It has been recently reported that, following a freedom of information request, there has been two incidents of 3D printed guns uncovered in Scotland.  These worrying developments both took place last year and are the first of this kind to be found in Scotland. Additive Manufacturing UK, the UK’s only trade association dedicated to the additive manufacturing industry, which includes 3D printing, has expressed grave concerns over the potential misuse of this revolutionary technology for illegal or harmful purposes.

3D printing machine during work process

The additive and 3D printing technologies offer an exciting range of possibilities for the manner in which design and manufacture is carried out. They provide fantastic opportunities for manufacturers to produce parts and products with complex geometries and features that are not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.

AMUK exists to promote the development and adoption of additive manufacturing technology in the UK, along with safeguarding the interests of its members. As a responsible trade body, AMUK stands firm against the use of this transformative technology for unlawful activities and actively encourages its members, as well as the wider additive manufacturing industry, to prioritise ethical practices.

Josh Dugdale, Head of Additive Manufacturing UK said: “Additive Manufacturing has the potential to revolutionise existing production methods used in the manufacturing industry in the UK and beyond, creating a more sustainable, innovative and competitive sector. Unfortunately, some criminals have also realised the potential of 3D printing and are using it to produce firearm parts.”

He continued: “AMUK, alongside its members, is committed to ethical and legal applications of 3D printing technology. Our industry promotes innovation, collaboration and responsible practices to ensure that the benefits of additive manufacturing are harnessed for the benefit of society. We firmly condemn the illicit use of 3D printing technology to produce firearms.”

AMUK fully supports national policymakers in developing effective strategies to prevent the production of illegal 3D-printed firearms parts and prevent the technology from being utilised for criminal purposes. This is part of AMUK’s broader efforts to promote responsible use of technology and support global efforts to combat illegal activities.

Through collaboration with key stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies, AMUK hopes to contribute to a safer and more secure future for all. With a focus on responsible innovation and collaboration, AMUK is committed to playing a positive role in addressing the challenges posed by illegal activities in the technology sector.