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Bugatti Bolide is a technological masterpiece of lightweight 3D-printed components

You probably heard of the Bugatti Bolide, the French brand’s lightest, fastest, and most aggressive hypercar to date. As with all things Bugatti, the Bolide is all about the numbers. It still has a gloriously powerful 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine like the Chiron. But the secret behind Bolide’s propensity for extreme speed has something to do with weight – or the lack of it.

You see, Bolide tips the scales at a mere 2,737 pounds (1,240 kilograms), a far cry from a standard Chiron’s 4,400 pounds (1,996 kilograms) curb weight. With its W16 engine pumping out 1,825 horsepower and 1,326 pound-feet of torque, the Bolide’s power-to-weight ratio of 0.67 kg per horsepower is unheard of in the modern automotive era.

How did Bugatti do it? The carmaker has a knack for metal 3D printing, and the Bolide is an example of what’s possible using the latest innovations in 3D-printing technology. “As an experimental vehicle in the form of a racing car, the Bolide is no show car; it is an uncompromisingly road-ready extract of Bugatti’s complete technological expertise,” said Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies at Bugatti. “Bugatti enthusiasts will also find these cutting-edge technologies in other vehicles in the future.”

Bugatti is the first to introduce the world’s first series-production 3D-printed component (high-pressure water pump) in the Chiron hypercar, and it presented the world’s largest 3D-printed titanium brake caliper in 2023. As it turns out, the Bolide is a masterpiece of lightweight engineering by utilizing a slew of 3D-printed components.

The Bolide’s newly-developed 3D-printed pushrods have a hollow titanium structure to reduce weight, but it can handle up to 3.5 tons of force despite weighing a measly 100 grams. The same holds true for the Bolide’s innovative wheel-mounted radial compressors to cool the brakes while reducing lift at higher speeds. The fans are made with a 3D-printed titanium central bowl with a thickness of 0.48 millimeters, while the carbon plate with its small 0.7 millimeter inner blades and 0.48-millimeter cross-pieces only weighs 100 grams.

Meanwhile, the mounting bracket for the front wing is 3D-printed from titanium. It has a hollow interior and a wall thickness of 0.7 millimeters, resulting in a frame that weighs 600 grams while remaining sturdy enough to handle up to 800 kilograms of aerodynamic force. Elsewhere, the Bolide’s giant rear wing is held in place by a 3D-printed titanium component that only weighs 325 grams despite being strong enough to handle up to 1.8 tons of downforce at 200 mph.

Even the Bolide’s steering column benefits from 3D-printed and lightweight hollow parts with a wall thickness of 0.5 millimeters. Underneath, the Bugatti Bolide has titanium springs, stainless steel wishbones, and titanium rocker brackets that only weigh 95 grams each. “Using a special heat treatment process developed in-house, we achieved 1,250 N/mm of tensile strength with a simultaneously high fracture strain of at least 19-percent,” added Götzke.

For a car this light and with this much power, we’re expcting the Bugatti Bolide to be crazy-fast. According to Bugatti’s simulations, it can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.17 seconds, zero to 124 mph in 4.36-seconds, and zero to 310 mph in 201.16 seconds. Bugatti also claims the Bolide can complete a full lap at Le Mans in 3:07.1, and it can thrash the Nurburgring in 5:23.1.

The Bugatti Bolide remains a working concept for now. But knowing Bugatti, we’re expecting it to produce the Bolide in small numbers. “It is Bolide’s many technological highlights that make it so special. This is what we are continuing to develop and work on because Bugatti has set itself apart with its impressive innovations for over 100 years – and will continue to do so in the future,” concluded Götzke.

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Acer Swift 1 Review: A Cheap, Lightweight Ultra

While it delivers what it promises—a slim and light chassis, plenty of battery life, a solid-state drive and even a fingerprint reader, all for less than $350—the Acer Swift 1 makes painful speed and storage compromises to get there.

