Expert warns 3D printing could allow rogue states to manufacture nuclear weapons – Daily Mail


July 20, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


  • Plans for basic handguns are available for 3D printers
  • Experts suggests intellectual property laws to counter threat of weapons
  • Increasing international cooperation to regulate the spread of 3D printing technology could combat the threats of homemade nuclear weapons 
  • Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to effectively secure the files needed to build components

Daniel C. Tirone With The Conversation

and
James Gilley With The Conversation

Following the recent mass shooting in Orlando, and the shootings in Minnesota and Dallas, the sharp political divisions over gun control within the U.S. are once again on display.

In June, House Democrats even staged a sit-in to advocate for stronger laws.

There is some evidence that more restrictions can reduce gun violence, but another recent shooting highlighted some limitations of regulation.

British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was murdered with a ‘makeshift gun’ despite the United Kingdom’s restrictive gun-control laws.

The threat of self-manufactured firearms is not new, but a critical barrier is collapsing.

Scroll down for videos 

Experts from Louisiana say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use 3D printing to evade international safeguards and manufacture the machinery they need. Pictured, a nuclear Explosion over Bikini Atoll following the test detonation of an 11-megaton nuclear device code named "Romeo" over Bikini Atoll

Experts from Louisiana say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use 3D printing to evade international safeguards and manufacture the machinery they need. Pictured, a nuclear Explosion over Bikini Atoll following the test detonation of an 11-megaton nuclear device code named ‘Romeo’ over Bikini Atoll

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS PROPOSE TO COUNTER 3D PRINTED WEAPONS? 

The U.S. State Department feels sharing plans to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun online violates federal laws barring exports of military technology.

The city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania has already taken steps to outlaw the possession of 3D-printed guns or their components in 2013.

Other experts believe more rigorous intellectual property laws, to counter the evolving threat of unregulated 3D-printed weapons. 

However, for the greater threat if nuclear weapons, they say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use additive manufacturing to evade international safeguards against nuclear proliferation. 

Research into this threat recommend that governments enact export restrictions on certain types of 3D printers.

Nuclear policy experts propose other approaches to limit additive manufacturing’s dangers to nuclear security.

They say it is necessary not to just regulate hardware, but also secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction.

Until recently, most people didn’t have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones.

However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before.

The prospect of more stringent legislation is also fueling interest in at-home production.

Plans for basic handguns that can be created on consumer-grade 3D printers are readily available online.

With more advanced 3D printers and other at-home technologies such as the Ghost Gunner computer-controlled mill, people can even make more complex weapons, including metal handguns and components for semi-automatic rifles.

These technologies pose challenges not only for gun regulation but also for efforts to protect humanity from more powerful weapons.

In the words of Bruce Goodwin, associate director at large for national security policy and research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ‘All by itself, additive manufacturing changes everything, including defense matters.’

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat.

The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology.

At the local level, the city of Philadelphia outlawed the possession of 3D-printed guns or their components in 2013.

Until recently, most people didn't have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones. However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before and plans for basic handguns are available to consumers

Until recently, most people didn’t have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones. However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before and plans for basic handguns are available to consumers

Nevertheless, participants recommended a number of policies, such as more rigorous intellectual property laws, to counter the evolving threat of unregulated 3D-printed weapons.

These types of policies will become increasingly important as at-home manufacturing of firearms weakens traditional gun control regulations such as those focusing on the buying and selling of weapons.

THE DANGERS OF 3D-PRINTED GUNS

There are a number of 3D-printed gun designs now freely available on the web.

The first fully 3D-printed gun (save for the ammo), the Liberator, is capable of killing someone.

Before the Liberator initial efforts to make guns from plastic usually exploded when attempts were made to fire bullets.

This proof of concept gun, however, showed that making a lethal weapon out of plastic is entirely possible.

Since then a number of other guns have sprung up on the web.

In late 2013 a gun enthusiast in Wisconsin showed off a working firearm called the Lulz Liberator, made from less than £15 ($25) worth of plastic, that could fire .38 calibre bullets without being damaged.

In July, meanwhile, a Youtube user showed off ‘The Grizzly, a 3D-printed rifle capable of firing .22-calibre bullets.

These guns were one-shot only – the barrel had to be removed after each shot – but in August another gun enthusiast unveiled the Reprringer, capable of holding and firing five bullets.

The alarming speed at which the technology has progressed shows how close these guns are to accurately mimicking real-life weapons.

Even as users of Fosscod play down the danger of them, the sight of guns made from plastic being created is unnerving.

