a private gunsmith to make the weapon you want; because you have no guarantee that the private gunsmith's weapon is reliable; because when you ditch their gun, police may be able to trace it back to them and ask them all sorts of interesting questions.

Now, imagine: A machine that can produce reliable guns cheaply and quickly--guns that are all identical and therefore inherently untraceable. It requires no one but yourself to use, and can be transported (feasibly) within one or two very large vans. And it's available on demand; you just need materials available from a hardware store and somewhere to set it up.

That's actually an extraordinarily useful resource for any criminal to have access to. And if that's what we were talking about, I think most of us would want it regulated. But that's not what we're talking about, so the point is mostly moot.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:51 am UTC

Honestly, that sounds like the premise for a possibly decent movie. It's a better plot device to get an unlikely group of folks involved with crime than most that have graced the silver screen.

Bunch of geeks trying to be arms dealers? Yeah, I'd watch that.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:39 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:They make much better 'gun factories' than 3d printers do.
That's my point; 3D printers aren't efficient gun factories (and neither are lathes). If 3D printers were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them. If lathes were efficient gun factories, we'd talk about regulating them.

But these things don't produce reliable guns at a low cost (either in skill or in materials), so we don't care.



Many firearms manufacturers produce firearms almost entirely using Lathes and Milling machines. I'm not sure where you get the idea that these tools aren't efficient gun factories, because the actual gun industry appears to disagree.

Tyndmyr wrote:Honestly, that sounds like the premise for a possibly decent movie. It's a better plot device to get an unlikely group of folks involved with crime than most that have graced the silver screen.

Bunch of geeks trying to be arms dealers? Yeah, I'd watch that.



That's basically the premise of the 'Ring of Fire' firearms manufacturers. The 1968 Gun Control Act created a hole in the market by banning the import of certain firearms, and a machinist for a California Aerospace firm figured he could fill that hole, which he and his family (and friends!) did to the tune of some multiple tens of millions of inexpensive pistols (which now, collectively, make up five of the top ten firearms used in crimes) plus more every-day, despite a near-continuous string of lawsuits, crack-downs and ever-increasing regulations aimed at stopping them.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:04 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Many firearms manufacturers produce firearms almost entirely using Lathes and Milling machines. I'm not sure where you get the idea that these tools aren't efficient gun factories, because the actual gun industry appears to disagree.
ONE MORE TIME:

Lathes are not gun factories. They are tools with which you can build guns. They require skill, knowledge, material, time, and additional tools.

3D printers are not gun factories. They are 3D printers, and cannot print reliable, functional, easily assembled guns. But if they could do this, 3D printers would be gun factories in a way lathes aren't--because 3D printers do not require much skill, knowledge, material, time, or additional tools. So if 3D printers could print reliable, functional, easily assembled guns, they could flood the market with cheap, disposable, untraceable firearms. And we would want to regulate them.

If lathes were capable of doing this (producing guns with very little skill, knowledge, material, time, and tools), we would also want to regulate them. But lathes require many things to produce guns, and these things act as barriers preventing a flood of cheap, reliable, untraceable firearms from flooding the market. So lathes are okay. And so are 3D printers.

Now I swear to God if one person says 'BUT LATHES ARE USED TO BUILD GUNS' or 'BUT 3D PRINTERS CAN'T MAKE FIREARMS' I will eat my mother-fucking hat.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:01 am UTC

a CNC lathe doesn't require much more in the way of skill than a 3-d printer would, and requires significantly less in the way of additional tools, since a CNC lathe can be used to produce many of the fine mechanical components that a 3-d printed firearm would require anyway
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:57 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:That's basically the premise of the 'Ring of Fire' firearms manufacturers. The 1968 Gun Control Act created a hole in the market by banning the import of certain firearms, and a machinist for a California Aerospace firm figured he could fill that hole, which he and his family (and friends!) did to the tune of some multiple tens of millions of inexpensive pistols (which now, collectively, make up five of the top ten firearms used in crimes) plus more every-day, despite a near-continuous string of lawsuits, crack-downs and ever-increasing regulations aimed at stopping them.


Actually, that's kind of fascinating...I wasn't aware of that, but it does actually demonstrate that stopping gun manufacturing is a very difficult thing.

