World's first 3D printed gun fired in US.

Hey everyone,

Read the story of the world’s first 3D printed gun being fired this morning. The company behind it plans to release the blueprints to print your own online, which includes 16 parts - 15 printed and 1 household nail as a firing pin.

The company behind it says “The project is not about violence, but about freedom. This is about enabling individuals to create their own sovereign space.”

Read the story on the BBC…

Read the story on Mashable…

Just wondered what peoples thoughts were on this? I know most american guys are more relaxed regarding guns than us Brits but does anyone else think this is a scary prospect?

US gun control was created by the political right during the racial unrest of the civil rights era.

The gun lobby is fond of saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

Canada has a similar gun ownership rate, but nowhere near the US murder rate.

Gun control legislation by the politial left has largely failed.

…and did you notice Staples was going to start selling 3D printers?

The guy Cody Wilson did it as a a political statement, to truely have things open source. Weapons, medical devices, drugs, anything. As a way to say; “Hey government, you cant keep these major technological advancements from us.”

Link to the idealogy behind the group.

One of the biggest things that people often over look though is that every part of a rifle is essentially available for purchase over the counter with the exception of a receiver. Only the receiver is regulated and controlled by the government. So Joe of the street can go in and buy barrel, firing pin, springs, triggers without question. Then simple make a receiver at home him self. Something that people have been doing for ages. You can simply buy a 80% receiver blank and with a few milling operations have a working firearm in an hour.
Tactical Innovations

People have done it with metal stock, wood, even a shovel. Wasn’t long before someone did it publicly with a 3D printer.

For people afraid that this will cause crime rates to go up. Simply google “zip gun” You could make a better fire arm from the hardware store with less than 10 bucks. Not to mention the cost of owning a 3D printer is fairly high right now, at least higher than making a firearm another way.

The biggest fear is the amount of publicity this is getting. The 3D printed weapon is a cool idea, but If this wasn’t getting as much hype it would likely fall into the depth of the internet. But it has become an internet sensation and now is gone viral

I’m personally against the idea of a 3D printed gun, but the idea of truly making information open source is one I stand behind.

It also and further proves that technology will always move faster than government regulation.

This is actually a well done documentary on Defcad, and shows their design process pretty well too.

I think the only reason you see this getting so much more attention is gun control in the US has been a very hot topic for the past year, especially given the elections, and 3D printing is a new field for the rest of the world.

You can CNC machine a gun too…but nobody went out and started a story about “Man CNC machined gun and sells it”.

I’m sure some uninformed politician will grab a hold of this at some point and create some more arbitrary legislation around background checks for Makerbots that can hold more than 7KG of plastic.

I agree that this is really only making news because it is such a hot topic recently, and this will get politicized. Seems like the manufacturer already made their position clear by stating it is about ‘freedom’. To me though, it seems scary to think that ANYONE, of any age, could print this if the file is readily accessible for download. In the end though, this is really a novelty since, as already pointed out, 3D printers are expensive; when you can get an actual gun at a fraction of that cost. At least if someone is going to use it for malicious purposes they still have a good 2 or 3 day waiting period for it to complete and for them to cool down.

I always thought that it was interesting that MakerBot has a clause in their terms not to make parts for firearms. I’m sure it is just to cover them from liability as it isn’t enforceable.

Looks like the gun needs some ID work.

What would Tony Stark do…?

Wow, just saw this made the front cover of the NY Post today…

What are people so worried about…terrorists sneaking it on an airplane? Are people forgetting bullets are made of metal?

Ah good - someone already posted a quality rant so I don’t have to.

This article in Forbes shows that the gun itself is quite fragile:

“He and John retreated to a safe distance, and John pulled his yellow string again. This time the gun exploded, sending shards of white ABS plastic flying into the weeds and bringing the Liberator’s first field trial to an abrupt end.”

“After the test-firing I witnessed, Wilson showed me a video of an ABS plastic barrel the group printed attached to a non-printed gun body firing ten rounds of .380 ammunition before breaking on the eleventh.”

I find this interesting … this pistol is named “The Liberator” and it’s inventor, Cody Wilson, apparently has a penchant for making dramatic videos. In this one he associates the WWII B-24 “Liberator” aircraft to his weapon.

I’m curious if was aware that there a single-shot .45 caliber weapon designed during that period and it resembles this plastic weapon. The FP-45 Liberator was stamped out of sheet metal, with a 3-inch, un-rifled barrel; it’s absolute maximum effective range was considered to be 20 feet. 4 - 8 feet was ideal.

