3D printing | KERA News

3D printing

A 3D-printed firearm using FLM and SLA processes. Eric McGinnis of Grand Prairie used a 3D printer to create the firing mechanism for an AR-15.
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A Grand Prairie, Texas, man has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison after police found him in the woods with a partially 3D printed AR-15 rifle and a list of federal lawmakers' addresses in his backpack.

Eric Gerard McGinnis was not supposed to have a gun. After a violent altercation with his girlfriend, a Texas judge barred him in 2015 from possessing a firearm. A year later, McGinnis tried to buy a gun anyway, but the purchase wouldn't go through after a background check revealed the court order.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The new manufacturing lab at the University of North Texas could put Denton’s engineering school at the forefront of 3D printing technology. In the lab, engineers are working to change the way many things are made.

A rendering of "Genesis," one of We Print Houses' 3D-printed home designs.
We Print Houses

An Austin-based company is ushering in 3D technology that makes it easier for builders to print homes.

Residential building company Sunconomy LLC and California-based Forge New last week introduced We Print Houses, a system that can be licensed by contractors and builders to construct homes in only a few months.

From Texas Standard:

For Texas inmates who've been denied dentures by the state, a reprieve may now come thanks to 3D printing. This comes after an investigation by the Houston Chronicle earlier this year that detailed how difficult it was for many Texas state prisoners to get dentures they said they needed to do daily tasks, like eat and speak.

The Austin-based company at the center of a lawsuit over 3D-printable guns will send plans directly to customers, its founder said Tuesday, a day after a federal judge blocked the State Department from letting the company publish the files online for free.

A federal judge in Seattle has agreed to extend an order blocking an Austin-based company from publishing 3D-printable gun designs on the internet. 

A court battle over an Austin-based company’s plans to post 3D-printable gun designs online continues Tuesday. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia are asking a judge in Seattle to block the U.S. State Department from allowing the files to be posted until the case can be argued in court.

The judge temporarily halted the posting on July 31.

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that prevents the publication of online 3D blueprints for plastic yet deadly guns.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said the untraceable weapons — which bear no serial numbers and can be printed from directions downloaded from the Internet — could end up in the wrong hands, The Associated Press reported.

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An Austin company decided Tuesday against publicly releasing digital blueprints for making guns with 3D printers in light of legal challenges from multiple states. Not long after, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that would have blocked it from doing so anyway.

Update: A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the designs for 3D-printable guns from being posted online.

Our original post continues:

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Austin-based firm Defense Distributed published designs over the weekend for 3D-printable guns that can be fabricated at home and would be virtually untraceable. So far, thousands have downloaded the files, but a handful of attorneys general are seeking to block the firm’s ability to post the designs online.

Update: A federal judge in Austin has denied a request by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other gun control groups to block Defense Distributed from posting plans for making 3D-printable guns online. 

The Brady Campaign called the ruling disappointing, but said the fight wasn't over and urged the State Department to act.

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A coalition of gun-control groups has filed an appeal in federal court seeking to block a recent Trump administration ruling that will allow the publication of blueprints to build a 3D-printed firearm.

UNT Health Science Center Fort Worth

Losing an arm or leg is devastating, and replacing that missing limb with a prosthetic can be expensive. 3D printing is making it easier to create useable prosthetics quickly and much more cheaply.  

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Tech whiz Skylar Tibbits is an artist, architect and professor at MIT with his own lab. And he just turned 29.

Tibbits has grabbed global interest with his research into “self-assembly.” That’s where man-made objects build themselves. This stuff is catnip for college STEM students -- and Tibbits was in Dallas recently to talk with some of them.

Keith Reinhart / City of Saginaw

Saginaw teenagers got to see the virtual become the physical in 3D this past weekend. As we told you a earlier this month, the tiny Tarrant County library is the first in the state to get its own 3D printer, thanks to a tech grant. Seven lucky kids got to “print” their creations, which included a Transformers mask, a UFO and the Avengers’ logo.

kcheakthandwellness.com

When you go in for a mammogram, you now have a choice to make. Approved last year by the Food and Drug Administration, a 3-D mammogram is touted as a more accurate check for breast cancer. But it’s also more expensive. In a KERA Health Checkup, Dr. Jim Schroeder, a radiologist at Lake Pointe Breast Center in Rockwall, compares the two choices – beginning with the usual mammogram.