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Defense Distributed Prints a Working Gun Using a 3D Printer

By - Source: Forbes | B 19 comments

And no, we're not talking about Super Soakers.

3D printing has been around for a long time, but it's only really started to take off in the last few years. We've already seen how 3D printing could effect the medical industry (remember the 83-year-old woman in Belgium with the 3D-printed titanium jaw?) and now we're getting a sneak peak at the 3D printer's first dalliance with the firearms industry.

Forbes has posted a gallery of photos of a 3D printed gun along with the story of Cody Wilson, a 25-year University of Texas law student who founded a non-profit group called Defense Distributed. Wilson's mission was to create the the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun and Forbes reports that he has done just that.

The gun in question, dubbed 'The Liberator,' is made of sixteen components, each printed using ABS plastic. In fact, the only parts of the gun that aren't plastic are the firing pin (a single nail), and a six ounce chunk of steel that Defense Distributed added to ensure the gun was detectable by metal detectors and so in compliance of the Undetectable Firearms Act.

Defense Distributed plans to release the CAD files for the Liberator and post them to its collection of gun blueprints at Defcad.org. In theory, this would mean anyone with a 3D printer could print their own gun at home, regardless of whether or not they have a license to own a gun. Wilson agrees that it's a scary prospect, but says that what he is setting out to prove is that anyone can print a lethal weapon at home. Forbes reports that at least one congressman is calling for a ban on plastic firearms.

Check out the full story, along with pictures, over on Forbes.

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  • 5 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , May 3, 2013 6:09 PM
    This is at least 3 months old.
  • 6 Hide
    abbadon_34 , May 3, 2013 6:41 PM
    Old news, same scare tactics.
  • -2 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , May 3, 2013 7:28 PM
    This is at least 3 months old.
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    stige , May 3, 2013 9:17 PM
    "You can't stop the signal, Mal"
  • -2 Hide
    Soda-88 , May 4, 2013 6:40 AM
    It also falls apart when you fire few times and you can't print every single part of it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DconsfGsXyA
  • -4 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 4, 2013 7:43 AM
    People like this get on my nerves. So what, he's concerned about the implications but says, "Oh well, I'll do it anyway. Screw the consequences"? At any rate, I do believe there needs to be laws about the distribution of these kinds of things.
  • -1 Hide
    otacon72 , May 4, 2013 1:05 PM
    I'm a proud member of the NRA but I do not support this at all. I don't care how sturdy the lower receiver is you're playing Russian roulette every time you fire it. What you're going to have now is every idiot using a cheap 3D printer trying this is blowing themselves up when they try to fire it. What exactly was the point of proving this? F'n moron.
  • 1 Hide
    universal remonster , May 4, 2013 2:34 PM
    Obviously, we need to get legislation rolling to ban 3D printers.
    /s
  • 3 Hide
    everygamer , May 4, 2013 3:53 PM
    How does someone ban something that someone can print at home with raw materials. It's not like the ban could stop a supply/chain of a product. It's like trying to ban illegal music downloads.
  • 3 Hide
    southernshark , May 4, 2013 6:09 PM
    Very old news, just trying to scare up support for regulating 3D printers and passing a bunch of "terror" laws. I'm surprised Tom's would stoop to this level. The gun in question, by the way certainly wasn't any better than something you could have made with a common houshold items. In fact, using a steel pipe would get you a better barrel than this.
  • 0 Hide
    Integr8d , May 4, 2013 7:28 PM
    "I'm a proud member of the NRA but I do not support this at all. I don't care how sturdy the lower receiver is you're playing Russian roulette every time you fire it. What you're going to have now is every idiot using a cheap 3D printer trying this is blowing themselves up when they try to fire it. What exactly was the point of proving this? F'n moron."
    Really? The round is in the chamber with a bolt locked behind it. The recoil alone doesn't even cycle the action. It takes the gas from down at the end of the barrel to do so... Proud NRA member, my ass. This is Guns 101 and you just qualified for Special Ed. No one is going to blow themselves up with a plastic lower any more than they will with the plastic lower on a Glock. Grow up, troll.
  • -2 Hide
    kenyee , May 5, 2013 3:31 PM
    So after wasting 10min watching the youtube video, my conclusion is that Tom's Hardware's DUMB Jane McEntegart still isn't technical enough to figure out that it's just the stupid lower receiver that the stupid BATF defines as "gun" when it's just a part of it.
    Does anyone have a real reference to photos of a real plastic gun that defines physics and doesn't BLOW UP when you launch an explosive through it when you pull the trigger?????
    Maybe Bright JANE would be willing to demonstrate one for us :-P
  • 0 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , May 6, 2013 2:02 AM
    Knifes kill people too... yet no 3D printer was banned on this motive!
  • 1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , May 6, 2013 7:46 AM
    LOL@soda... You should have watched the whole thing. They shot 600rounds. I'm thinking that's all you need for home defense and nobody is stopping you from having more than one just in case you don't get to 600 right?
    IF memory serves, none of the mass shootings recently have been republicans. ALL were democrats and NO members of NRA. So good gun owners do no harm right? So why the dems keep trying to steal my guns when they are the only ones doing the killings (and even they were not NRA members)? :)  Just a thought.
  • 2 Hide
    Anomalyx , May 6, 2013 9:41 AM
    Yes, ban plastic guns. That'll keep the criminals from printing them... *facepalm*
  • 0 Hide
    Affray , May 7, 2013 1:06 AM
    Can they print chemical propelled ammunition too ? Or are they all flechette weapons ?
  • 0 Hide
    Affray , May 7, 2013 1:23 AM
    Can they print chemical propelled ammunition too ? Or are they all flechette weapons ?
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , May 7, 2013 5:51 AM
    @Soda-88 except they made a working one a few days later and successfully shot off several hundred rounds.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , May 7, 2013 1:09 PM
    A "gun" can be made 100% at your local hardware store, using mass produced parts with very little modification. Having the ability to "print" one from a 3d printer is just a gimmick. If someone wants to kill someone else, they don't need a gun to do it. Even a toothbrush can kill someone, just ask anyone thats been shanked in prison.
    The scary aspect of this, is that skynet can now print guns for its robotic army. :D 
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