Danish Company Makes Software that Stops 3D Printers from Printing Guns

A Danish company has announced that it has created a software program that will identify components of firearms and prevent a 3D printer from printing them out. The company says that its goal is to prevent the “accidental” printing of a gun by printer owners, but something tells me that this is instead intended to place another brick in the wall of gun control. Something that might be a mandatory add-on included in printer software by concerned governments. Thankfully it appears to work like modern anti-virus software, meaning that changing one minor detail (or even just the file name) could trick it into printing the part anyway. You can’t stop the signal, no matter how hard you try . . .


  1. avatar In Memphis says:

    You have got to be effin kidding me

    1. avatar jbarr says:

      Not surprising. Supposedly, many (most?) copy machines have algorithms that prevent the copying of U.S. currency. This is not too dissimilar.

      One concern is how does it really identify that the component parts are gun parts? People will get really pissed if they try to print a non-gun device and the printer thinks one of the parts is a gun part.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The difference is you do not, generally, hand-assemble a photocopier at home from kit parts.

  2. avatar Matt in FL says:

    What a colossal waste of time for everyone involved.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Really? They’re going to SELL it. They’ll make millions, whether it works in the long run or not.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The problem with that theory for me is that most of these printers are homebuilt. That means the only software that runs them is software you put there. I equate putting this software into my printer to be the less useful little brother of trigger locks.

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          @ Matt – Yup. Check out the RepRap Project. 3D printers, printing 3D printers.

      2. avatar AJ says:

        Who are you kidding? They’ll sell it to the .gov and make BILLIONS.

  3. avatar Gyufygy says:

    … Wait, what? This smells like bull, either of the prank or marketing varieties.

  4. avatar ST says:

    The hack will be released in 5….4….3…..2….1….

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

      1. avatar OpenSourceArmorer says:

        You can find some simple loopholes here where Nick Leghorn stole the content for his post from: http://defcad.com/forums/showthread.php?624-**Beyond-Firmware-Hacking**-How-to-Bypass-Shape-Restrictions-on-3D-Printers

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Nick stole the content of his post? Show me, in the whopping five sentences above, something he misappropriated.

          Or do you just like slinging muck?

  5. avatar Chris_From_NY says:

    I can see this being used by commercial printing companies. A few years ago one company noticed a design that looked suspicious it was intended to be attached with foam tape to an ATM over the card slot. It allowed the card to be used normally, but included space for a read head and a circuit board. Secret Service was notified and an investigation started.

    I’d expect a 3d printing company would act much like a kinko’s would if you wanted them to make color copies of currency or make copies of copyrighted works. If they break the law or help you do it, they can be held liable. Automating checks for as much as possible to flag things for human verification makes perfect sense for commercial printer operators.

    Home users will just do whatever they want, of course. 🙂

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      At least until it’s outlawed for non-commercial sales. That would seem possible. We will see.

      1. avatar Chris_From_NY says:

        The hard part about outlawing noncommercial use of 3d printers is that most hobbyist designs are partially self-replicating, with commonly available components.

  6. avatar PG says:

    All software, regardless of complexity can be defeated. This is an understood truth in cyber security. Good luck trying to patch quickly enough to keep up with exploits.

  7. avatar Isaak says:

    This is hilarious to me. Even if this actually worked, all it would take is one person to isolate the offensive code, and upload a “patch” for others to download.

  8. avatar Dallas Warrior says:

    It’s probably just a pop up that says “Are you building a firearm? Yes / No”. If “Yes” Please don’t. If “No” YAY!!

    There is no real way for that software to work, outside of going after naming conventions. Geometry is something that is done in CAD, then sliced through a 3rd party program to be sent to the machine. The machine has no way of knowing what it is building. It just sees X,Y and Z.

    Could software look at part geometry and determine if it is a gun? Maybe, but it will be identifying non-firearm parts as firearm parts and that’s a big no no. I can damned well guarantee you that NO COMPANY will authorize software on their machine that has a .0001% of stopping a build because it has detected a firearm component….which it could mistake for anything else.

    Entertaining read though. Stupid, but entertaining none the less.

  9. avatar Adub says:

    Figures that a Dane came up with it. The only good things to come out of that country were Legos and Katja Kean (nsfw).

  10. avatar Edward Teach says:

    Will it stop a milling machine from machining parts? No? Then meh.

  11. avatar Taco Ninja says:

    Oops! I just printed yet another gun…my mistake…I meant to do a dinosaur toy! Oh well! If only I had something that would have stopped me…

  12. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    The guy in the photo has lousy discipline, unless he means to misfire in the direction of shoot the camera.

    1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Russ. Really. Setting up a camera and pointing a firearm at it, whether loaded or unloaded, is no big deal. It’s just a picture.

  13. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Damn. Now I can’t print spare parts or my Hilti power hammer. :[

  14. avatar DaveL says:

    This sounds like a standard vaporware scam to be marketed to governments. Governments have a long history of buying into completely BS technology with little or no critical evaluation beforehand. See Quadro Tracker, the ADE651 “bomb detector”, the TSA’s face-scanning software, etc.

  15. avatar mike says:

    How do you “accidentally” print a gun? Oh man I meant to print a dungeons and dragons figure and accidentally printed a gun, what to do, what to do.

  16. avatar Bach says:

    I wonder if these guys are also working on the virus that compels your printer to print a gun, when what you really wanted was something else. Then they’ll sell you this software to protect you.

  17. avatar thatoneguy says:

    Its software. This might keep grandma from kicking out a few Liberators, but anyone else should be able to walk right by it. There is no stopping what has been set in motion.

  18. avatar Lemming says:

    There’s gotta be a “danegeld” joke in here somewhere…

  19. avatar RKflorida says:

    As they prepared the press release for this silly software, it was already cracked, superseded, or bypassed.

  20. avatar Mike says:

    Pointless…..there will be hacks available to bypass this in hours.

    Can’t stop the signal

  21. avatar BDub says:

    LOL! This has to be a scheme to make money off of gullible governments. The number of false-positives would be staggering.

  22. avatar S.CROCK says:

    so now the government will only sell us printers if it will print approved plastic shapes. we get more and more nazi/ one world every day.

    not to worry, a 12 year old with a computer will destroy this software when he has the free time.

  23. avatar GS650G says:

    Was this featured in The Onion?

  24. avatar Anonymous says:

    How does a printer owner accidentally print a gun??

  25. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    That will stop proper hacker types for about .3 nano seconds.

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