This year's first episode of CSI:New York featured a 3D printer that made a gun used to kill two people. The application of the technology in the episode was uneven. Here is my list of Yeas and Neas:
Yea: the gun was 3D printed from sintered metal
Yea: the 3D printer was a home-made rig
Nea: the gun was printed in minutes, sped up by some fast-motion video (see figure below)
Nea: when done, the gun was cleaned by wiping it with a rag
Nea: the gun's surface was perfectly smooth, as was the inside of the barrel
Nea: bullets fired from the gun left no stridation marks
Yea: the gun exploded during its second use
Yea: the CSI team found the files for printing the gun
Nea: the techie called the files "proprietary"
Nea: when displayed on a computer screen, the files looked like output from MathCAD (see figure below)
Yea: the techie was able to print another gun from the files
Yea: the CSI techie described 3D printing to his team by showing an apple that had been sliced horizontally many times
Nea: one of the CSI team said this concept was w-a-y to complicated for her
Nea: one of the team commented that creating a gun now was as easy as pressing "Command+P" (but the computers used were Windows, not Macs).
Your breakdown is great, Ralph.
It's not the first time CSI:NY has featured 3D printing. Eight years ago (!), a Z Corp. 3D printer was used in an episode to create a bullet. Z Corp. issued a press release about it, which we published here: http://www.cadalyst.com/hardware/3d-printers/on-job-3d-printer-helps-solve-forensic-mystery-csiny-5092
Posted by: Nancy Johnson, Cadalyst | Jan 09, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Just yesterday I saw a very old episode of "Mike Hammer",where the villain used a 3D"printed" mask to masquerade as the Hammer, trying to incriminate him. The example shown to Mike was the 3D model of the space shuttle, from AutoCad, years ago.
Rob Israel, Sydney, Australia
Posted by: Rob Israel | Jan 15, 2013 at 04:14 AM