back to article Appeals court nixes online blueprint sharing ban on 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

A federal appeals court in America has overturned a district court order preventing plans for 3D-printed guns from being shared online. In a ruling [PDF] on Tuesday, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction obtained in March 2020 by 22 states and the District of Columbia that blocked a State Department rule …

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  1. Magani
    Unhappy

    Obviously more guns needed

    At 120 guns per 100 people, the US obviously needs to up the production of firearms by letting folks manufacture their own.

    1. sev.monster Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      As a bloody Yank, I agree with you 100%. Thanks for speaking the truth.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      I'm glad you approve of me making my own. It can be a fun hobby ... but I strongly recommend learning a little bit about metallurgy before trying it. Or poo-pooing it, for that matter

      3D printed plastic guns aren't firearms, they are clubs at best, suicide machines at worst.

      1. StargateSg7

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        Using a CHEAP Bay-bought Chinesium-made 3D printer to make a gun is just ASKING for trouble!

        You need about 1/10,000th of an Inch (0.00254 mm) of machining accuracy in making a GOOD 3D printed gun (i.e. typical 9mm or 0.45 pistol) that won't blow up in your face and AT LEAST use 4140 or 4150 grade Carbon Steel for the upper (i.e. the main bullet-firing parts) to ensure longevity and strength.

        You need GREAT quality CNC machine gear and the knowledge and shop-experience to follow all the small details needed to get a finished product. ANYONE CAN make a 3D printed gun from plans found on the internet, but SHOULD you if you don't have great quality CNC machines and high quality base material and some decent shop skills? NO! Just don't if you still want to keep your hands' and face intact!

        I would actually suggest making yourself a high-quality cross-bow and/or compound bow and arrow kit! It's a LOT safer and easier!

        If you have some solid hunks of metal laying around, you COULD make yourself a real but miniaturized CANNON which I think is safer too! Firing a solid steel ball using cotton and gunpowder is just as deadly for the target and the BOOM a cannon makes is quite satisfying in itself!

        Me? I would rather use the parent company's 20 Megawatt Chemical Iodine/Oxygen LASER to burn really BIG HOLES in things in mere hundredths of a second! Plus it has an unlimited range going to the moon in only 1.25 seconds! I could also wipe out an ENTIRE ARMY in a few tens of seconds at 20 Megawatts pulsed using advanced vision recognition targeting!

        v

        1. ZanzibarRastapopulous Silver badge

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          You don't need a GOOD one to KILL someone.

          Probably don't need the caps lock either...

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          But there are loads of videos on YouTube of people printing guns and firing them.

          1. StargateSg7

            Re: Obviously more guns needed

            It is as easy-as-pie to MAKE a rudimentary gun (i.e. a device that fires a solid or hollow projectile) but i't a whole'n'other ball of wax to make it fire consecutively in safe and sound manner for a reasonable period of time!

            Again, I like our modern equivalents, LASERS, MASERS and Particle Beam weapons which are basically UNSTOPPABLE by even the thickest and strongest armour once a certain energy level has been reached!

            A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it. It can slice through 200 feet (60 metres+) of solid steel or solid rock! People are INCINERATED TO CLOUDS OF ASH in mere seconds even with full body armour on them!

            It is the ULTIMATE weapon after Nuclear Bombs and Quantum Dynamic devices!

            And with multiple summing of the monochromatic waveforms, I can get energy levels into the Gigawatts,

            enough to TOAST ENTIRE COUNTRIES in mere minutes!

            x

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              "It is as easy-as-pie to MAKE a rudimentary gun (i.e. a device that fires a solid or hollow projectile) but i't a whole'n'other ball of wax to make it fire consecutively in safe and sound manner for a reasonable period of time!"

              Good thing you can't kill anyone with the first shot.

              The obsession with firearms is s badly misplaced...

              1. hoola Silver badge

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                I believe that most firearm incidents are at close range so practice, accuracy and consistency are not that critical.

                If it successfully fires a couple of times that is enough to cause an awful lot of damage.

            2. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it.

              Yes, if we did figure out how to build one then it'd be quite effective. Existing systems have outputs measured in kilowatts though.

              I'd also suggest that "no defence against it" is wrong. Lasers are inherently line of sight weapons, which means that they have to share the battlefield with things such as artillery that don't require line of sight and so can shoot from ranges greater than the curvature of the earth would allow you to target. Even if a laser can fry artillery shells then the opposition are just going to increase the number of shells being fired until they saturate your defences and blow away your laser emitter.

