Perils of 3-D printers

Perils of 3-D printers

The successful test-firing of Liberator, the world’s first 3-D printed plastic gun, has raised a legal storm. You can print this gun at the comfort of your home, sneak it past security in airports and malls. If a crime is committed using it, can it can be traced? The answer to the question remains open.

Cody Wilson, the 25-year-old founder of Defense Distributed, the pro-gun lobby group behind the Liberator, bought a $8,000 3-D printer from eBay and used it to pour layers and layers of high density plastic to mould the gun. The 3-D printers, currently available in the US market, which cost a little over 1000 dollars, would not be able to print it. But give the technology 10 years, there is a good chance that it will improve and become ubiquitous like your microwave. You would be able to print an AK-47 at home if you want to.

Defense Distributed put the design to make the gun online. There was a link on its site but the actual download was from Kim Dotcom’s Mega storage site. The file got downloaded 100,000 times, before the US government acted and got the link removed from the Defense Distributed web site. Kim Dotcom also subsequently removed the design. A US senator has introduced a bill to outlaw printed 3D guns. But it is hard to control any technology that comes in the form of software and links up to internet for distribution. Liberator designs are now available on Pirate Bay where it is being shared furiously. The music industry has fought the pirate sites ferociously for over a decade. But a victory is nowhere in sight.



KwikTools is a personal communication tool, which helps you carry out various tasks. You can check, delete and send emails from multiple email accounts; type SMS on a larger screen and send it from your cellphone; chat with your friends and also can send files while chatting; use it to send or get a file using FTP; get live weather in your city and so on. There are a few limitations. It is not a formal organiser for your emails, SMS, FTP or web sites. Nor is it a SmartPhone App or is Touch-Screen enabled. It is free for individuals. You can download it from

(Contributed by Krishi)

Split Screen

Split Screen is an interesting extension in Chrome. You can split the screen into two halves and browse two sites simultaneously. It also comes with a note pad. So, in one screen you can watch a video and in another you can take notes. You can choose default webpages to load on opening the extension or drag a bookmark into the URL field. You can also turn on auto complete to type URLs faster. To get this, go to tools>settings>extensions in Chrome and search for ‘Split Screen’. After you click to enable it, a small icon will appear next to the URL bar. Clicking on it will split the screen.

(Contributed by Shakeel Ahmed Khan)