AMUK welcomes tough sentencing on teenage extremist

The UK’s only trade association dedicated to the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing sector hopes the punishment imposed on Daniel Harris will act as a deterrent to others and prevent future misuse of the technology.

AMUK, the UK’s only trade association dedicated to the Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing sector, has welcomed the 11-and-a-half sentence imposed on a teenager from the East Midlands.

Daniel Harris, 19, from Glossop in Derbyshire was convicted of five counts of encouraging terrorism and one of possessing a 3D printer for the purposes of terrorism after a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

The court was told during the hearing that a video posted by Harris showed how to make an assault rifle using parts created by using a 3D printer.

AMUK, which is part of the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) cluster, exists to promote the development and adoption of Additive Manufacturing technology in the UK, as well as the interests of its members.

As a responsible trade body, it resists the use of the technology for illegal purposes and encourages its members, as well as the wider AM industry, to do likewise.

“Additive Manufacturing has the ability to profoundly change existing production methods and boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the UK’s manufacturing sector. Unfortunately, as with any technology, 3D Printing can be misused by criminals, never more so than the production of firearms components and static weapons such as knives.”Josh Dugdale, Head of Technology & Skills, MTA

He said the production of real guns or rifles, like the ones used by the armed forces and police, as well as other parties, was an incredibly complex and lengthy process that takes months of development, precise testing and state-of-the-art machinery. Trying to evade this process through the use of 3D printed components can therefore have deadly consequences.

“AMUK unreservedly condemns the use of 3D Printing for any illicit activity, including the illegal manufacture of weapons. We welcome the punishment handed down to Daniel Harris and hope it will serve as a deterrent to others not to misuse the technology,”Josh Dugdale, Head of Technology & Skills, MTA

AMUK is committed to working alongside national policymakers to develop solutions that will stop the proliferation of illegal 3D-printed weapons and prevent the technology from being used for any illicit purposes. Nevertheless, it is convinced that restricting online blueprints would be the most effective way of limiting the production and spread of homemade 3D-printed weapons.

In line with other trade associations across the EU, AMUK believes the benefits of 3D Printing outweigh its dangers and that the lawful use of the technology can deliver the innovative solutions that will keep many industries competitive.

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