A 3D End To Contraband?

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 6 2012 @ 4:00pm

by Zoë Pollock

J.D. Tuccille spotlights two developments in the 3D printing revolution. First up, the manufacture of a gun that can actually shoot:

An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, user HaveBlue from the AR-15 forum, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear.

Next up, drugs?

Researchers have used a £1,250 system to create a range of organic compounds and inorganic clusters – some of which are used to create cancer treatments. Longer term, the scientists say the process could be used to make customised medicines. … We're extrapolating from that to say that in the future you could buy common chemicals, slot them into something that 3D prints, just press a button to mix the ingredients and filter them through the architecture and at the bottom you would get out your prescription drug.

Tuccille's takeaway:

Think of it — a world of plenty, with easy localized manufacture of almost anything you might need. It's a world in which "that should be illegal" becomes a punch line.