              If that didn't work then 20 megawatts is quite a lot of power; as in 1/30th of the output of a very stationary nuclear power plant. If you add several units to deal with my artillery shells them i'm going to start blowing away your power lines/plants and your ultimate weapon is going to be a bit of a flop, and your plebs are probably going to get a bit upset at all of their lights and heat being knocked out.

              1. StargateSg7

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                They were firing 20 Megawatt LASERS in 1987 already during SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative aka Star Wars) ICBM defence systems research. (How do I know this? -- relatives worked on it and that portion is now declassified!)

                20 megawatts is only 42 piston engines from older 2010-era lorries (i.e. Ford F-150 trucks) networked together and about $10,000 USD worth of normal 91 octane gasoline (petrol). Here at BC Hydro, I am paying 10 cents a KW/hr and that 20 Megawatts is had from typical Run-of-the-River dams which we bulk lease.

                LOTS of Hydro Electric power here in British Columbia. 20 Megawatts is NOTHING here!

                We could TRY to use mirrors to move and re-direct a 20 megawatt LASER, but having the SAME problems the original SDI researchers had where the laser would punch through the orbital reflecting mirrors (Ooops! Did I just say that publicly? -- Orbital SDI laser reflector/re-director mirrors in 1986-to-1992?), you are correct it is line-of-sight only for now!

                BUT since I have that REALLY FANCY 65,000 objects per second PER GPU fully autonomous vision recognition system I designed and coded, we can obliterate whole armies AND shells-in-air or ICBMs in mere microseconds!

                meh!

                Just another day at the office!

                v

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  Ah, some fine kookery from one of our resident kooks to liven up Monday.

                  "As soon as I find a HOLLOWED-OUT VOLCANO for lease in BRITISH COLUMBIA you will all be forced to RECOGNIZE MY GENIUS."

                  On the other hand, it's hard to pick between SSg7's 20 bazilliawatt laser and the coming flood of 3D-printed assault rifles being mass-manufactured by terr'ists and gangbangers for Fake Threat to Ignore o' the Day.

                  I'm not a fan of guns, any more than I'm a fan of chainsaws; they're both tools, and dangerous ones,1 and it would be good to keep them away from idiots and assholes but that's largely infeasible. But 3D printing does not seem likely to greatly aggravate the gun problem in the US, and forbidding it will almost certainly not help anything in any significant way. Regulations controlling the sale of such guns might help somewhat, at least in making them even less economically attractive than they already are.

                  1JFTR, at this time I own one chainsaw and zero guns. That could change; there are critters about the Mountain Fastness, including some rabies and plague vectors, among other possible reasons for wanting a firearm.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    "That could change; there are critters about the Mountain Fastness, including some rabies and plague vectors, among other possible reasons for wanting a firearm."

                    Do me a favo(u)r? Even if you grew up with guns, and are quite familiar with them from another life, PLEASE have all adults and teens take a hunter safety course before bringing firearms into a previously unarmed home. It won't hurt, and it might help.

                    Yes, all the adults here on the Ranch re-take the course every couple years, just because.

            3. winters solace
              Trollface

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it.

              a mirror to bend the beam away from you

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                Mirrors don't actually work against high power lasers.

                About 50 years ago when the Americans were playing around with that chemical based airbourne laser somebody wondered what'd happen if you used a mirror, so they tried it.

                And I don't just mean any old mirror as in a nanometer of reflective stuff behind a bit of glass. No siree, they took it seriously and did it properly. A whacking great block of aluminium which was polished to be perfectly reflective with a proper heatsink on the back.

                It lasted a fraction of a second. While 99% of the energy was reflected initially, the remaining 1% was enough to cause distortions on the surface at which point 2% gets through, then 4% and so on, with each step taking a minute fraction of a second.

                1. 42656e4d203239
                  Pint

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  >>Mirrors don't actually work against high power lasers.

                  Have a beer. Too many people think a shiny suit is a good defence against high intensity light....

                  1. ZanzibarRastapopulous Silver badge

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    > Too many people think a shiny suit is a good defence against high intensity light....

                    Worked for Daft Punk, ain't been killed by lasers yet.

                  2. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    However the SLOW blade penetrates the shield...

                2. StargateSg7

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  Like I said in my earlier comment, we kept punching right through the orbital mirrors! 20 Megawatts is only 42 or so petrol engines worth of energy BUT that amount of energy still punches through EVERYTHING -- mirrors included -- We solved that issue BUT we ain't using mirrors ....... ;-) ;-) ;-)

                  We're doing it the old fashioned way to redirect LASER and MASER pulses -- PLENTY OF TEMPORARY MASS !!!!

                  and for those of you in the know, I think you get our drift ..... !!!!