While the Acer Swift 1 delivers what it promises—a slim and light chassis, plenty of battery life, a solid-state drive and even a fingerprint reader, all for less than $350—it makes painful speed and storage compromises to get there. If you’re a bargain hunter who doesn’t mind relying on cloud services and you can tolerate merely adequate performance, by all means, give the Swift 1 a look. But if you’re looking for long-term value, consider either increasing your budget or tolerating a thicker, heavier laptop with more pep.

Price and specifications

We tested the $329 version of the Acer Swift 1, which comes with a Pentium N4200 processor, a quad-core Apollo Lake-generation CPU designed for budget laptops. As we’ll soon see, the N4200 is adequate (well, barely) for everyday productivity tasks, but it buckles under any kind of serious processing load.

Also inside: 4GB of low-voltage DDR3L RAM and a meager 64GB solid-state drive, which leaves you with only about 20GB of available storage. That might be fine for those planning to use the Swift 1 primarily for surfing the web, running Office and working from their cloud accounts. An Acer representative even told me the Swift 1 is aimed at “people who are likely to use cloud-based storage”). But if you want to install more programs or store even a modest amount of media on the Swift 1, I’d strongly suggest you to cough up another $70 for the 128GB SSD upgrade.

The Swift 1 relies on an integrated Intel HD Graphics 505 core for light display tasks such as video streaming, browsing and general productivity. Unsurprisingly (and as its benchmark results will show), the Swift 1 isn’t much of a gaming machine. Expect all but the most basic games to chug along at frame rates well south of 30 per second.


The 1920×1080 resolution on the 13.3-inch screen looks pleasingly vivid and sharp, more than capable for standard Office tasks and even the dark sci-fi scenes of Tears of Steel (our favorite 4K test video).

Viewing angles on the Swift 1’s IPS display panel are up to par, with the screen beginning to dim when viewed from an angle of about 30 degrees or more. I was also pleased that colors on the Swift 1’s display never inverted, even when viewed from nearly a 90-degree angle.

Keyboard, trackpad, speakers and webcam

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Acer Cwift 1 offers a fingerprint reader along with the keyboard and trackpad. 

The Swift 1’s trackpad gets the job done with a minimum of fuss, smoothly registering my taps and swipes. Nearby sits a Windows Hello-enabled fingerprint sensor, which reliably detected my fingerprint during my testing, unlocking the Windows login screen in less than a second.

The Swift’s 640×480 webcam does a decent job, with images looking expectedly grainy and blotchy but otherwise perfectly fine for basic video conferencing.


Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Acer Swift 1’s left side holds USB-A and SD card ports, plus a lock port.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Acer Swift 1’s right side holds two USB-A and one USB-C ports, a full HDMI port, plus an audio jack. 

General performance

Small, fast, and cheap: Those are the three main qualities we wish we could get from any ultra-portable laptop, and generally speaking, you only get two. With the $329, 2.9-pound Swift 1, you’re getting small and cheap, which means you’ll have to skimp on speed—and in this case, the skimping is going to hurt.

PCMark 8 Work Conventional

Given the Acer Swift 1’s mission to be a budget-priced ultra-portable for people looking to get things done (move along, gamers), I was particularly interested to see how the Swift 1 could handle daily productivity chores. The answer, according to our test results: It can, but only just.

We use PCMark 8 Work Conventional to test a laptop’s agility with tasks like browsing the web, running Office, and other everyday desktop duties. In our experience, a notebook needs a score of at least 2,000 to perform such chores without noticeable slowdowns.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Acer Swift 1’s score of 1,934 in PCMark 8 Work 2 Conventional is disappointing, given that a score of 2,000 is the threshold for decent performance with mainstream applications. 

With its PCMark 8 Word benchmark score of 1,934, the quad-core Pentium-powered Swift 1 falls just shy of our expectations. Even while performing such mundane tasks as browsing the web, I could occasionally feel the Swift 1 straining with the effort. Button presses, page rendering, and menu opening frequently took a moment longer than they should.

