Friday, June 28, 2013

In Case You Think You Just Couldn't Stop Yourself From 3D Printing a Gun...

In Case You Think You Just Couldn't Stop Yourself From 3D Printing a Gun...:
An early glimpse into the narrowing of the dream of the
open-source, anything-goes world of 3D printing,
via Ars Technica
:
A Danish company that sells 3D printer component parts and
related software to 3D printer manufacturers now says it has come
up with a firearm component detection algorithm.

On Tuesday, Create it Real announced that
in the coming months its software would include an option to find
and block gun parts. When it detects a file that contains firearm
parts, the software will shut down and disallow printing....
“In Europe there are laws around manufacturing firearms—if it
becomes too easy to just press print, who is responsible?” Jeremie
Pierre Gay, the company’s CEO, said to Ars. “That is the concern of
the manufacturer. They want to get rid of this responsibility. In
general, our software works like an antivirus [program], we have a
central database [where] we collect all the files that are firearms.”....
Gay declined to explain precisely how his detection algorithms
work, other than to say they involve a “combination of geometrical
features.” For now, this software is only available for Create it
Real’s hardware—but the executive noted that he would be happy to
license it to other software developers.
Of course, any techical possiblility--even a self-limiting
one--offered for sale in a market to willing customers is OK by me,
in a "I wouldn't wave my hand and make it disappear" way. But it
would be sad if this is the beginning (as the market in home 3D
printers centralizes more, with
Makerbot's purchase by Stratasys
) of a norm in these machines
that is DRMed and limited like a locked phone or DVD player, where
it's only easy to do the limited set of things the sellers of the
device want you to do.