The Great Hippo wrote:Lathes are not gun factories. They are tools with which you can build guns. They require skill, knowledge, material, time, and additional tools.

3D printers are not gun factories. They are 3D printers, and cannot print reliable, functional, easily assembled guns. But if they could do this, 3D printers would be gun factories in a way lathes aren't--because 3D printers do not require much skill, knowledge, material, time, or additional tools. So if 3D printers could print reliable, functional, easily assembled guns, they could flood the market with cheap, disposable, untraceable firearms. And we would want to regulate them.


This is...not exactly true. For one thing, printing takes quite a while. My printer cranking out a mini-teapot(about 5" diameter) takes about ten hours. This is normal. It's great for avoiding man-hours, but it isn't necessarily fast. As you add detail, you tend to add time, because you need time for the print head to traverse the area, plus there's a ceiling on how fast you can do a layer because you need time for it to cool. I did rather a lot of experimenting with this while optimizing for speed, and determined that you can alter overall batch speeds quite a lot by optimization, but anything big's still gonna take a while.

And yeah, they absolutely do require some skill and knowledge. 3d printers are not all equal. Hell, even environmental conditions can alter a print job a bit. When you need tight tolerances because you're slapping stuff together from parts, some twerking skill is definitely needed. Post-print finishing is also not uncommon.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby mousewiz » Sun May 05, 2013 6:40 am UTC

Forbes says that they've got a basically completely printed gun now.

Not a lot of information in the article beyond:
- They're testing it right now before posting the plans (article says to expect the plans early next week)
- Only metal is the firing pin, and a little extra just for the sake of metal detectors

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby addams » Sun May 05, 2013 11:34 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Or even better: WHAT IF A CHILD PRINTS OUT A TERRORIST

WHAT IF YOUR CHILD PRINTS OUT OSAMA BIN LADEN

So, sad.
So, true.

Bin Laden is the Jesus of the 21st Century?
Nobody knew him. He was a rumor.

Who is next?
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I have known a Famous Person or Two.

They told me it was Not always nice.
It is Strange to talk to people about Yourself.

It is a common experience.
I have done it. Have you?

Talk to people that Do Not Know you By Sight, about you?
Strange. Try it.

Now; think about all The Dip Shits armed and ready to do battle.
Who do they Want to Shoot? Same people they always want to shoot?

Who do they know by Sight? TV people?
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Don't ever be Famous.
Don't ever be without Money.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 06, 2013 4:27 am UTC

I hope to god they take proper safety precautions when testing. IE, remotely triggered, not held in hand, LOTS of safety gear. I've got a flak vest for this very purpose. You don't want a gun to kaboom when you're holding it.

Now, I'd put money on the round going off, since a nail actually does make a pretty decent improv firing pin. However, I know they're using ABS, and I'd bet a large quantity of money on an ABS barrel of that size shredding dramatically when fired. However, if you use a metal barrel sleeve(much thinner and lighter than a full barrel) and wrap that in plastic, you should be fine.

Also, since barrel sleeves are rifled, it dodges the AOW regulations you get with a smoothbore pistol. I suppose you could, technically, print rifling inside the barrel, but given that it's plastic and that barrel has barely any length whatsoever, it's going to be pretty irrelevant.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Alexius » Mon May 06, 2013 9:23 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I hope to god they take proper safety precautions when testing. IE, remotely triggered, not held in hand, LOTS of safety gear. I've got a flak vest for this very purpose. You don't want a gun to kaboom when you're holding it.

They did, which is kind of good since the gun did end up in several pieces when they tried firing a 5.7mm round through it.
It held up to .380 ACP, though (the barrel lasted for 10 shots). But it's still quite unreliable- sometimes the firing pin doesn't hit the right part of the cartridge...


Also, regarding tracking and the like- governments were pretty worried when laser printers became widespread and inexpensive, due to how easy they made counterfeiting. Laser printers now encode information about the printer serial number and time of printing in a pattern of barely-visible dots on each page they print. I wonder if governments will try to persuade major 3-D printer manufacturers to do something similar- and how easy it would be to remove the tracking.
Last edited by Alexius on Mon May 06, 2013 9:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon May 06, 2013 9:28 am UTC

...don't barrels normally only shoot one size bullet?