                  ...

        3. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          I seem to remember that the steering columns from Morris Minors were a major component in suitably effective firearms manufactured and used in Malaya.

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        I did once have a copy of the 'Anarchists Cookbook' - purchased secondhand in the US when visiting as a teenager.* Perusing it, and with a decent knowledge of A Level chemistry it seemed pretty clear that it had been written by people wishing to accelerate Darwinian selection. Not that some of it was not useful for a controlled bang.

        * note to the inevitable listeners in I have it no longer - this was the late 70s.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      "At 120 guns per 100 people" - really? Keep drinking that Kool-Aid. Maybe if you count all the weapons owned by the military as well as all firearms that have been owned in the past (regardless of current state of usability - or not) you might conceivably come close to a 1:1 ratio but each gun-owner would need to have something like 15-20 guns each given the number of people who do NOT own any at all.

      On an IT angle, what about all those nations on the planet that are NOT the United States of America? How exactly does that nice Mr Biden intend stopping the rest of the world - especially those parts with access to the Dark Web - sharing designs? I think that should be of more interest than exactly how many guns there are.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        Well, there is at least a fairly plausible source for that number. There are also some fairly interesting statistics that should stop anyone from being able to claim that "guns don't kill people" (if they were trying to make any sense at all).

    4. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      Anyone stupid enough to start firing home made plastic printed firearms deserve all they get.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      It's not as if it's going to make much difference, especially if no one teaches them how to make the bullets.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Question

    I have not looked at the drawings or the bill of materials for these guns but knowing something about metallurgy I wonder about how the parts are heat treated so they have the correct properties so they are safe for the user. History is littered with stories of firearms and artillery blowing up because of metallurgical issues with the available alloys of the period.

    Another issue is the tolerances of parts as that was an issue back in the day with early breech loaders. Breech loading firearms were not particularly safe or reliable until the development of brass cartridges in the 1860's/1870's. Part of the problem was poor sealing of the breech allowing gases to leak into the user's face.

    Outside of metal working hobbyists who might do this to say they did it I do not see this being a practical way for most to obtain a reliable gun. But our various members of our native criminal class are not known to let little details lack facts get in the way of their narrative.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Question

      If someone handed me a 3D printed firearm to pull the trigger with, I'd use it as a club... much safer

      Having prior knowledge from a previous life of high performance steelwork, most vital gun parts are made from hi-tensile steel and indeed some from nickle superalloys.

      Just run through the forces involved in lobbing a bullet downrange using newton's laws of motion, and you can get some rather high figures around the breech... have a failure there, and rather than the bullet go downrange, you get the bolt coming out and smashing you in the face.

      But then again, some idiot will download the plans.. print one out, put a round in it and die.... darwin is appeased by such sacrifices..

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Question

        Off the top of my head, I recall that a ww2 era lee enfield was designed to withstand a pressure of something like 50,000 psi when fired.

        Fifty thousand pounds per square inch of pressure.

        Personally, I get a plumber in to deal with water pipes pressurised at like 50PSI because I don't want the risk of coming home to my home having been converted to an impromptu swimming pool. There is no way any sane person who is unqualified should be producing anything designed to resist pressures that are over one thousand times greater when that pressure is generated within 4 inches of your head.

        I mean, hello darwin award..!

      2. Justin Clements

        Re: Question

        Exactly, and there's a reason you don't put a 357 in a 38 Special.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Question

      My GrandFather (RIP) was a member of a historical recreation group known as the "Mountain Men". They dressed up in the leathers & furs of yore, camped in primative wigwam/yurt style tents (hide walls & hand carved wooden poles rather than modern synthetic materials & shock corded carbon fibre stuff), hunted their own food, & used primative weaponry as their GreatGrandFather's might have done. One of those weapons was a muzzle loader & the role my GrandFather had was of blacksmith creating said item.

      He said making it was fairly simple -- essentially just a long tube sealed at one end & open at the other -- but the forging of the tube was the tricky bit. You had to make the walls thick enough to not crack/explode from use, you had to make sure the interior walls were smooth so excessive roughness could cause the shot/gasses to deform/explode the tube at those points, & all done by hand. No lathes, no preform templates to go by, each one was essentially one of a kind. Even if you could somehow mass produce them, like creating ten tubes & ten stocks to assemble all in one go, the tubes were unique from forge to forge with differences in heat, metalurgy, etc.

