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3D-Printed Gun May Be Unveiled Soon 625

Posted by samzenpus
from the print-and-shoot dept.
colinneagle writes "A 3D-printed gun capable of firing multiple rounds may be unveiled soon. Cody Wilson, the 25-year-old founder and director of nonprofit organization Defense Distributed, recently told Mashable that the end product of Wiki Weapon, the initiative to create an operational 3D-printed gun, may soon be ready to unveil to the public. In a March interview with CNN, Wilson said he hoped to have a printable gun ready by the end of April, so his most recent comments suggest that he may fulfill that promise. While Wilson was sparse with details, he did tell Mashable that the prototype would be a handgun consisting of 12 parts made out of ABS+ thermoplastic, which is known for its durability and is commonly used in industrial settings. The firing pin would be the only steel component of the 3D-printed gun, which will be able to withstand a few shots before melting or breaking. Wilson reportedly anticipates making an official announcement soon."
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3D-Printed Gun May Be Unveiled Soon

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  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:37AM (#43552677)

    If the barrel and/or the slide is made of even the best plastic, I wouldn't trust it to take the 35ksi of a normal 9mm round even once. That application requires properly heat treated 4130 or 4140 steel (or 316 stainless).

    • by mhajicek (1582795)
      I'd like to see something that takes pipe from the hardware store as a barrel. 3/4" plumbing pipe perfectly fits a 12 gauge shell.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Like what was done in WWII?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sten [wikipedia.org]

        This 3D printing hype is tiresome. Go ahead, get excited over blobs of plastic and twisting words to fit a bizarre notion that you can "3D print" the same items as mass manufacturing technology.

        • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:28AM (#43553127)

          The people working on 3d printing guns are mostly interested in the idea because it'd be very difficult to regulate - they believe that access to firearms is a fundamental constitutional right, even a human right, that no government should be permitted to take from the people. The manufacture of guns by conventional means requires large factories and an organised distribution chain that make it fairly easy for any government to regulate, keeping the guns in the hands of only the police, army, and the criminals well-connected enough to access a shadowy underworld of illegal imports and stolen guns. Guns made with 3d printing would be accessible to anyone able to buy some perfectly legal hardware and download a model file.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by balsy2001 (941953)
      The more interesting part of this development is the possibility to make receivers on your printer. For example, the only federally controlled part on an AR-15 is the lower receiver. Every other part can be bought with no paper work (e.g., barrels, triggers, upper receivers, stocks, optics,...). There are already production models that use polymers. Factories that do this type of stuff require an FFL (federal firearms license) for manufacture of weapons. If you can do it in your house all the rules are
      • by Trepidity (597)

        People have been making receivers on CNC machines for years. It's not a particularly difficult part to manufacture, compared to something like a barrel.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There's actually a fairly good bit of difference between the commercially available AR-15's and fully automatic versions. Different Bolt Carrier design, different trigger group, additional boring out of the receiver, and a part that does not exist at all in the semi-automatic AR-15. Conversion is nowhere near as easy as your congress critter or the media would have you believe. Sure, it can be done, but it's a LOT of work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jamesh (87723)

      If the barrel and/or the slide is made of even the best plastic, I wouldn't trust it to take the 35ksi of a normal 9mm round even once. That application requires properly heat treated 4130 or 4140 steel (or 316 stainless).

      I don't really see a problem. It just needs a label like "Warning: This item is not a weapon and is for novelty purposes only. Aim away from face".

      Part of me likes the idea of a handgun that only lasts 3 shots and on any of those 3 shots may explode and remove the face of the person holding it.

    • by icebike (68054)

      If the barrel and/or the slide is made of even the best plastic, I wouldn't trust it to take the 35ksi of a normal 9mm round even once. That application requires properly heat treated 4130 or 4140 steel (or 316 stainless).

      Yeah, that's what people have been saying since the whole idea of printing guns came up.
      It's about to come to fruition in spite of your protestations. Just stop blabbering about how many copper units it has to withstand to be equivalent to a nine mil. The favorite weapon of an mob hit men is a 22 caliber.

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      Depends on the size of the plastic. I assure you a 9mm round embedded in a 1mx1mx1m of ABS with only canals for the bullet and firing pin will not make the entire block of plastic explode.

      I imagine the design could be quite viable as a revolver where the whole drum with rounds and barrels built in is replaceable and each round has its own single-use barrel. Reloading involves replacing the whole drum.

      What I find would be quite difficult though is getting your own rounds made from scratch / from generic par

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday April 26, 2013 @12:37AM (#43552685) Homepage Journal

    To 3D print the cartridges.