Cinebench R15

We move on to Cinebench, a 3D-rendering benchmarking app that tests a laptop’s performance under an intense CPU load.

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

Quad-core laptops usually score high Cinebench results. But the Swift 1 runs on a quad-core Pentium processor, not a full-on Intel Core chip, and its dismal Cinebench figure reflects that fact. Again, there’s nothing broken inside the Swift 1; this is simply the price you pay for a 2.9-pound laptop that’s so cheap. Anyone who expects to rapidly render 3D images on a $329 ultraportable like the Swift is simply barking up the wrong tree.

3DMark Sky Diver 1.0

It’s almost unfair to subject the budget Acer Swift 1 and its integrated Intel HD Graphics 505 core to gaming-oriented benchmarking apps like 3DMark Sky Diver 1.0. Not surprisingly, the Swift 1’s overall score is among the lowest we’ve ever recorded. Again, though, something has to go if you’re only going to pay $329 for a 2.9-pound laptop, and in this case, it’s “Overwatch.”

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

Low-end integrated graphics results in a pedestrian score for the Acer Swift 1 in the 3DMark test.

Battery life

Melissa Riofrio/IDG

The Acer Swift 1’s battery life on our video rundown test is about 7.5 hours, which is adequate.

Conclusion: At least upgrade the SSD

The Acer Swift 1 is an ultra-portable that hits the sub-$350 price point by making a few hard choices. If you don’t mind a puny solid-state drive and average performance, the Acer Swift 1 might be the laptop for you. For anyone else, though, I’d recommend forking over more cash for a faster ultra-portable (an expense that may pay off later in longevity), or settling for a bigger laptop without such steep speed compromises (like the $350 Acer Aspire E 15). At the very least, Swift 1 shoppers should upgrade to the $400 version with a roomier 128GB SSD.

What Is A Resin 3D Printer And Should You Buy One?

Home 3D printers have now been on the market for many years and are affordable to anyone who wants one. They’ve grown from a hobbyist curiosity to useful tools that can help you fix small problems around the home, create art pieces or help you prototype parts for projects. The uses for a 3D printer are only limited by your imagination! 

Now, however, an entirely different type of 3D printer is entering the home market. These “resin” 3D printers use very different principles to create 3D objects compared to the ones you may have seen thus far. What is a 3D resin printer and should you buy one over the more traditional models already out there?

Table of Contents

A Recap of Conventional 3D Printers

If you want to have an in-depth explanation of how 3D printers work, check out HDG Explains : How Does 3D Printing Work? If you don’t have the time for that, here’s the short version.

What most people think of as a “3D printer” is actually something called an FDM (fused deposition modelling) printer. It runs a filament of material (usually plastic) through a hot extruder head and then deposits precise layers of the material to slowly build up the model.

The most common FDM machine is the “Cartesian” type of 3D printer. This has a print head mounted on movable rails that can put the tip of the head precisely at any XYZ coordinate within the build volume of the printer.

Whatever type of FDM printer you’re looking at, it’s the layered extrusion of filament material that’s shared among them all. Resin printers are fundamentally different in this regard.

Resin 3D Printers Explained

Resin 3D printers differ in a few fundamental ways from FDM printers. First, the material is a liquid resin rather than a spool of filament. This liquid is kept in a reservoir.

The resin printer still uses a build platform for the model that’s being printed, but it’s usually upside down. The platform is lifted out of the resin vat as each layer is formed. The resin itself is light-sensitive and cures when exposed to the right type of light. 

A precision light source is used to form each layer on top of the previous one until the entire finished model has been pulled from the vat. It certainly looks much more futuristic than FDM printing!

Types of Resin Printer: SLA, DLP & LCD Technology

While all resin printers use the basic principle of curing photosensitive resin with a light source, they don’t all do it in the same way. There are in fact three major subtypes of 3D resin printers.

SLA: Stereolithography

SLA is actually the original 3D printing technology and has a long history in engineering, especially in aerospace.