      I watched him build one. It took him nearly six months just to cast the tube. The stock was much easier & only took a week to carve & fit. Watching him take it to the back yard, fill it with black powder & shot, then lock it in a vice for the actual firing, I asked why he did that last bit. "Because that bastard could blow up in my hands if even a tiny impurity or failure is in the mix."

      Sure enough, the damned thing went kaboom & torched the vice. The fact that the two of us were hiding behind a hay bale at the time was what kept us from getting shrapnel in the head.

      All of this is to say that while it may LOOK easy, it might even SOUND easy, if even a primative muzzle loading version can't be garanteed not to blow up in your face, there's no way in hell I'd trust a 3D printed version to not do likewise. Sure it might have better tolerences & materials handling, but the more technical something becomes then the more likely it is prone to failing.

      If something made by hand, assembled by hand, & barely above flinging poop at someone can go boom, the technicly advanced, requiring 3D printing, micrometer tolerances, futuristic doohickey is just taunting Murphy to catch one in the head. =-J

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Question

        It would have been SO much quicker if he'd had a 3d printer though.

      2. yetanotheraoc

        Re: Question

        "& used primative weaponry as their GreatGrandFather's might have done"

        Their GreatGrandFathers were using advanced weaponry.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Question

      I'd rather buy legitimate firearms. They are not that expensive (laptop prices) and they are safe & reliable. For example, a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch has an MSRP of about $1000 new, and you can get them discounted or used for a lot less.

  3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Why bother with 3D printing

    Full CAD/CAM drawings of the AK-47 have been available online for years. I would much rather trust an AK-47 machined from blocks of steel than a 3D printed gun using the low strength materials available to 3D printers.

    Leave the 3D instructions online to apply Darwin's rule to the idiots who try to build and use such a gun.

    Icon for what happens to people who try to use a 3D printed firearm =========>

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      I think the point of a 3D printed gun would be to produce a very realistic replica, however it would get you shot just as well as if you we brandishing the real thing.

      1. yetanotheraoc

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        "I think the point of a 3D printed gun would be to produce a very realistic replica, however it would get you shot just as well as if you we brandishing the real thing."

        Probably the motivation for removing the plans from the munitions list. "AI" that matches everyone as a suspect is only the first step, "arming" the population with guns that don't shoot is further progress.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      Because

      1) Few people have lathes and other metalworking tools. 3D printers are a lot cheaper too. I got my 3D printer for US$1000. I can't even get ahold of a lathe to even buy one, even if I could afford it,

      2) it's far, far easier to 3D print something than machine it. I can easily draw something in OpenSCAD and have a printed thing a couple hours later. I can operate a drill press. I might be able to do simple stuff on a lathe. That's about the limit of my machining. I can't weld anything.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        The printed 3D gun shown in the article pales in comparison to weapons that can be assembled following a quick trip to the hardware store plumbing department. And they (the plumbing parts guns) will be far stronger than some plastic contraption.

        The 3D printed gun was produced as an exercise in demonstrating the futility of regulating firearms manufacturing. Not so much to produce a useful gun.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        "it's far, far easier to 3D print something than machine it."

        Care to demonstrate how easy it is? Up to and including firing it?

        I hope not, because actually firing a gun with a receiver (the only part that needs to be serialized & tracked) made on your cute little 3D printer will do you an injury, and possibly even kill you.

        The same part made on my Bridgeport, using the same CAD file, will function.properly. However, the Bridgeport costs a trifle more than just purchasing a receiver from a flea market. Or a complete working firearm, with ammo, which is available in the seedier part of the big city near you, world-wide.

        Guns exist. Criminals have lots, in (nearly?) every country on Earth. Passing laws will not change this fact, because criminals by definition don't give a shit about laws.

        Firearm control laws are feel-good legislation. All they do is placate the voters into thinking politicians are "doing something about it". They are certainly doing something ... they are angling to get re-elected.

        The only thing that will help this social problem[0] is education. Unfortunately, the politicians are all anti-education .... can't allow the proles to learn to think for themselves. now can we? If they somehow manage it, we'll all be out on our ears in the next election!

        [0] Yes, a social problem. Hardware almost never clubs you over the head by itself, it requires a human at the controls.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          Firearm control laws get weapons out of circulation and control access to them in future. Countries with decent firearms regulations have orders of magnitude less shootings than the US.

          Here in Australia, gun crime happens, but the rate is very low. In most cases it is gang on gang violence. The legislation and buy back after the Port Arthur massacre removed vast amounts of firearms from circulation. Due to the firearm laws, criminals who try to get weapons often end up getting themselves arrested as they talk to the wrong person.

