WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

3D Printers ushering in new era

'Tis the season (or era) for 3D printers.

For good and/or bad.

From Scotland recently came word scientists had printed stem cells, meaning researchers are that much closer to reproducing human tissue. Indeed, scientists at Oxford University claim to have developed a way to create synthetic living tissue.

3D printers could lead to a revolution in manufacturing.

3D printers entered the popular culture earlier this year - on CBS's "Big Bang Theory" - when characters Howard & Raj purchased a 3D printer to create Action figures of themselves. (Howard's wife Bernadette later forces her husband to return the contraption after learning he paid so much for it without her permission!)

But, we're beginning to grasp the scary implications of such Brave New World technology: The creation of the plastic gun with all its parts 3D printed, invisibly impervious to conventional screenings for weapons. You don't need too much imagination to figure out what this means...

Indeed, the organization Defense Distributed - behind plastic, high-capacity magazines created in response to the Obama Administration's attempts to control weapons - has designed an (almost) all-plastic gun called "The Liberator" using such technology. Defense Distributed has announced it will put blueprints on line.

"The Liberator" would still require a metal pin; Defense Distributed put a piece of metal into the gun to comply with existing regulations.

That obviously wouldn't deter some folks from reproducing the gun in an all-plastic version.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) calls that prospect "stomach-churning":

"We're facing a situation where anyone - a felon, a terrorist - can open a gun factory in their garage and the weapons they make will be undetectable."

Schumer will push for legislation that would extend the existing ban on undetectable weapons to specifically any gun, magazine, or firearm component invisible to walk-through metal detectors.

But if such weapons are inherently undetectable, how would anyone get caught? Until or unless someone develops technology to detect the previously undetectable weapons, in which case they'd be no longer undetectable!

And lest we forget, plastic guns were always toy guns.

Have you any doubt the advent of 3D printers will have as great an impact on society as the internet, multi-purpose cellphones, and new social media?


Check out this account from the BBC News website...



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22421185



And from the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS...



http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/schumer-stop-plastic-guns-article-1.1335599


Posted at 8:01am on May 6, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 8:17am
Brave New World here we come. I guess the schools will have to stop banning this book. For those who didn't get to read it [it is still in public libraries], here's a quick synopsis:

Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. "After Ford" in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and operant conditioning that combine to profoundly change society.

He also wrote a sequel in 1958, that I just now heard about, Brave New World Revisited. Here is the synopsis of that book:

Brave New World Revisited (Harper & Brothers, US, 1958; Chatto & Windus, UK, 1959),[26] written by Huxley almost thirty years after Brave New World, was a non-fiction work in which Huxley considered whether the world had moved toward or away from his vision of the future from the 1930s. He believed when he wrote the original novel that it was a reasonable guess as to where the world might go in the future. In Brave New World Revisited, he concluded that the world was becoming like Brave New World much faster than he originally thought.

Huxley analysed the causes of this, such as overpopulation as well as all the means by which populations can be controlled. He was particularly interested in the effects of drugs and subliminal suggestion. Brave New World Revisited is different in tone because of Huxley's evolving thought, as well as his conversion to Hindu Vedanta in the interim between the two books.

The last chapter of the book aims to propose action which could be taken in order to prevent a democracy from turning into the totalitarian world described in Brave New World.

I'll have to see if my library has this and read it.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 8:26am
Allan: In my research I also found that CBS Radio did a dramatization of Brave New World on CBS Radio Workshop (27 January and 3 February 1956). It would be interesting to find that broadcast and listen to it.

It also was made into a movie once in the 1980's and the 1990's.

billsmith
Mon, May 6, 2013 8:51am
MikeFromDelaware: Did you even read the book? Brave New World does not mention anything like 3-D printing. As with much science fiction, it predicts things that don't happen and misses things that do happen. Impossible to have an "intelligent discussion" with people who lack intelligence.

kavips
Mon, May 6, 2013 9:08am
Brave New World adequately describes our fear of the future and that it will turn out badly. It seems to work because here we are discussing a book written in the thirties, 80 years later.