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Alexius » Mon May 06, 2013 9:32 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:...don't barrels normally only shoot one size bullet?

They changed the barrel.

(Each barrel takes 4 hours to print)

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon May 06, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

The barrel of the gun was printed from a $8000 printer and then chemically treated to improve the strength of the plastic.

But one important trick may be the group’s added step of treating the gun’s barrel in a jar of acetone vaporized with a pan of water and a camp stove, a process that chemically melts its surface slightly and smooths the bore to avoid friction. The Dimension printer Defense Distributed used also keeps its print chamber heated to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, a method patented by Stratasys that improves the parts’ resiliency.


And if the process is done wrong... have they created a grenade? What insures that you've treated the plastic barrel correctly?
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby addams » Mon May 06, 2013 2:53 pm UTC

ech. You are All guessing.

Have Myth Busters do it.
The US Government can pay Them.

It's a Two For One for the US.

One: They find out if it Can be done.
The World gets to see What Happens if you Fuck It Up, just a Little bit.

How much damage will Buster Sustain?
Poor Buster. He has had some Bad stuff happen to Him. He could be a Her.

He could be a Whole fricking Family.
The Old Truth may remain The Same.

The Damage will Move in Concentric Circles from The Device.
Or; Not! The Thing may work Beautifully. I don't know.

My first guess it "It's a Gonn'a Blow!"
It is a kind of Unhardened Plastic.

It's hard. But not forged.

I have no fricken idea How it will Fail.
It will. That's all. It will.

Take your best Wrench made out of That Stuff;
Now Bang it against Something. A lot of Things.

When does it fail? A Hot day; Really Hot day adds to The Facts.
That Gun might work. I would not think of it as a Durable Good.

You? What about The Myth Busters. It seems to be Right Up Their Alley.
Endless supply of both Audience and Money. How hard can it be?

A bunch of Vigilantes can Do It. Then, Myth Busters can Do It.
Besides; It could be a Propaganda Film.

"Yes. You can print a Gun. Just, Play with it."
"It is a Toy, not a tool."

Who is Going to Tell You The Truth?
If you can't Trust The Myth Busters, who can you trust?
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 06, 2013 8:32 pm UTC

Alexius wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I hope to god they take proper safety precautions when testing. IE, remotely triggered, not held in hand, LOTS of safety gear. I've got a flak vest for this very purpose. You don't want a gun to kaboom when you're holding it.

They did, which is kind of good since the gun did end up in several pieces when they tried firing a 5.7mm round through it.
It held up to .380 ACP, though (the barrel lasted for 10 shots). But it's still quite unreliable- sometimes the firing pin doesn't hit the right part of the cartridge...


Not surprised...that said, 10 rounds of .380 is still better than I expected for a first time. Firing pins tend to be kind of fiddly bits, so yeah, that's gonna happen when you're using a springless design. Easily solvable by going to a more conventional spring-fed design to get more power on the pin, and springs are sufficient available that I don't see that being any more of a roadblock than the inclusion of the nail.

Also, regarding tracking and the like- governments were pretty worried when laser printers became widespread and inexpensive, due to how easy they made counterfeiting. Laser printers now encode information about the printer serial number and time of printing in a pattern of barely-visible dots on each page they print. I wonder if governments will try to persuade major 3-D printer manufacturers to do something similar- and how easy it would be to remove the tracking.


Extremely easy. Might happen accidentally. Even if we ignore current resolution limitations, it's gonna be very common to have at least minor post-print finishing. Removing support materials, sanding down any rough areas/expansion, gluing other things to it and what not.

Plus, rather a lot of 3d printers are in the hobbyist camp atm. People rolling their own.

Plus, pages have a standard location for the dots. Objects, by virtue of their diversity, do not. There's rather a lot of problems facing anyone who wants to limit this technically.

KnightExemplar wrote:The barrel of the gun was printed from a $8000 printer and then chemically treated to improve the strength of the plastic.

But one important trick may be the group’s added step of treating the gun’s barrel in a jar of acetone vaporized with a pan of water and a camp stove, a process that chemically melts its surface slightly and smooths the bore to avoid friction. The Dimension printer Defense Distributed used also keeps its print chamber heated to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, a method patented by Stratasys that improves the parts’ resiliency.


