Create It REAL, a 3D printing company, says (PDF) their new software prevents 3D printing guns, which is definitely a creepy semi-Orwellian idea. Hey, if you buy a 3D printer you should be able to print whatever you want as long as it is legal, and gun parts are legal to print. Intrusive software like this is just the leading edge of how authorities will try to regulate and control 3D printing. Oh gosh, it appears you want to print a sex toy and we can’t allow that. Or, that might be a potential copyright violation, we are notifying the government.Don’t think this can’t happen.
Besides, I’m skeptical of whether it could even work (or that it won’t generate false positives), so is Fabbaloo.
We have no idea of this system’s effectiveness, but while it may be able to detect (and therefore lock out 3D printing) the current set of firearm designs, there are obviously many geometric possibilities for firearms. It’s likely determined firearm designers could develop models that sneak past this test.
It’s just software. No doubt with a little thought, it can be routed around or disabled. An even better idea is simply to not buy their 3D printers or products, especially since reliable open source software will probably become mainstream in 3D printing. I mean, if they’re putting onerous bloat like this in their software, what else are they doing?