Regulating 3D Printer Designs

Is printing of 3D firearms a first step?

I read an interesting article about 3D printing of firearms.  Essentially, the article reports that the Danish 3D tech company, Create It REAL, designed software that prevents the printing of 3D firearms.

Create It REAL designed an algorithm that identifies specific components to be used in guns and prevents them from being printed. Identifiable components could be anything used to make a firearm, such as a trigger, firing pin, etc.

Hi-tech censorship?

Is this the first step to regulating the capabilities of 3D printing?  Organizations such as DEFCAD do everything they can to make ownership of intellectual property obsolete. They do so by trying to publish every design of every product ever made. Obviously, the fears of the patent holders and owners of intellectual property demand action be taken to protect their interests.

Programming software to prevent printing certain designs puts the brakes on, at least temporarily, the revolution of 3D printing.

Caution: Controversy Ahead

How will what can and cannot be printed by a 3D printer be enforced.  Will 3D printer manufacturers bear the burden of selling only 3D printers with regulated software?  What happens to the 3D printer company that sells 3D printers without regulated software? Will they face fines or liability for the economic damages to the patent and intellectual property holders?

I don’t know the answers to these questions.  However, I do know a fierce fight lies ahead.

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