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Friday Funnies: This 3D-printed machine gun shoots paper airplanes

As has been amply reported in PlasticsToday, 3D printing is a truly remarkable technology that has had a profound impact on everything from medical manufacturing to moldmaking. But part of me wants to believe that, perhaps, its greatest and most elegant achievement is a machine gun that takes sheets of paper, folds them into airplanes, and shoots them into space.

Dieter Michael Krone, a mechanical engineer from Düsseldorf, Germany, describes the invention in this way on YouTube: "A little tinkering from me that shows what you can do with 3D printers today. Most parts of this paper airplane machine gun [were] printed by [3D printing services provider] fabberhouse.de." The other parts can be purchased online or at a hardware store, he adds. Krone does not, however, share information on how you might go about printing one of these babies on your own.

Krone, it turns out, is something of a mad genius when it comes to paper airplanes, writes Michelle Starr on cnet.com. "Krone is one of the world's leading authorities on the art of folding paper to make it glide." He has written a book on the subject, given university lectures, and maintains a website that covers everything from the best materials for building paper airplanes to the physics of paper airplane flight, notes Starr.

And isn't it ironic that the best way to launch a squadron of paper airplanes in rapid succession is with a 3D-printed plastic machine gun?

TAGS: 3D Printing
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