And the fact they are made of plastic and not metal means they can be taken through metal detectors without being picked up.

For the moment, though, ammo and firing pins must still be metal.

But there is a possibility that in future entire guns could be 3D-printed – including the ammo.

The danger goes well beyond firearms. 

Countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use additive manufacturing to evade international safeguards against nuclear proliferation.

Traditional nuclear weapon control efforts include watching international markets for sales of components needed for manufacturing a nuclear device.

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat. The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat. The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology

Additional measures place restrictions on the types of technology nuclear capable states can export.

Additive manufacturing could avoid these efforts by letting countries make the equipment themselves, instead of buying it abroad.

Research into this threat led nonproliferation scholar Grant Christopher to recommend that governments enact export restrictions on certain types of 3D printers.

Nuclear policy experts Matthew Kroenig and Tristan Volpe proposed other approaches to limit additive manufacturing’s dangers to nuclear security.

THE TERRIFYING REALITY OF 3D PRINTED GUNS 

In May 2013, the world’s first gun made with a 3D printer was unveiled.

At the time it sparked major controversy – some derided it as nothing more than a toy, others warned it was a serious security risk that was undetectable by metal detectors.

One year on, the chilling reality of 3D-printed guns has been revealed as enthusiasts across the world show off their ‘toys’.

A multitude of videos on YouTube show just how 3D-printed guns began to show up over the past few years

The first was unveiled by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas.

His primitive design was the Liberator – but that proof of concept has been vastly improved since May 2013.

3D-printing gun enthusiasts now gather at a website called Fosscad (Free Open Source Software & Computer Aided Designs).

Here, users share their designs for 3D-printed guns, which can be downloaded by anyone.

With a 3D printer, technically anyone can then download one of the designs and print their own gun.

MailOnline spoke to some of the users on Fosscad about how it has changed over the last year.

Some were keen to stress that these guns are not always that easy to make.

They require a decent knowledge of 3D printing and assembly.

And, it was pointed out that while most of the gun can be printed there are some things that cannot, such as ammo – although not for lack of trying.

But they did agree that these guns would be use to seriously harm and even kill people, just like regular guns – with the difference being the designs for 3D-printed guns can be downloaded from the internet.

For countries like the UK, where firearms are much harder to come by than in the US, the availability of these designs does prove a considerable danger. 

In one Youtube video a Japanese ‘Zig Zag’ revolver, named by its maker, can be seen in action.

Yoshitomo Imura, the man behind the video, was arrested in Japan for owning 3D-printed firearm components.

‘A big misconception is that 3D printing and making guns using 3D printers are easy to make,’ said one user, Duce, who goes as ‘ma deuce’ on Youtube.

‘We have been doing this for years and I can say it’s not easy.’ 

Duce points out that the group has been working on making 3D components for guns for about two years – it’s only in the past year almost entirely printed guns have been conceived.

‘In the UK you can’t buy gun parts easily,’ Duce says, ‘So you would be limited to the liberator type guns.’

For a complete novice who had no knowledge of 3D printers or guns it would take ‘probably a few months to do it well, to print it’ and then assemble the design into a weapon. 

One way could be increasing international cooperation to regulate the spread of 3D printing technology.

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction.

Arms control analyst Amy Nelson points out that the risk this kind of data will spread increases as it becomes increasingly digital.

Terrorist groups and other nongovernment forces could also find ways to use 3D printing to make more destructive weapons.

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction. Pictures is the Liberator pistol, which fires a single shot and is made from plastic that was cut from a 3D printer  

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction. Pictures is the Liberator pistol, which fires a single shot and is made from plastic that was cut from a 3D printer  

We argue that despite these groups’ interest in using weapons of mass destruction, they don’t use them regularly because their homemade devices are inherently unreliable.

Additive manufacturing could help these groups produce more effective canisters or other delivery mechanisms, or improve the potency of their chemical and biological ingredients.

Such developments would make these weapons more attractive and increase the likelihood of their use in a terror attack.

The worst threats 3D printing poses to human life and safety are likely some distance in the future.

However, the harder policymakers and others work to restrict access to handguns or unconventional weapons, the more attractive 3D printing becomes to those who want to do harm.

Additive manufacturing holds great promise for improvements across many different areas of people’s lives.

Scholars and policymakers must work together to ensure we can take advantage of these benefits while guarding against the technology’s inherent dangers. 