This type of printer uses a laser and movable mirrors to direct a small point of light. Wherever the ultraviolet laser is focused will harden the resin, so each layer can be rapidly drawn.

SLA printers can have the upside-down inverted design, where the model looks like it is pulled up out of the tank, but they can also have an upright design where the platform is lowered into the tank of resin as each layer is completed.

SLA printers generally produce very smooth surfaces and offer high-precision detailed prints.

DLP: Digital Light Processing

You may have heard the term “DLP” in relation to projector technology before and that is indeed the connection here. DLP resin printers use the same digital micromirror technology that DLP projectors use to project images.

In this case, the DLP projection is used to cure an entire layer of resin at a time, which makes DLP printers a little faster than SLA models, which only cure one point at a time.

DLP resin printers are also known for nice smooth surfaces, but large print areas might not show the same sharp and accurate detail as laser-based SLA machines.

LCD: Liquid Crystal Display Resin Printers

These printers use a monochrome LCD panel with a UV backlight to cure each layer. The LCD panel essentially acts as a mask by selectively blocking out light or letting it pass. This is a clever use of mature and well-understood LCD technology and has driven the cost of resin printers down dramatically. Most of the affordable resin printers that you can buy today use LCD technology.

LCD resin printers are faster than SLA machines and more accurate than DLP printers, which can exhibit distortion. The downside of LCD printers is that they have a shorter lifespan than the aforementioned technologies and they need more maintenance.

The Pros and Cons of Resin Printers

So why should you (or should you not) buy a resin printer over the more conventional FDM machines?

On the positive side of the equation:

Resin printers offer much more detailed and smooth models.

Resin prints don’t require extensive post-print finishing to look good.

They are faster than FDM machines.

Resin models are generally stronger and more resilient.

On the negative side of the equation:

Resin printing is more expensive overall.

It’s messier and requires more maintenance.

You need to prepare a safe environment to print in and store your resin.

Resin printers have smaller build volumes on average.

Uncured resin is toxic and has to be handled with significant care.

It’s important that any prospective resin printer owner be entirely prepared for the reality of resin printing, the dangers, environmental issues and maintenance burden. Take the time to watch a few YouTube videos to see the printing process from start to finish.

Who Should Buy a Resin Printer?

The main market for desktop resin printers is people who need to make small, finely detailed models. For example, if you want to create detailed pieces for tabletop gaming or intricate 3D jewelry, a resin printer might be a good option. If you are a 3D sculptor using software such as Zbrush, only a resin printer is going to do your finely detailed models any justice.

It is entirely possible to paint resin models, although you need to follow a lengthy process of preparing the resin surface to hold paint. If you don’t need the detail and quality of resin prints, then you’re far better off opting for an FDM 3D printer. You can also improve your FDM print finish quality by using techniques such as sanding, for a smoother model surface.

3D Resin Printer Recommendations

There are more and more resin printer choices on the market as time goes by, but one or two options stand out.

The AnyCubic Photon Mono X also caught our eye as a much more high-end (and costly) option. The substantially higher asking price nets you a larger, higher-resolution LCD panel and an impressive build volume, at least as far as resin printers go.

Of course, you should do your own research according to your specific needs, but based on customer reviews and their specifications, these two printers are a great place to start.

How 3D Printing Is Becoming Crucial For Automobile Industries?

3D printing allows automobile industries to add value to their supply chain and speed up the manufacturing process. These printing techniques are not limited to modeling but large format printers help automobile manufacturers to create small parts in-house at a lower cost. The use of 3D printers in automobile industries is still at a nascent stage, there is a lot more to come.

1. Speed Up Prototype Development

Prototypes help designers get the idea of their design and its practicality. 3D printers can print accurate models of the design, thus helping automobile engineers get a vision if their idea would work in reality or not.

