A moral quandary: Should we cover the weapons and defense industry?

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In the forthcoming issue of DEVELOP3D, we have a huge range of stories as ever (inlcuding a look at Vuuch, Inventor Fusion and much more). This month we also have a huge focus on hardware, how to choose it, how to maintain it and how to get the best bang for your buck. It’ll be with you shortly.

Elsewhere, we also have our monthly Product Development Gallery – and this month, it is bringing up something of a moral question that has bothered us in the office for a while now. That question is this.

Should a magazine such as ours cover the process and technology use involved in the development and manufacture of weapons, products that are intended to cause harm?

The perfect example of why this gives us nightmares is the product above, the Taser X26. To quote Stephen’s story, “The team work within AutoCAD and Solidworks to transform their original sketches and ergonomic foam models into 3D CAD data, testing it within ANSYS and CosmosWorks for drop tests. Parts are rapid prototyped in order to verify the design of parts, such as the important cartridge mechanism, before providing a pre-tooling release.” All very interesting details, but the Taser is controversial product.

The Defense industry is a huge part of the product development ecosystem and many of the most advanced users of technology are within that space. But when the end result is a product that can cause harm, should it be covered?

Part of me thinks, yes. If technology is used to improve these products, to make them more accurate, to make them less dangerous even in contradictory context of conflict or law enforcement, that’s a good thing.

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The other part of me thinks No. Or should the whole thing be ignored and we carry on talking about less controversial industry sectors?

I’d like your thoughts please if you would make a comment on what you think.