Computers were going to be too dangerous to put into plain people's hands. I remember that discussion.

We will adapt. I'm trying to think what chances I would have running across someone using a plastic gun in my lifetime. Probably not very many. Only if I happen to have the most unfortunate bad luck to visit a courthouse on a day another family dispute was being argued.....

I don't think the plastic guns, if those are what we fear, would make it past a TSA screener... Particularly if we have a dog casually sniffing the air as each person walks by.

On the other hand, I just might use some stem cells in 30 or 40 years.. Particularly if they can flow to a damaged heart valve, and regrow it to perfection. My favorite hope, since deterioration has started since graduating college, is that we can one day regenerate neurons, enabling learning to be as easy as it was in childhood again.... This bit of having to dump old files to download new files, is getting a bit old now...

So, the benefits, to me, far outweigh the risks... Brave New World... Bring it on!

teatime
Mon, May 6, 2013 9:26am

3D printers are as much a gimmick as 3D glasses in the movies. So many movie makers believe 3D is a substitute for good storyline, script and acting. That's why we have so many mediocre movies that are touted because they're 3D.


EarlGrey
Mon, May 6, 2013 9:30am
Mike: No need to read that book, Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged or 1984...we are living them in real time.

3D printing technology can be used for good or mis-used for evil (as all tools can).

EarlGrey
Mon, May 6, 2013 9:34am
These machines will help keep copyright lawyers very busy ;)

btw, even though these machines create plastic shapes, it doesn't limit the manufacture of metal creations...the plastic is used as the mold for whatever you wish to make.


Allan Loudell
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:04am
teatime---

I agree with you that 3D movies are gimmicky, and often the "effects" are much more important than any coherent storyline.

But the evidence is mounting that 3D printing is no gimmick, and will have a profound impact on our futures in the way 3D movies never could.

Allan Loudell

kavips
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:06am
Teatime: 3D Printers are to technology today, what computers were in the early 80's.... I'm laughing because we will one day be eating plastic and it will be good for us...

"Hmm. what do I want for lunch... Ok. Today's the 6th of May. Let's make it two burritos and a margarita.... " Beep. Beep. Beep.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:13am
Billsmith: I did read the book and yes it fits this discussion.

EarlGrey: I read all those books too. Bill's problem is he thinks Christians don't read anything other than the Bible or books written by Christians. Once again, he is wrong.

EarlGrey
Mon, May 6, 2013 10:48am
"3D Printers are to technology today, what computers were in the early 80's.... I'm laughing because we will one day be eating plastic and it will be good for us..."

...will it be plastic or Soylent Green? (it's people dontcha know)


kavips
Mon, May 6, 2013 11:06am
Lol Well said, Earl Grey.

billsmith
Mon, May 6, 2013 1:10pm
MikeFromUnaware: Your problem is you read but you don't think. Especially regarding the Bible. You only read what confirms what you already think. You remember what confirms what you already think. You twist what you read to support what you already think. Then you parrot it back. You don't even know much about your own religion. You just memorized a few Bible verses you can spout back on demand. Maybe you read the book; you didn't get it. Your knowledge of current affairs is superficial and misinformed; just like your knowledge of religion. Yet you expect people to respect your views. They used to sit in the newsroom and laugh.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 1:33pm
Billsmith: Well that's their right to laugh and mock my views and beliefs, much as you do. Worldly wisdom is 180 degrees out from the Lord's. Better I faithfully seek God's will and wisdom and be laughed at, sort of like Noah and others found in the Bible.

Just because I don't end up with the same conclusions as you and apparently some of my former co-workers in the newsroom, doesn't mean I'm not a thinker. Libs hate independent thinkers who don't follow the herd on either side of the isle, or of religious or non-religious. That's me.

I never said I was the "sharpest knife in the drawer", but I'm interested in hearing what others think and to consider their views. Sometimes I'll accept and those views will become mine, other times no. That, to me is what a thinker does, not just pontificate their view and that's the only acceptable view. Maybe that would make me a poor talk show host [my listeners seemed to like my show; my ratings did beat the competing program on WDEL back then - got to see the actual ratings] even if others in the newsroom [apparently based on what you're saying] didn't. It is what it is.

