Many custom dental fittings are now 3-D printed—like the series of mouth guards, each slightly different from the last, that are used to change tooth alignment over months. After a dental technician scans the current position of the teeth, all positions intermediate to the desired end point are modeled by software and then printed out in plastic. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a dentist who can replace a crown in a single sitting, it’s because models are 3-D printed and then the replacement teeth are milled right there in the office.
Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old University of Texas law student, has made it a personal crusade to use the technology for firearms. He aims to produce and publish online a completely printable plastic gun and then adapt the design for use on printers that are getting smaller and less expensive all the time.Current gun laws ("the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 says you don't need a license to make a firearm for personal use") are completely inadequate to address a world of downloadable firearms. Imagine also a world of downloadable and customizable food, clothes, and household products, in other words a version-1 Star Trek replicator in every home. The disruption continues. © 2013 Stephen Yuen