3D printing has become a successful tool of technology all around the world today. With its victory all over it has some drawbacks related to it. Fears of 3D printed guns don’t just prevail in countries like US or Australia. Most recently the fear has also become vulnerable within Thai government. The lawmakers in these countries have banned or are planning to ban so-called ‘ghost-guns’, whereas there are also plastic guns that are not detectable in metal scanners, the Thai Government has chosen the nuclear option. An expert says, earlier last month the country’s Cabinet of Regulations affirmed a legislation saying that all the 3D printer imports to strict administrative demands and regulations being a move to disarm the domestic 3D printer industry, also increase prices and a great obstacle to manufacturing innovation.
3D printing world has resulted in a significant backfire even though these regulations are recently approved and not yet implemented. Under the recent legislation all the importers will be restricted toall government requests and processes related to imports, exports and registration of every single 3D printer and ownership transfer. Making 3D printing industry far less accessible also it will lead to a great hike in the market prices of 3D printers with no current restriction in 3D printing. The new regulations were initially implemented from preventing people from using an industrial metal 3D printer to produce guns without the governments supervision. A critic further says by applying these laws to all the 3D printers, the government’s only making Thailand’s tech based development more slow and less competitive than other countries also leading to cripple the domestic 3D printing industry.
Nati Sang the founder of the Chaing Mai Makers pace openly threatened Thailand's technological potentials. He further tells reporters, “We should not let the new rules affect the course of the country's future or make it more difficult for Thais to access 3D printing innovation. The legislation could impede Thailand's participation in the global innovation landscape.”
Due to these prevailing problems the 3 active Thai printer manufacturers are still not able to compete with global manufacturers in terms of quality. Further Mr. Nati went on to arguing that these new regulations were simply bated on all the faulty information about how guns are 3D printed. Also he mentioned that revision of the legislation could lead in preventing 3D printed gun production without blunting the 3D printer domestic industry.
More significantly he argued that the metal 3D printers used in the production of 3D printed guns cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. “This type of printer is beyond what average people can actually afford,” said Mr Nati. He later added that for that kind of money, firearms can be much more easily made without 3D printers. Although a desktop FDM printer can easily print a plastic gun, the results are often dangerous for shooters as for his targets.
Thai government is preventing researchers and manufacturers from pioneering in medical, biological, material and construction innovations by heaping all the 3D Printers and passing new regulations over them, Mr. Nati said. Panutat Tejasen raises these issues who is the founder of the Chiang Mai Maker Club and is a community that seeks to bud bridges between entrepreneurs and professional 3D printers. The latter also argued that 3D printing could cause a paradigm shift in the Thai manufacturing.
According to Wiwaat Arunruangsiriloet who is a 3D printer and importer technology expert, a simple solution would be to narrow down the definition of 3D printers. By restricting the legislation to metal 3D printer capable of producing guns, majority of the market will remain unaffected. He warns that the current scenario will curb many people, mainly the science and engineering students that will not be able to access the technology that could lead to change the country’s manufacturing sector.
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