          I am much more comfortable in a country where there are a few guns in circulation belonging to criminals, than in a country where any nutter can walk into a corner shop and buy an assault rifle. My chances of encountering somebody with a firearm here are incredibly small.

          As noted in this article there were 45 mass shootings in the US in a month.

          https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/16/politics/mass-shootings-america-guns/index.html

          In that same timeframe the combined total number of mass shootings in otherwise similar English speaking countries UK, Canada, Australia, NZ was zero.

          Gun control laws work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

          1. Danny Boyd Bronze badge

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            Guns are not the problem in US, people's attitude is. In Israel, for example, percentage of gun owners is higher than in US. How many mass shootings have been there in Israel in a month? I'm not even mentioning Switzerland, where all adult men have to have battle-grade (not castrated versions "for civilian market") firearms and load of ammo safely stored in their houses.

            Guns don't kill, people do. Outlaw the guns, and only outlaws will have them.

            You admit, in sunny Australia gun crimes still happen despite strict gun control. Gang on gang, eh? That's because gun control laws only concern law-abiding citizens, they are nothing to the gangs. You want to have gangs the only armed force in your country? I truly hope you never get in their way, because you'll have to defend yourself and your family with a broom or a soup ladle.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              The gangs are not the only armed force. We also have the police and armed forces. The bikie gangs that occasionally take pot shots at each other concern me a lot less than somebody losing their shit and gunning down 30 people with an AR15, or the 3 year old that finds their parents gun and shoots their sibling.

              Not only do the gun laws restrict total gun ownership, they also control what weapons criminals have access to. Pretty much the only weapons they can get their hands on are pistols and maybe a double barrel shotgun. It is virtually impossible to get any sort of semi auto rifle or shotgun.

              Believe what you want, but I am safer from gun violence here than you are in the US. Statistics back this up and also the simple fact that neither I, or anybody I know even think about guns on a daily basis. They are just not something that factors into life here.

              On the other hand, my sister in law lives in Texas. Her husband runs a BMW dealership. A few years back, an ex employee with a grudge turned up and murdered the receptionist and a mechanic before blowing his own brains out in the car park. It barely made the news. If any gun violence happens anywhere in the country here it is headline national news for days simply due to the rarity of it.

              Looking at the statistics for the countries you mention. Firearm related deaths per 100,000 population per year:

              US: 12.21

              Switzerland: 2.64

              Israel: 1.38

              Australia: 0.88

              So yeah you may be substantially safer in Israel or Switzerland than in the US, but they still have more gun deaths than Australia.

              Simple fact. More guns = more gun deaths.

              1. Danny Boyd Bronze badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                You are right, you are safer in Australia than I am in US, at least from gun violence. But not because the gun control laws are stricter in Australia. It's because there are more criminals and psychos in US. As I said, the people's attitude.

                Criminals and psychos will find a weapon, gun control or not. If they can't find the gun, they'll find a knife and behead somebody. Look what's going on in France.

                The point I'm trying to convey is, normal law-abiding citizens will not attack other citizens with guns (knives, machetes, ropes). Imposing strict gun laws disarms the law-abiding citizens, not criminals or psychos. And leaves the law-abiding citizens defenseless.

                And don't kid yourself that "gun laws control what weapons criminals have access to". Criminals don't buy arms in a neighborhood gun shop. They have access to stolen or smuggled automatic arms. They are criminals.

                Fortunately, Australians are pretty much laid back and are not inclined to resolve their problems with violence exceeding a good fist fight in a local pub. Thank God for this, not for strict gun control laws.

              2. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                To be fair, you need to worry about wildlife in Aus. Just about all wildlife is geared to killing you. You are more likely for a spider to bite you on the arse in the toilet then being shot by a madman.

                1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  There hasn't been a death from a spider bite in Australia since (from memory) 1972.

                  Anti-venom is available all over the country now.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    Is there an anti-venom for GSW?

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  They need more guns in Australia, then. Tiny ones, like spider sized.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    "They need more guns in Australia, then. Tiny ones, like spider sized."

                    Well, then, it's a good thing they have them. Look up the Aussie Mini-Mite and Tini-Mite cartridges, made by necking down .22 rimfire cases to .177 ...

                    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                      Oh, come on. Most spiders can barely lift one of those cartridges, much less hold, aim, and fire the gun.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                        The Honorable Commentard has obviously never seen Australian spiders.

                        Besides, the smaller ones can always ask for help from passing drop bears.

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