2. Allowed Customization At Lower Costs

Many car manufacturing industries had to outsource the customization of certain parts. This process was not only expensive but also time taking. When a car engineer is manufacturing a new car design, they need to get the work done quickly. With 3D printing, the manufacturing industries are finally able to create customized parts and designs in-house without going beyond their budget.

3. Helpful In Manufacturing Tools

Manufacturing industries require certain tools and manufacturing aiding devices that can help them build and attach certain parts to the main body of the vehicle. Previously, industries relied on die-cast and other traditional methods. These old methods are not only time-consuming but also costly.

With 3D printers, industries can manufacture these aiding tools as per their requirement. This can be done quickly and cost-effectively.

Also read:

Top 7 Best ECommerce Tools for Online Business

4. Reduced Spare Part Issues

One of the biggest issues many car manufacturers face is the lack of matching spare parts. When a certain part of a vehicle is built, making the same copy can be difficult. There will always remain a difference in one way or another. However, with the use of 3D printers in automobile manufacturing industries, this problem can be solved to a great extent.

5. Accuracy In General Parts Manufacture

However, till now many car manufacturers are successful in printing dashboards, light covers, and even door handles. This is a huge step forward in the automobile manufacturing industry.

What Is The Price Of A 3080?

What is the price of a 3080?

Is it time to finally snatch up the old king of the GPUs

Expectations for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 couldn’t have been higher when it originally launched because it had to dramatically outperform Nvidia’s top-tier graphics card from the Turing era.

But like the rest of the Nvidia Ampere, the RTX 3080 hasn’t just risen to the occasion; offering quick 4K gaming at a reasonable price completely redefines the performance of top-tier graphics cards. In fact, the RTX 3080 appears to represent the biggest generational gain in power we have seen in a very long time compared to the cards it replaces.

The current price of the RTX 3080 is $699. Particularly in light of some very significant news regarding graphics cards, the high-end Ampere card is currently selling for the closest to MSRP it has ever been.

ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 OC Edition

Clock Speed

1755MHz Boost Clock (OC)



Thermal Design

iCX3 triple fan

This is because the RTX 4000 series has just been released, and we’ve had a chance to see the RTX 3080 replacement in all its possible configurations. We anticipate that RTX 3080 costs will plunge between now and the RTX 4080’s November release, making the present time the perfect opportunity to purchase RTX 3080.

Similar to other RTX 30 series graphics cards, buying an RTX 3080 GPU through an RTX 3080 PC or laptop package is the most affordable and convenient option. Since the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is a 4K graphics card, you really shouldn’t buy it for gaming at a lesser resolution because even the most powerful CPUs on the market would experience bottlenecks.

The Nvidia RTX 3080 is one of the most incredible graphics cards for handling 4K gaming, especially when you consider its pricing. 4K gaming is exceedingly challenging to operate.

The performance requirements for the upcoming generation of video games are likely to soar. The RTX 3080 is substantially more potent than the GPUs in either the PS5 or Xbox Series X. You can play all games at their highest settings at or very close to 60 frames per second at this resolution.

Will RTX 3080 price go down?

The most acceptable graphics cards were still difficult to find at “affordable” pricing only a few months ago. For instance, towards the end of March, Nvidia introduced the RTX 3090 Ti at the absurdly high MSRP of $1,999.

Retail prices today have decreased by as much as 43% or almost 50%! Only a small number of GPUs are still more expensive than their stated MSRPs, while other cards have also become significantly more affordable.

It isn’t just with retailers. The MSRP for Nvidia’s top four ultra-expensive GPU models has been reduced. A good example is the RTX 3080 Ti, which had an MSRP of $1,199 at the start of July but is now being recommended by Nvidia for $1,099 instead.

Now Nvidia is in the midst of the release of its new RTX 40 GPUs. Price reductions are a great technique to move outdated inventory to create room for new stuff.

The moment has come to switch to a top-tier RTX 30-series GPU if you’re still using an outdated GPU. This pricing won’t last long because the 3080 and 3090 cards are monsters.