Never distributed to combat troops (for obvious reasons), it’s intended purpose was to be dropped behind enemy lines where it could be used by insurgents or concentration camp inmates to kill a soldier, and take his weapon. They were never distributed, and most were destroyed.

Ref.: FP-45 Liberator - Wikipedia

This seems like a helluva lot of work, not to mention expense, to make a single shot weapon; a “zip-gun” which have been fashioned out of scrap for years. If you don’t expect the weapon to last longer than one, or two, round PVC tubing, reinforced by wrapping it with multiple loops of string and soaked in epoxy would get you the same result. If you google “zip gun” you’ll even find one made out of paper.

I liked this rant.

Great, so now when we fly there will be 100% strip searches. And if flying in the US was not already extremely painful. Thanks America!

Tim: The gun is plastic, but I’m assuming the ammo is still metal. At the X-ray machine, I think they would open your suitcase whether you had a gun or a couple rounds rolling around in it.

Not only are the bullets metal, but you have to use a nail (metal) in the gun as a firing pin. so not completely 3D printed

Isn’t the gist of if this post an implied question concerning design, and the morality of designing and making an artifact that’s designed specifically to violently kill and/or maim?

It’s also the ‘only in America’ thing where the highest gun ownership rate in the world is celebrated. Where “freedom” depends on a level of paranoia, and an archaic constitutional carry-over based on circumstances 200 years ago.

I hate this. Predictable perhaps, but it’s an ugly and brutal symptom of a deeper malaise.

I do think it’s a scary prospect from the perspective of ‘untrackable availability to anyone’. And while the person behind it touts freedom and tries to downplay violence, the only outcome is violence and that fear of violence inhibits freedom itself, in my opinion.

And now the Right has everyone in their place and the gun lobby is giving them mucho dinero, so they’ve changed their tune!

But the laws are much different, ie, concealed guns, handguns, etc - it’s hard to hide a shotgun in your pants while walking into a jewelry store, alley or courthouse :slight_smile:

I think the difference here is that with a 3D printer these homemade weapons can be ‘designed’ to be more concealable and, over time, more effective and efficient at their intended purposes.

Tony Stark has convincingly replaced MacGyver…Yayy!

But this is where a 3D printed weapon becomes so much more of an issue - in 2 hours he could use MakerBot v17 to upgrade to a nylon version, then with Makerbot v20 a 25%GFN version, then with Makerbot v31 a carbon fiber version.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for personal freedom (I’ve enjoyed destroying tree trunks with my friend’s 50 caliber Desert Eagle handgun) and I hope for a society where everyone is responsible and honest - sorry, I have to stop typing while laughing…but the idea of some wacko in his basement with tomorrow’s Makerbot v41, some level of creativity and an evil little mask he made while ranting about how 7/11 should pay for being open 24 hours a day does in fact make me worry. :open_mouth:

It is interesting to join in on this debate being a Brit in the process of transitioning State side and personally asking myself a lot of questions on whether I would one day buy a gun - not something I thought I would ever be asking myself.

I think it was only a matter of time before 3D printing was used for making guns. Now the motive of this is what needs to be discussed and analysed. As a child I remember often making devices be it out of LEGO, cardboard, wood that had the ability to shoot some sort of projectile. I was interested in the mechanics and the physics behind what propelled this projectile rather than intending to hurt anyone by firing at them. I’d say that this will carry in to the 3D printing world given that it is possible to now print objects with multiple moving parts.

Now on to the work of DEFCAD. The issue that he has raised which does actually scare me is that the lower receiver is the gun and the part which is regulated - all other components including ammunition is readily available for purchase by anyone. If this part can be printed by anyone then how guns are regulated needs to be changed.

The Internet made the idea of trying to control what people read and say a quaint anachronism(okay the printing press started it but the Net finished it.) To think technology would never extend the same idea to actual “things”(I believe the next step is pharmaceuticals?) is rather naive.

Nevermind gun control, the premises of all sorts of rules are now quaint anachronisms, unless you want Big Brother to be monitoring all technology to make sure that no one ever does anything “unauthorized.” Of course I’m sure I’d be disappointed at the response here to exactly that question, since people seem to be, ironically, rather paranoid about what they imagine paranoid people might do.

Of course I’m sure I’d be disappointed at the response here to exactly that question, since people seem to be, ironically, rather paranoid about what they imagine paranoid people might do.

Moderator Hat: ON

A preemptive request; let’s try to keep this “design” oriented. I realize that this may be hard to do given the controversial subject matter, but if this devolves into a “gun rights” discussion, I’ll lock it. There are other forums where this can be debated. I’m not picking on you Jim.


Moderator Hat: OFF