Print the Future – 3D Printing Featured on 60 Minutes (Australia)

The future is here Guns, Body Parts, even Cars… and it is as simple as Click, Print Fire

This is the byline used by 60 minutes in the promotion of their story on 3D printing which went to air in Australia this evening.

It was great to see information about 3D Printing making the mainstream media – 3D Printing really does have potential to offer huge benefits in the future.  However, I found the contents of this particular story to be rather simplistic and often misleading.

Many of the technologies described are potentially possible, however there were strong suggestions that some of the capabilities described are currently available. which is not necessarily the case.   I also found that there was quite a lot of inferences related to 3D printing capabilities which were simply not true or were unrealistic.

3D Printed Gun

the 3D printed gun is certainly currently available, but like Cody Wilson,  I found the NSW Police Departments testing processes rather “conveniently” found that the gun was likely to explode.  The 3D gun printed by NSW Police was created on a very basic entry level 3d Printer.  The quality of the materials used, and the print resolution of the printer itself, is bound to result in an inferior quality product.

3D Printed Car

Whilst it may be theoretically possible to print many of the components of a car, it is currently impractical from a cost and strength perspective to do so.

3D Printed Organs

It is currently possible to print very simple body parts and prosthetics, but it is still very early days for this type of technology to become available for medical use.


Here are some “Extra Minute”  videos that were not included in the original 60 Minutes Program