Allan Loudell
Mon, May 6, 2013 1:36pm
Gentlemen---

Time for a moratorium on the personal attacks, please, which also tend to get into issues completely unrelated to a blog post.

This is also getting "too inside"...

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 3:19pm
Taking Allan's lead and getting us back on topic: Kavips said earlier:

"Brave New World adequately describes our fear of the future and that it will turn out badly. It seems to work because here we are discussing a book written in the thirties, 80 years later.

Computers were going to be too dangerous to put into plain people's hands. I remember that discussion.

We will adapt. I'm trying to think what chances I would have running across someone using a plastic gun in my lifetime. Probably not very many. Only if I happen to have the most unfortunate bad luck to visit a courthouse on a day another family dispute was being argued.....

I don't think the plastic guns, if those are what we fear, would make it past a TSA screener... Particularly if we have a dog casually sniffing the air as each person walks by.

On the other hand, I just might use some stem cells in 30 or 40 years.. Particularly if they can flow to a damaged heart valve, and regrow it to perfection. My favorite hope, since deterioration has started since graduating college, is that we can one day regenerate neurons, enabling learning to be as easy as it was in childhood again.... This bit of having to dump old files to download new files, is getting a bit old now...

So, the benefits, to me, far outweigh the risks... Brave New World... Bring it on!"

Kavips brings up some good valid points. The medical stuff could be a great help, especially as that technology might mean not having to use fetal tissue and the ramifications of that and the battles that would go with it, etc.

Even the plastic gun, as you said, dogs sniffing the air, might be the solution as bullets still have gun powder and dogs apparently can sniff that.

The problem with any new technology is there will be those who will use it for bad, just as has been the case all through mankinds' existence. So we'll have to take the good with the bad and find ways to keep the bad to a minimum [atomic power comes to mind - a great tool for electric power, but also a horrible weapon]. We've come a long way from the days where the jawbone of an ass [donkey] was a weapon of mass destruction.

Another good point. Huxley's book was such an important book that yes, 80 years later, we're still discussing it, it still gets banned by some schools, and in other schools kids are required to read it.

kavips
Mon, May 6, 2013 5:01pm
Two responses to Mike above...

1) Yes, 3D Technology is expected to remove the fetus equation out of stem cell production.

2) It will be a sad state when dogs cannot be replaced by machines, but all that men do, can.

billsmith
Mon, May 6, 2013 7:38pm
MikeFromDelaware: Cherry picking the opinions - and the facts - that suit you is not the same as "thinking." George Will has conservative conclusions. He thinks. It's not your conclusions. It's how you got them and how you support them.

Why are you Jesus freaks so afraid of the future (and of technological progress)? Maybe for your next religion, you should try being Amish and do away with non-Biblical technology altogether. It seems hypocritical for you to decry technology, even as you persist in using it.

Funny, the future things you Jesus jumpers should worry about - like global warming - you deny.

I hope your "beliefs" turn out to be right. I look forward to a post-rapture world.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 6, 2013 9:02pm
Kavips: What I'm looking forward to [OK this won't happen in my life time, but it would be great when it comes] is "Star Trek Medicine". Dr. McCoy waves that little cylinder around the sick or ill part of the patient and they're well almost instantaneously. Now THAT would be exciting.

kavips
Tue, May 7, 2013 1:54am
Well Mike, scripturally speaking, in the next life, we just might have something like that enabling us to live forever... Who knows how it gets done? :)

Mike from Delaware
Tue, May 7, 2013 8:02am
Kavips:Your right, and we won't need Dr. McCoy with those new glorified bodies. That will be even cooler than Star Trek Medicine ;)

EarlGrey
Tue, May 7, 2013 8:30am
kavips and mike: In the next life (if you believe the Bible) you will live forever...but it's up to you where your forever address will be.

kavips
Tue, May 7, 2013 7:12pm
lol EarlGrey... lol..


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