Huh, I heard Acetone helps with ABS, and have already tried washing it with that as a solvent...didn't do jack for me. Let the piece in there overnight just for fun, and it didn't care. Vaporization shouldn't matter...that should only be to limit the exposure.

Heated print chamber is something I've considered(didn't realize it was patented, seemed obvious), but I haven't gotten around to building one yet.

Moving on to nastier solvents, I suppose.

And if the process is done wrong... have they created a grenade? What insures that you've treated the plastic barrel correctly?


Yeah, that's pretty much always what happens when a gun kabooms. You really don't want that happening in your hands, since a round is basically a small explosive. Commercial guns tend to err WELL on the side of safety here.

Now, you can get by with using weaker materials in greater quantities...but as you go to extremes(like say, marshmallows), even if a vast quantity of them would contain the blast, it doesn't really direct the blast the way you need to for the bullet to travel. I'm curious what sort of speed they're seeing on the .380 round...and conversely, how much the gun is getting damaged in each shot.

Edit: Well, got the plans downloaded, cookin' on the printer now...looks like I can do it all in four batches over a day in a half, and, as it happens, Ive got about a hundred rounds of .380 sitting in my closet for no reason. I'm thinking that *should* be enough to destruction test it. If it doesn't fail immediately, I'm gonna kick out another barrel for sleeving(I've got a .22 sleeve on hand for exactly this reason, and at 4 inches of sleeve per handgun, that's only a coupla bucks per). If, and this is a big if, everything is still functioning decently at that point, I'm gonna go crazy and adapt a .410 barrel for it to become a shotty pistol. I fully expect that this'll shatter the springs at minimum, but what the hell, plastic is cheap.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 10, 2013 1:47 am UTC

Update! Government has decided that DD is in violation of update regulations, has issued a takedown notice for the model files, and has claimed ownership of them.

This could get interesting.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby sardia » Fri May 10, 2013 3:39 am UTC

What's an update regulation and how do you take ownership of it? Is this eminent domain but for files?

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 10, 2013 3:46 am UTC

Oops, export. Must have had a brain fart there. ITAR would be the relevant ruleset.

Well, in theory, I suppose it would be something like that, but in practice, this is the internet. Banning it now really only ensures it gets copied more.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Woopate » Fri May 10, 2013 5:56 am UTC

addams wrote:
Have Myth Busters do it.
The US Government can pay Them.

It's a Two For One for the US.

One: They find out if it Can be done.
The World gets to see What Happens if you Fuck It Up, just a Little bit.


This is an interesting idea. They could pop over to the pirate bay and thingiverse and download the five most popular models and test them on tv to failure. I'm sure the failure rates would dissuade many from their use, and it wouldn't really be revealing secret information about their construction, since the very point is that their construction involves:

1. Google
2. Download
3. Print
4. Assemble
5. Use

Though 3d printing is still pretty limited in scope, and such a televisation(sp?) would also cause people to say "whoa, you can buy a thing that makes guns for you!? I'm in!" and miss the point entirely.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri May 10, 2013 8:58 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Oops, export. Must have had a brain fart there. ITAR would be the relevant ruleset.

Well, in theory, I suppose it would be something like that, but in practice, this is the internet. Banning it now really only ensures it gets copied more.


This is playing out like the Crypto wars in the 90s. Back when cryptography was classified as a weapon, crypto-experts were getting pinged with export violations.

Seems like the same thing has happened here. EDIT: Although... I don't know if people will cross over to Canada for different export-laws or not. For example, the OpenBSD project was started in Canada because they didn't want to deal with the whole "cryptology is export-restricted" thing back in the 90s. Isn't Canada stricter with Gun laws than the US?

sardia wrote:What's an update regulation and how do you take ownership of it? Is this eminent domain but for files?


The regulation has always been there. The export of weapons is clearly within the domain of the US Government to regulate. Posting weapon designs online counts as an "export", since that information leaves the country.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Chen » Fri May 10, 2013 12:24 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Seems like the same thing has happened here. EDIT: Although... I don't know if people will cross over to Canada for different export-laws or not. For example, the OpenBSD project was started in Canada because they didn't want to deal with the whole "cryptology is export-restricted" thing back in the 90s. Isn't Canada stricter with Gun laws than the US?