For the next couple of months, graphics card prices will continue to decline, and AIBs will have even more price reductions in store. The GeForce RTX 3080 12GB and the 3080 Ti will be the main focus of NVIDIA’s strict steps to get rid of extra channel stock.

According to reports, NVIDIA has entered to assist AIBs in reducing their excess stockpiles in exchange for sizable pre-orders of the following higher-end RTX 40 series cards. The RTX 3070 and 3060 are two examples of lower-end SKUs that are still mostly selling at or near their MSRPs.

Because of all those forthcoming GPUs, the current cards’ cost should keep decreasing. Although there isn’t much room to go lower than the $250 level, midrange cards may even see more price reductions to clear inventory and even discourage people from purchasing Intel’s new GPUs.

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G

Clock Speed

1815MHz Boost Clock (OC)



Thermal Design

TRI FROZR Cooling Solution

Gun Maker: Printing 3D Gun Parts A ‘Step Toward Liberty’

Technophiles have been playing around with 3D printing for years, but mostly just to make things like little statues or plastic trinkets. Now, however, it’s possible to print items with the potential to leave more of an impact.

Items like guns, for example.

Such is the goal of Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, a company that makes gun parts using 3D printers and publishes the designs online for anyone to download. Now, co-founder Cody Wilson said he has received a federal license to distribute and sell firearms. And last week Wilson also announced he’s trying to raise $100,000 to launch a new search engine called Defcad, which would let people share 3D printing blueprints for things like gun parts.

It’s a thorny subject considering the current debate over gun control in the aftermath of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newton, Conn., in which 26 people—20 of them children 7 years old and younger—were murdered.

Here’s what he said in a recent Q&A with PCWorld/TechHive about using 3D printers to make guns.

I understand you just got a federal license to distribute and sell firearms?

For me, the new thing is that we’re doing a search engine right now. In fact, we’re fundraising for it. So yes, it’s true that we have a license, that’s related to [the company] Defense Distributed. I’m trying to get the search engine off the ground in the next 30 days so development for the next three or four weeks will actually be ramped back down for Defense Distributed.

Speaking of your search engine, it looks like you’ve raised more than $20,000 so far. What kind of people are supporting you?

Well, I can’t trace the money back because I haven’t been watching individual transactions but I’m seeing a lot of support on the Ron Paul forums and people that use Bitcoin… Redditors, really a lot of people who might self-describe as Internet people and civil libertarians.

How did you become the poster child for 3D-printed guns? What’s the backstory?

I think we came up with the idea of printing gun parts on 3D printers at around the same time a couple of other hobbyists in the country did, as well. We didn’t know about each other so at the time we thought “Well, no one else is doing this, let’s see what we can do.” But almost immediately the thought was also “Oh, it’s not just enough to do it, we should open source it as well, because this would have real political import.”

My cofounder and I are pretty … how to say it… we’re extremely political people and in the Arendtian sense so I don’t care anything about retail politics…shaking hands, all these things, that’s ridiculous and a simulation of the real thing to me.

I think real politics is something much more fascinating. In fact, I’m interested in projects that might bring ideology and real politics back into the world. This seemed like if we could make a technical proof of the impossibility of gun control in a new technology, it would be something worth doing. And I think my instincts are right though, a lot of people realize the vision in either its optimistic side or its terrifying side.

Can you describe what you’ve been printing? Is it just gun parts? Entire gun assemblies?

Right now we’ve just been doing gun parts, like receivers. Our three main things we’ve been doing are the lower receiver for the AR-15, that’s what we’ve been doing for the longest. Standard capacity magazines for the AR-15. And then we’ve recently been doing AK-47 magazines.

We’ve been doing other minor parts as well but mostly we leave that up to other people so we started a hub for gun parts called Defcad and that’s where people share and upload parts. We’ve actually kept it down to a pretty small range of gun parts and it’s just been tweaking those designs and testing them in the different 3D printing technologies that we have access to, which is quite a few now.

How many users do you have on Defcad?

