19 May 2013

Defence to investigate 3D printing of guns

9:38 am on 19 May 2013

Defence is working with specialists to investigate the impact of rapid advancements in technology, such as 3D printing of guns and Twitter.

Senior futures analyst Sheryl Boxall told a United Nations Association conference in Wellington on Saturday the findings will contribute to regional security and play a part in global security efforts.

Ms Boxall believes the speed and depth at which technology is evolving is greater than ever before.

She described Twitter as a force for good, but one that can be used as well for global mobilisation.

Ms Boxall said 3D printing means it is possible to make weapons that cannot even be imagined at the moment, and if weapons are no longer made of metal, current methods of detecting them will become redundant.

Ms Boxall also said Defence is examining the causes of 'black swan' events, ie, those that are outside the realms of our imaginations, highly unlikely, but have a massive impact when they occur.

She said the irony is that people look back in hindsight and wonder why they did not see the event coming.