Tag Archive: 3D printing


TOM pg 096

Emerging tech issues: 3D-printed guns! Perhaps not a problem in the USA, as normal guns so widely available. Elsewhere, like in South Africa, guns harder to acquire, but 3D-printers even less common. This may change.

The bad guy in the book brandishes an untraceable 3D-printed ‘ghost’ gun. But how much of a threat are they really?

To build a 3D gun, you’d need the plans. I can imagine these are available somewhere on the dark web. (For reasons unclear to me, U.S.A President Trump has been trying to make such plans available online, but has been blocked by 20 states, who are suing over this issue.)

You’d also need a 3D printer and you’d need to know how to use it. And you’d still need the bullets.

3D printers are prohibitively expensive in South Africa. And not many people have the expertise to use them. It’s probably much easier to get a stolen gun. In the U.S.A., 3D printers are far more available, but perhaps so too are guns?

So for now, such printed guns are thankfully still out of reach for most criminals in South Africa. But I guess in time this will change.

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