Tag Archives: 3d gun

The 3D-printed handgun has arrived

I want a 3D printer. I want a really good one. This is in my bucket list:

Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world’s first entirely 3D-printable handgun.

Now he has.

Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year-old University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls “the Liberator,” pictured in its initial form above. He’s agreed to let me document the process of the gun’s creation, so long as I don’t publish details of its mechanics or its testing until it’s been proven to work reliably and the file has been uploaded to Defense Distributed’s online collection of printable gun blueprints at Defcad.org.

I hope technology can outrun tyranny.

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Man making gun parts with 3D printers gets lease revoked, interrogated by BATF

In early August, we presented a novel idea where a DIY maker was able to print upper receivers for handguns using a 3D printer.

Well it seems the manufacturers of Stratasys didn’t like this idea and have revoked a license and physically removed a printer from one customer. From CNet:

Stratasys has voided the lease for the printer Defense Distributed had rented, and sent representatives to physically reclaim it last week.

Further, Beckhusen reports that a visit to the Austin, TX branch of the ATF turned into an unexpected questioning session for Wilson when he went down to investigate the legal requirements of the Defense Distributed project.

Beckhusen also writes that, according to Wilson, “the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area, but that he still needs to get licensed if he’s to manufacture a weapon.

Now legally, making gun parts from scratch isn’t something the BATF is able to regulate unless the parts are made available for sale, but we’re a little surprised that a 3D printer manufacturer would go to such lengths to reclaim a printer.

The lesson here is abundantly clear: if you’re going to use your 3D printers for things that fall into the gray areas of a license agreement (which you should probably read and heavily consider when shopping for printers) — then you’re probably better off keeping your mouth shut or using a pseudonym when sharing DIY schematics online.

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DIY: Digital printer makes lower receiver for gun, cheap

The replicators on Star Trek can’t be far now, except it’s not food the budding tinkerers are thinking about making, it’s guns:

HaveBlue’s custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal.

The lower receiver was created using a fairly old school Stratasys 3D printer, using a normal plastic resin. HaveBlue estimates that it cost around $30 of resin to create the lower receiver, but “Makerbots and the other low cost printers exploding onto the market would bring the cost down to perhaps $10.” Commercial, off-the-shelf assault rifle lower receivers are a lot more expensive. If you want to print your own AR-15 lower receiver, HaveBlue has uploaded the schematic to Thingiverse.

HaveBlue tried to use the same lower receiver to make a full-blown .223 AR-15/M16 rifle, but it didn’t work. Funnily enough, he thinks the off-the-shelf parts are causing issues, rather than the 3D-printed part.

While this pistol obviously wasn’t created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part.

Yes, it’s technically an illegal gun until he registers it. But as inventors like this keep pushing the boundaries of possibility in DIY weaponry, attempts to regulate and control firearms have definitely run into a new wrinkle.

For ways to have your own Maker Bot to construct future guns for you, just follow the handy instructions. I’m guessing we’ll eventually get around to the replicators that take voice commands for food only after we’re able to shoot them if they don’t comply (or tries to poison us).

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