  • Plans for basic handguns are available for 3D printers
  • Experts suggests intellectual property laws to counter threat of weapons
  • Increasing international cooperation to regulate the spread of 3D printing technology could combat the threats of homemade nuclear weapons 
  • Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to effectively secure the files needed to build components

Daniel C. Tirone With The Conversation

and
James Gilley With The Conversation

Following the recent mass shooting in Orlando, and the shootings in Minnesota and Dallas, the sharp political divisions over gun control within the U.S. are once again on display.

In June, House Democrats even staged a sit-in to advocate for stronger laws.

There is some evidence that more restrictions can reduce gun violence, but another recent shooting highlighted some limitations of regulation.

British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was murdered with a ‘makeshift gun’ despite the United Kingdom’s restrictive gun-control laws.

The threat of self-manufactured firearms is not new, but a critical barrier is collapsing.

Scroll down for videos 

Experts from Louisiana say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use 3D printing to evade international safeguards and manufacture the machinery they need. Pictured, a nuclear Explosion over Bikini Atoll following the test detonation of an 11-megaton nuclear device code named "Romeo" over Bikini Atoll

Experts from Louisiana say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use 3D printing to evade international safeguards and manufacture the machinery they need. Pictured, a nuclear Explosion over Bikini Atoll following the test detonation of an 11-megaton nuclear device code named ‘Romeo’ over Bikini Atoll

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS PROPOSE TO COUNTER 3D PRINTED WEAPONS? 

The U.S. State Department feels sharing plans to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun online violates federal laws barring exports of military technology.

The city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania has already taken steps to outlaw the possession of 3D-printed guns or their components in 2013.

Other experts believe more rigorous intellectual property laws, to counter the evolving threat of unregulated 3D-printed weapons. 

However, for the greater threat if nuclear weapons, they say countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use additive manufacturing to evade international safeguards against nuclear proliferation. 

Research into this threat recommend that governments enact export restrictions on certain types of 3D printers.

Nuclear policy experts propose other approaches to limit additive manufacturing’s dangers to nuclear security.

They say it is necessary not to just regulate hardware, but also secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction.

Until recently, most people didn’t have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones.

However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before.

The prospect of more stringent legislation is also fueling interest in at-home production.

Plans for basic handguns that can be created on consumer-grade 3D printers are readily available online.

With more advanced 3D printers and other at-home technologies such as the Ghost Gunner computer-controlled mill, people can even make more complex weapons, including metal handguns and components for semi-automatic rifles.

These technologies pose challenges not only for gun regulation but also for efforts to protect humanity from more powerful weapons.

In the words of Bruce Goodwin, associate director at large for national security policy and research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, ‘All by itself, additive manufacturing changes everything, including defense matters.’

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat.

The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology.

At the local level, the city of Philadelphia outlawed the possession of 3D-printed guns or their components in 2013.

Until recently, most people didn't have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones. However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before and plans for basic handguns are available to consumers

Until recently, most people didn’t have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones. However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before and plans for basic handguns are available to consumers

Nevertheless, participants recommended a number of policies, such as more rigorous intellectual property laws, to counter the evolving threat of unregulated 3D-printed weapons.

These types of policies will become increasingly important as at-home manufacturing of firearms weakens traditional gun control regulations such as those focusing on the buying and selling of weapons.

THE DANGERS OF 3D-PRINTED GUNS

There are a number of 3D-printed gun designs now freely available on the web.

The first fully 3D-printed gun (save for the ammo), the Liberator, is capable of killing someone.

Before the Liberator initial efforts to make guns from plastic usually exploded when attempts were made to fire bullets.

This proof of concept gun, however, showed that making a lethal weapon out of plastic is entirely possible.

Since then a number of other guns have sprung up on the web.

In late 2013 a gun enthusiast in Wisconsin showed off a working firearm called the Lulz Liberator, made from less than £15 ($25) worth of plastic, that could fire .38 calibre bullets without being damaged.

In July, meanwhile, a Youtube user showed off ‘The Grizzly, a 3D-printed rifle capable of firing .22-calibre bullets.

These guns were one-shot only – the barrel had to be removed after each shot – but in August another gun enthusiast unveiled the Reprringer, capable of holding and firing five bullets.

The alarming speed at which the technology has progressed shows how close these guns are to accurately mimicking real-life weapons.

Even as users of Fosscod play down the danger of them, the sight of guns made from plastic being created is unnerving.

And the fact they are made of plastic and not metal means they can be taken through metal detectors without being picked up.

For the moment, though, ammo and firing pins must still be metal.

