Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Company Creates Scanner to Detect 3D Printed Guns

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Technological progress is something which can be viewed from both ends of the spectrum. On one hand, technology is constantly making our lives easier, cheaper, and more interconnected with one another, but on the other hand, it has brought upon society a whole bunch of new concerns.

gun2Take for instance, 3D printing’s ability to put the power of a major manufacturing plant in the hands of anyone with a library card. It’s an amazing technology which has not realized its full utility yet. It also is a technology that can be scary for some. Over the last year there have been several guns 3D printed. The scariest ones are the guns printed out of plastics. In theory one of these can be carried through a metal detector, and used as a lethal weapon.

Just like with other new technologies though, society eventually comes up with a solution to combat the negative possibilities brought on by that technology. This looks to be happening with the 3D printing of guns, just recently. Radio Physics Solutions, a UK company, with the help of Manchester Metropolitan University, local police, and crowdfunding, have created a system which uses a mix of artificial intelligence, and radar to detect 3D printed guns, among other potentially dangerous objects.

The machine will use its highly sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms to determine if the data gathered via radar is similar to other previously detected items, and thengun1 determine if that item may be a threat or not.

“It’s really a combination of a radar system and and AI-based computer system. It would have been unthinkable to make it just five years ago, because the computing power and hardware were not there, ” said Nick Bowring, the lead researcher on the project.

The company already has 2 prototype devices. one is a long range stationary scanner, similar to something you would see at an airport, and the other is a smaller handheld device. This will allow the technology to be used all over, including mass transit stations, airports, shopping centers, and sporting events.

If you think this idea has a future, than there is some good news if you are an investor. Radio Physics Solutions is seeking out funding via an equity crowdfunding platform called Syndicate Room. They are looking to raise £600,000 at a valuation of £5,508,405. At the time of publishing this article they have alread raised 65% of that sum.

The UK’s Home Office and Scotland Yard have both independently tested these devices, and the company claims to have interest from a range of potential customers, including, the US Department of Defense, Iraq Security Forces, Hong Kong Customs, and the World Cup organizers in Brazil.  Discuss this radar technology at 3DPrintBoard.

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