A very discussed theme these days is the need for stronger gun controls. But a big debate about this topic that could lead to a serious review of legislation should consider all new ways of home manufacturing based on 3D printing.
A few months ago, somebody designed and built the first partly 3D printed weapon. It was a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle AR-15, with a 3D printed lower receiver. The part was 3D printed in an old fashion Stratasys printer, using normal plastic at a $30 total cost, and then uploaded to Thingiverse to be available to all the world.
But if one can do it, everybody could. And as a result, a community of hobbyists have created "Wiki Weapon", some kind of RepRap project for sharing, designing and creating the first fully 3D printed gun.
A broader discussion about banning or not objects with a potential to become parts of illegal weapons came first to 3D printing community with questions as: Is the same printing a gun that buying one? What regulations apply (if possible) to these 3D printed parts? Is there a way to do it? But as 3D printing is growing rapidly, society need to be informed about it order to take part of discussion.
Days when somebody can print a gun and kill somebody are around the corner and legality issues about it are not clear at all.
3D printing will be a new revolution and will put in people's hands the power of making...but with great power comes great responsability.