Gun parts aren’t the only pieces of printable contraband:
[Some people are] putting 3D-printing technology to an entirely new end: Getting high. Which is to say, we’ve come a decent way since the MakerBong first showed up on Thingiverse, the digital-design hub. That was three years ago. It was by all accounts the first user-created specs for printable paraphernalia, and it likewise spurred some of the initial chatter over the legal uncertainties of a near-future where every home–maybe–has a printer.
Lee Hutchinson explores the ethical issues raised by this sort of printing:
As marijuana legalization gains traction at the state level, what is the responsibility of 3D repositories like Thingiverse to police themselves? Is it “moral” to allow the storing and downloading of 3D bong templates, but not firearm templates? Casual marijuana smokers consistently tout the harmlessness of the drug, but those opposed to its legalization are point to the dangers of abuse; on the opposite side of that coin, firearm enthusiasts push their own hobby’s safety and the dangers of restricting gun ownership. Each group may be seen by the other as somewhat hypocritical: a gun is a tool, but gun control proponents point out that guns are tools designed to kill.
Previous Dish on 3D printing here.
(Image: Thingiverse user hendo420)