3Diligent’s 3D Printed Gun Pledge

 

As you may have heard, the US government recently reached settlement on a lawsuit related to 3D Printed guns.  The outcome of the settlement is it becomes legal to post 3D Printable files for the fabrication of firearms online starting August 1.

At 3Diligent, we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that CAD-based digital manufacturing technologies such as 3D Printing (sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing) are used appropriately.  That is why we have a live engineer review every file that comes across our web portal before we quote or fulfill a job.

Historically, we have focused on ensuring that the design files we are sent for fabrication do not infringe upon existing copyrights.  However, this news means that our responsibility has grown.

We believe strongly in the importance of traceable firearms as a means of deterring criminal and terrorist activity.  We are disappointed at what this settlement potentially means to the safety and security of law-abiding citizens who choose either not to arm themselves or are willing to procure legal firearms through traditional, appropriately regulated channels.

Regardless of what is becoming legally permissible, it is 3Diligent’s official position that we will not support the printing of any 3D Printed gun parts designed in an effort to circumvent the Undetectable Firearms Act.  To do so would not be aligned to 3Diligent’s mission, vision, and values as an organization.

We call on other 3D Printing and digital manufacturing service providers to join us in making this commitment.  We also call on our elected officials to pass appropriate legislation to close this loophole before August 1.

Lastly, we encourage ongoing discussion of this topic.  The digital manufacturing revolution is dependent on ensuring the safe and appropriate use of digital manufacturing technologies, and we welcome the opportunity to participate in the conversation.

 

A Few Words on Layer Thickness and Your 3D Prints

One thing that is unique to 3D Printing relative to other fabrication processes is the importance of layer thickness.  Since you’re building a part up “additively,” thicker layers makes for a faster build.  But if the 3D Printing software is cutting the design file into thicker slices, then you may also lose some degree of resolution in the print.  Whether or not that’s the case, the aesthetics of different layer thicknesses can be something you want to consider when getting a part 3D Printed.

In this video, I dive deeper into the topic of layer height and show you a handful of parts printed at different layer heights.  This may help provide you a sense of what the end result would look like if you were to submit an RFQ at www.3Diligent.com and specify a given layer height for the extrusion printing process.  I also review the post-process options that can be added to address the layer aesthetics, including sanding and acetone vapor smoothing.

 

After this four-minute video, you will be ready to make an educated decision on the layer thickness of your next additive manufacturing project. And if you have further questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below!