What would you say to the people who fear that bad guys are going to use 3D printers to make plastic guns that can’t seen by metal detectors?

That’s a step away from what we’re doing, although it’s part of our prototyping process. We’re not legally allowed to do it yet. So complete guns out of 3D printers is not yet, as far as I’ve seen, demonstrated to be a feasible thing. I’m not sure it’s technologically achievable with the current materials or printers, although we are going to try to find that out.

To that point then, in this world where let’s say 3D printers can print out Saturday Night Specials and that bad people or terrorists will use them, this is, of course, possible. This is the problem with liberty, that it can be abused.

But I think the tendency is to blame people like us for creating a world that by and large already exists. So these nation states and these government bodies already fund armies and paramilitary groups and give them arms around the world. I’m not exporting hundreds of thousands of rifles all over the world for people to use in genocides. This is already being done by our democratically elected leaders.

I think there’s nothing wrong with what we’re doing in a moral sense. We’re pursuing what we think is a step toward liberty and even if it scares people, well, that’s our world view—liberty is scary and increasingly there’s less and less you can do about controlling the way someone can fabricate a gun.

What about the federal license that you received to distribute and sell firearms?

It’s a federal firearms license and there are different kinds you can get, but the one I got was one to manufacture firearms, and manufacturing has a specific meaning under the law. Before I was already making guns and gun parts, which is legal to do in America. You don’t need a license to do it.

But if you want sell them or if you want to make a wider range of guns you need to get licensing to manufacture. So that’s what we applied for at the end of October, and we finally got it.

It’s kind of like step one toward being able to make whatever we want, without the need to pay a tax on every prototype, without the need to do a lot of paperwork and wait three months between innovations. We can just operate our own laboratory and workshop without regulatory constraint because we’ve been licensed.

Do you actually see yourself selling things to people?

Of course. Maybe not a business of actual printable guns because those aren’t competitive with the kinds of prices compared to traditional commercial guns. But I can already begin selling, if I serialize, the components we’ve already printed. Perhaps people just want them as novelties or it’s a slightly better piece of merchandise than a T-shirt. It can offset some of our costs in the previous months. It just allows another access point for monetization.

And I can do firearms transactions now so if someone wants to support our nonprofit, for example, they don’t just have to send us money, they can do little things like, well, if I’m going to choose to ship a rifle out of state or in state, maybe I’ll ship it to Defense Distributed and give them a few extra dollars. It just allows people to spend their money on us.

Is your company, Defense Distributed, a nonprofit?

Yeah, we’re pursuing 501(c)(3). I put in the app for that back in October, as well, and I haven’t gotten my determination letter yet. I think it’s still being studied. But I fully expect we’ll get 501(c). It seems pretty cut and dried, although I know it’s a unique application.

I understand you spoke at SXSW last week. How were you received?

I expected it to be a little more contentious, actually. But what can I say? It was a pretty friendly atmosphere. I gave a talk and the Q&A was not in the least contentious. People were asking interesting ethical and philosophical questions but nobody was rude or anything. Everybody I think was just there to participate in a real conversation.

Speaking of people being rude, do you have haters out there?

Oh, of course. The reason I expected a more hostile environment in the first place is I’ve been before some hostile crowds presenting on this topic in Europe and other places where you might expect more of that. I just have come to expect with a more general audience that people would be more against it. I guess the Southwest crowd is younger, they’re more into tech, and I think even if they have ethical reservations, it’s simply outweighed by the pure spectacle and fascination of it all.

Is there anything else that people should know about this subject?

I think it’s one of the more intrepid uses of 3D printing right now. We’re learning a lot about the materials, a lot about the limits of this technology, from higher end to maker hobby level machines. We’re really straining these things and seeing what they can do.

It’s a pretty intense application. A gun part either works or it doesn’t. It’s somewhat different from just printing out a trinket. You’re creating functional parts. In that respect, I think people should take 3D printers and start to make functional useful devices.

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