#2121: PlastiCalibre

There is a lot of rather overheated language being used in connection with a small group of nutters who claim to be able to make firearms using 3D, desktop printers.

First, I’d be surprised if even a very high-spec machine is capable of making a single-shot weapon that would work.

Even if that were possible, printing ammunition would be very difficult.

Why would anyone even bother, when you can buy a shotgun for a few dollars in many US states?

Today’s invention is for those who really think that home-printed guns are some kind of serious problem.

Since low-cost ammunition only comes in a very small number of diameters, each printer should contain, as embedded code, a routine which detects the design of a cylinder with one of these dimensions.

This would cause the machine not to accept any such design file for printing…or better yet, create the desired hardware using a slightly smaller diameter, making any kind of ballistic use impossible.

#2120: PenSpine

Today’s invention is a notepad the spiral binding of which is formed from a couple of extended, suitably-shaped ballpoint pen ink reservoirs.

It should be possible to supply enough ink so that they would never run out before the book was full.

This would also ensure that both writing implements never got detached from the notebook (being slipped inside the coils when not in use).

#2119: SheathBike

I’ve written before about bikes designed to break the land speed record.

Today’s invention is an alternative outer skin for one such machine.

Rather than worry about making a rigid monocoque, this surface consists of a translucent rubber sheath which is stretched over the bike and rider as shown.

It is held off the wheels by some guards shown in red, so that the best possible combination of small cross section, drag reducing tapering, minimised weight and rider movement is achieved.

The rider can also see enough to be able to steer without needing any windows.