Crytology was probably unique to the US munitions list which is why people came to Canada to get around it. Most countries require some sort of export permit for firearms so its unlikely this will be much different no matter where you go. Just obtaining the blueprints (importing them) is probably a violation of ITAR anyways so I don't think just hosting servers and the like elsewhere is going to let them get around this.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Ormurinn » Fri May 10, 2013 12:58 pm UTC

Couldn't they get the FANOC instuctions or whatever (or the necessary instructions for a number of models of 3d printers), publish it as a book, and then point out that they're protected by the 2nd ammendment?
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri May 10, 2013 1:13 pm UTC

If anyone thought they were actually breaking weapon export laws, wouldn't they have been arrested rather than simply politely asked to stop?
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri May 10, 2013 1:39 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Couldn't they get the FANOC instuctions or whatever (or the necessary instructions for a number of models of 3d printers), publish it as a book, and then point out that they're protected by the 2nd ammendment?


Yes, because a book wouldn't leave the US, and therefore isn't restricted by export laws. DVD-Roms would also work. At least... until the lawyers figure out another law to ping these guys with. Information going too and from servers on the internet however is definitely covered under export law. This office only cares about stuff that leaves the US. So unless you're exporting that book or shipping that DVD-ROM overseas, then they wouldn't care what you do with those files.

nitePhyyre wrote:If anyone thought they were actually breaking weapon export laws, wouldn't they have been arrested rather than simply politely asked to stop?


Believe it or not, The "Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance" from the State Department does not have the authority to arrest you. These are bureaucrats who is following the letter of the law. They care about export restrictions. Not every Fed has the power to arrest you outright. That said, when the Attorney General and the Justice Department start making moves (ie: FBI, ATF, etc. etc), they'll probably be going for an arrest.

As it is, this is a story about the LULzy Federal Bureaucracy that has figured out some federal regulation that these guys have broken in an obscure manner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgVcSrXXU1s
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Chen » Fri May 10, 2013 2:04 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:If anyone thought they were actually breaking weapon export laws, wouldn't they have been arrested rather than simply politely asked to stop?


I believe they were told to take down the files until it could be determined whether or not they were breaking the laws.

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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri May 10, 2013 2:07 pm UTC

And... as expected... this guy is a dumbass.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/05/09/ ... f-website/

Its not the Pentagon... because the Pentagon has no authority on US Soil. :cry: :cry: :cry: Its the State department, totally different office there. And Fox News completes the complaint with the wrong headline. Well, here come the incorrect stories. Read the letter damn it, it says at the very top "United States Department of State". That is NOT the "Department of Defense". I'm surprised how few people seem to understand how the Government works around here. So many people complaining about it, so few people even bothering to understand it...

Fucking hell. These guys are dumb.

Officials from the Department of Defense did not immediately return requests for comment.


No shit they didn't. They didn't write the takedown letter. The DoD doesn't care. Why not contact... oh I dunno... "The Department of State, Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Enforcement Division (DTCC/END)", you know, the guys at the top of the takedown letter? Why are they trying to contact the DoD ??


-----------------------

The letter is in this article btw:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenbe ... violation/

Read the damn letter. They just need to fill out

The Department believes Defense Distributed may not have established the proper jurisdiction of the subject technical data. To resolve this matter officially, we request that Defense Distributed submit Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) determination requests for the following selection of data files available on DEFCAD.org, and any other technical data for which Defense Distributed is unable to determine proper jurisdiction

...

The form, guidance for submitting CJ requests, and other relevant information such as a copy of the ITAR can be found on DDTC’s website at http://www.pmddtc.state.gov.


Its a Government Bureaucrat. Fill out the Form, you'll be fine.

----============----------------

Its the reaction of Defense Distributed that is pissing me off. They clearly haven't even read the letter, and are mouthing off dumb things in dumb ways.
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Re: Distributed Defense

Postby Chen » Fri May 10, 2013 2:57 pm UTC

I don't think filling out the form will make it fine though. The problem is the internet allows exporting across pretty much ALL borders. There are certain places the US will NOT export significant military equipment (which firearms are considered under the US munitions list). As such having blueprints to a firearm available on the internet seems like its going to run afoul of ITAR regardless of what forms you fill out since the minute someone in North Korea opens the file you've exported it to North Korea.


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