But there is a possibility that in future entire guns could be 3D-printed – including the ammo.

The danger goes well beyond firearms. 

Countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons could use additive manufacturing to evade international safeguards against nuclear proliferation.

Traditional nuclear weapon control efforts include watching international markets for sales of components needed for manufacturing a nuclear device.

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat. The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology

Government officials have recently begun to react to this emerging threat. The U.S. State Department argued that posting online instructions to make a 3D-printed single-shot handgun violated federal laws barring exports of military technology

Additional measures place restrictions on the types of technology nuclear capable states can export.

Additive manufacturing could avoid these efforts by letting countries make the equipment themselves, instead of buying it abroad.

Research into this threat led nonproliferation scholar Grant Christopher to recommend that governments enact export restrictions on certain types of 3D printers.

Nuclear policy experts Matthew Kroenig and Tristan Volpe proposed other approaches to limit additive manufacturing’s dangers to nuclear security.

THE TERRIFYING REALITY OF 3D PRINTED GUNS 

In May 2013, the world’s first gun made with a 3D printer was unveiled.

At the time it sparked major controversy – some derided it as nothing more than a toy, others warned it was a serious security risk that was undetectable by metal detectors.

One year on, the chilling reality of 3D-printed guns has been revealed as enthusiasts across the world show off their ‘toys’.

A multitude of videos on YouTube show just how 3D-printed guns began to show up over the past few years

The first was unveiled by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas.

His primitive design was the Liberator – but that proof of concept has been vastly improved since May 2013.

3D-printing gun enthusiasts now gather at a website called Fosscad (Free Open Source Software & Computer Aided Designs).

Here, users share their designs for 3D-printed guns, which can be downloaded by anyone.

With a 3D printer, technically anyone can then download one of the designs and print their own gun.

MailOnline spoke to some of the users on Fosscad about how it has changed over the last year.

Some were keen to stress that these guns are not always that easy to make.

They require a decent knowledge of 3D printing and assembly.

And, it was pointed out that while most of the gun can be printed there are some things that cannot, such as ammo – although not for lack of trying.

But they did agree that these guns would be use to seriously harm and even kill people, just like regular guns – with the difference being the designs for 3D-printed guns can be downloaded from the internet.

For countries like the UK, where firearms are much harder to come by than in the US, the availability of these designs does prove a considerable danger. 

In one Youtube video a Japanese ‘Zig Zag’ revolver, named by its maker, can be seen in action.

Yoshitomo Imura, the man behind the video, was arrested in Japan for owning 3D-printed firearm components.

‘A big misconception is that 3D printing and making guns using 3D printers are easy to make,’ said one user, Duce, who goes as ‘ma deuce’ on Youtube.

‘We have been doing this for years and I can say it’s not easy.’ 

Duce points out that the group has been working on making 3D components for guns for about two years – it’s only in the past year almost entirely printed guns have been conceived.

‘In the UK you can’t buy gun parts easily,’ Duce says, ‘So you would be limited to the liberator type guns.’

For a complete novice who had no knowledge of 3D printers or guns it would take ‘probably a few months to do it well, to print it’ and then assemble the design into a weapon. 

One way could be increasing international cooperation to regulate the spread of 3D printing technology.

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction.

Arms control analyst Amy Nelson points out that the risk this kind of data will spread increases as it becomes increasingly digital.

Terrorist groups and other nongovernment forces could also find ways to use 3D printing to make more destructive weapons.

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction. Pictures is the Liberator pistol, which fires a single shot and is made from plastic that was cut from a 3D printer  

Beyond regulating the hardware, governments and industry professionals can also work to more effectively secure the files needed to build components for weapons of mass destruction. Pictures is the Liberator pistol, which fires a single shot and is made from plastic that was cut from a 3D printer  

We argue that despite these groups’ interest in using weapons of mass destruction, they don’t use them regularly because their homemade devices are inherently unreliable.

Additive manufacturing could help these groups produce more effective canisters or other delivery mechanisms, or improve the potency of their chemical and biological ingredients.

Such developments would make these weapons more attractive and increase the likelihood of their use in a terror attack.

The worst threats 3D printing poses to human life and safety are likely some distance in the future.

However, the harder policymakers and others work to restrict access to handguns or unconventional weapons, the more attractive 3D printing becomes to those who want to do harm.

Additive manufacturing holds great promise for improvements across many different areas of people’s lives.

Scholars and policymakers must work together to ensure we can take advantage of these benefits while guarding against the technology’s inherent dangers. 

Source from..

Comments