Regulating 3D printed guns is going to be tricky. You can take down the files from one Web site, and hundreds more will pop up across the Web. You can bar people with a criminal record from buying a 3D printer, but that would keep them from being able to take advantage of this innovative technology. Is there a way to regulate 3D printed firearms without slowing down the proliferation of 3D printers?
Create It Real, a company out of Denmark, says it has a solution to 3D printed firearms. It involves software that detects .CAD files of 3D printed guns, and prevents the user from opening the file. Here's how it works:
The Danish company Create it Real, however, has found a solution to this issue. Upon opening a 3D file, the smart software scans the model and tries to match its characteristics with the characteristics of a firearm. If certain features align, the software will not allow the user to view and print the model.
For safety reasons, there are no models of firearms stored on the user's computer but rather a list of its characteristics.
Create it Real's CEO Jérémie Pierre Gay assured that "printing other, non-firearm models is of course still possible."
It's by far the best approach to the "problem" of 3D printed firearms, but it still has a few issues. The software says that it tries to match the characteristics of the model with that of a gun. As we've seen before, many harmless things can look like guns. Will the software prevent someone from printing a water gun or a prop for a costume? These are the questions Create It Real will have to answer before regulators can start using the software.[h/t: 3ders]