10 Illegal Things to Make With a 3D Printer

3D printing revolutionized the printing technology as well as manufacturing process. It is an additive process as it is done by combining layer by layer of different materials. Many varieties of materials are used in 3D printing and you can make many wonderful things using a 3D printing. Today’s 3D printing technology is so advanced that we can print food also. This industry is still massively underdevelopment and a new use for 3D printing emerges every week.

At the time of invention of 3D printing, government wants to make it every household item and decided to reduce the rates to several hundred dollars. As the 3D printer gain popularity in very less time, few people trying to misuse it and start making few illegal things which are dangerous to other people. Now the government is deciding to limit the use of 3D printer as a household device. Somehow it’s becoming a popular device for criminals to make car keys for stealing purpose or a working gun. In the following list, we are going to tell you about 10 illegal things to make with a 3D printer.

10. Bicycle Helmet

Bicycle Helmetphoto credit: Wikimedia

To print simple helmets is not illegal. I am talking about few worldwide popular companies such as Crux Products, who designed limited sterling helmets only for Olympics cycling people. People can make these helmets using 3D printing technology. Sometime there is a problem of sizes but here is no problem as every athlete head’s was scanned using 3D laser device.

9. .22 Caliber Silencer

.22 Caliber Silencerphoto credit: Wikimedia

In the United States, some firearms are legal to manufacture for individual except high level or assault weapons such as machine guns and silencers. But there are many limitations also about the materials used in printing. If you use a low quality material then it may blow up and you get hurt. If you are taking this risk then you must have a license from the government.

8. Bio Printing

Bio Printingphoto credit: Wikimedia

Bio printing means develop body parts using 3D printer, that is already begun. Organovo, a bioprinting laboratory is printing liver and eye tissue cells in collaboration with the National Eye Institute and National Center for Advancing Transnational Science. This process is only legal in an authorized research laboratory.

7. Virus

Virusphoto credit: Wikimedia

Not all printers can do this, it needs a special 3D printer which replicates biological substances. The US based company, Cambrian Genomics has already successfully demonstrated it. This one is a new type of printer specialized in DNA printing which improved the accuracy and DNA reproduction. This technology has massive medical benefits such as to recover a child who was born with a very rare genetic disease. This field is under development and illegal for non-authorized.

6. Gun Magazine

Gun Magazinephoto credit: Technobuffalo

3D printed firearms are made up of molted plastic base mixed with iron particles in order to give it strength. There are many 3D printed gun magazines which work exactly same as the normal mag. Some of them are AR-15 magazine which holds up to 30 rounds and Beretta M9 gun which has enough power to kill a person. A bad guy can break into your home and steal your money using these 3D printed weapons, which is the main reason to ban it for household.

5. 3D Printed Vaccine

3D Printed Vaccinephoto credit: Wikimedia

3D printing technology also revolutionized the drug market. Very soon, this technology could allow us to print everything including human hearts. Lee Cronin of Glasgow University invented 3D Chemputer which creates medicines by adjusting chemical compounds on a molecular level. Some people say that government should make all 3D printed drugs legal, but this is not a solution. If you could print your medicine at home just by owning a CAD file then what about the drug suppliers. Moreover, the world is full of bad people who could take this technology as an advantage to create illegal/dangerous drugs at home.

4. Handcuff key

Handcuff keyphoto credit: Uberreview

No one wants to lose their keys and replicate them a using 3D printer. A few months ago, a member of a German lock picking group created a 3D printed key for the handcuffs. Luckily, he was able to measure and replicate keys just by a photograph of the keys and common sense to gauge its size. The best part happens later when he uploads design of the key online for free.

3. Copying Patent Design

Which Internet Images you CAN and CAN'T actually use on your Website without breaking any copyright lawImage credit: wikimedia

This one is a serious issue because copying a patent design is considered as one of the illegal things. There are very strict rules regarding copying other ideas and the culprit might have to pay a big fine for doing this. To make this process very simple, they have to upload it online so that everyone can see the patent holder name.

2. 3D Logo

3D Logo of Jaguarphoto credit: Wikimedia

No one wants that their branded logo is used by anyone for free. Some of the worldwide popular car brands sold their 3D logos for thousands of dollars. It is considered a bootlegging. In most of the places 2D logos are recognized as normal and no one bothers about it but printing 3D logos would be illegal and it would be an expensive idea for you.

1. A Working Gun

A Working Gun - Illegal Things to Make With a 3D Printerphoto credit: Mashable

The US defense system designed a 3D printed metal gun to promote the use of 3D printing. Last year a Texas company, Solid Concepts designed a 3D printed version of a pistol made of metal. The US-based Defense Distributed has also designed an AR-15 type rifle. This rifle can fire 800 bullets a minute. You can extend the number of magazines for more than fifteen by modifying the design. Under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban law, all the weapons are illegal having more than ten rounds.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

View all articles
Leave a reply

1 comment