Steven Kotler in Forbes effectively explores how 3D printing will penetrate illicit trade of not only guns, but also drugs and exotic animals. Printed drugs will be a reality likely within a decade, and the trade of drug templates that contain the chemical compositions of narcotics, hallucinogens, and stimulants will be passed between those with access to chemical printers. Of course, automating the process of drug creation will lead to more effective pharmaceuticals as well as more euphoric designer drugs. Kotler goes on to connect the dots between the development of DNA laser printers and the underground market of endangered species. Think Jurassic Park. Obviously the printing of arms will quickly advance beyond single-shot pistols; it won’t be long before we have printed grenade launchers. Kotler refers to this as the “democratization of vice.”
In Australia scammers are using 3D printing to rip off ATM users. A gang has taken to printing “skimmers,” which are false card readers that are placed over the real card readers of ATM machines. When people insert their cards, scammers retrieve their card information and key codes that can be used to pull cash out of the victims accounts. 3D printing offers highly-customizable shapes, which is ideal for creating convincing skimmers. They can also be printed on demand for covering more ATMs and replacing the ones that have been removed.
It’s not all bad though. 3D printing is also be utilized to thwart the malicious efforts of evildoers. Forensic engineer and owner of AI2-3D, Eugene Liscio, does well explaining the benefits of employing 3D printers in criminal investigations and court trials. From printing 3D scans of footprints to recreating crime scenes to producing enlarged 3D fingerprints to visualizing projectile trajectories and extrapolating facial appearance from skull structures, 3D printing will surely become a standard forensic tool…..
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!