  • Profits (Score:3, Insightful)

    by impbob (2857981) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:17AM (#43552855)
    I'm interested to see the reaction from the pro-gun groups and lobbies who are supported by major manufactures. Will they still be so keen for everyone to own a gun when those guns aren't being bought from their interest groups? Or will it become like the tobacco industry where only "approved manufacturers" (ie. the current ones) are allowed to design, manufacture and sell guns.
    • Gun industry already has many dozens of small companies that manufacture guns - for ARs alone there is more than a dozen of producers. I'm not aware of any deliberate lobbying efforts on the parts of major manufacturers to change that. But, arguably, if they wanted to do so, they already had an opportunity in form of AWB - seeing how most small fish dabble in precisely the types of guns that would be banned under that legislation, while the big guys (Remington, Winchester, Colt, Ruger, S&W etc) have hal

    • Re:Profits (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZeroPly (881915) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:23AM (#43553339)
      Does GM feels threatened by people who build cars in their garage from kits?

      A 3D printed pistol is a great novelty item, but what are you really going to use it for? In a self defense situation, are you going to trust a weapon that's never been fired before? I ran about 300 rounds through my new Sig P226 before I was comfortable believing that I could hit what I was aiming at.
  • I watched an interview with Cody [youtube.com] recently.

    While the guy is a little nuts (ok, maybe more than a little) he does actually have a point. Gun control in the age of 3d printing is going to be virtually impossible. In the next decade we'll move from plastics to metals and from niche to mainstream for 3d printing, any 15 yr old with an internet connection and a (no doubt cheap) home printer will then only need to buy bullets to arm themselves to the teeth.

    Politics are always behind the curve, it would be nice
    • by BlueStrat (756137)

      FYI I'm Australian [youtube.com] and lucky enough to be in a country that has proven gun laws work.

      Umm, no.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGq-VWQCEG4 [youtube.com]

      Here's the history of what happens to innocent people when gun control is enacted.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa-lNiIDsFM [youtube.com]

      You might also Google the US "Battle of Athens".

      And, why do supposedly "progressive", forward-thinking people want to undo black civil rights in the US and give the KKK a retroactive victory in reinstating, after the huge civil-rights battle it took to abolish them, the infamous "Black Laws" from the early-1900s that forbid blacks from

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That you might actually believe your laughable, ridiculous argument is frightening.

        By your reckoning, Australia should have turned into a fascist state by now; let me assure you, it hasn't. Those who hold the power do not become totalitarian by nature simply because there is less chance of armed revolution.

        I will, however, counter your argument as simply as it ever could be by pointing out that regardless of how many rifles, handguns, etc. you own, you will never be able to defeat a military that has the ab

        • by tapspace (2368622)

          20 years is the blink of an eye. Time remains to see what the result will be. I will say this: if you have no leverage, you really will be fucked if there ever is a war.

          I will, however, counter your argument as simply as it ever could be by pointing out that regardless of how many rifles, handguns, etc. you own, you will never be able to defeat a military that has the ability to wipe you off of the face of the earth with a few keystrokes.

          That's a pretty bold statement. Just because you hear people say it a lot doesn't make it true. The world has a long history of the little guy winning in wars. No weapon trumps manpower. Evenmoreso, because a weapon can be used by whoever holds it. It supposes that in a hypothetical revolution the revolutionaries would not be able to s

        • by BlueStrat (756137)

          By your reckoning, Australia should have turned into a fascist state by now; let me assure you, it hasn't.

          Better ask the aborigines, they may have a slightly different view from yours. How's that right to freedom of speech and the press? Oops. Fascist states (and almost every other authoritarian regime) don't allow people they want to oppress to own firearms. Can I legally buy and possess an AR-15 or Glock 23 in Sydney as a regular citizen?

          I will, however, counter your argument as simply as it ever could be by pointing out that regardless of how many rifles, handguns, etc. you own, you will never be able to defeat a military that has the ability to wipe you off of the face of the earth with a few keystrokes.

          A significant portion of the military will join the citizens. Besides, how long has that Afghanistan thing against those goat-herders with AKs been going on? Can't they find

    • lucky enough to be in a country that has proven gun laws work.

      Can you explain then why your gun control laws have not had any meaningful reflection in your homicide rates, or your general violent crime stats?

      http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html [aic.gov.au]
      http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/violent%20crime.html [aic.gov.au]

  • by jandersen (462034) on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:27AM (#43552903)

    - accompanied by the words "Give your fucking wallet..."

  • "prototype would be a handgun consisting of 12 parts made out of ABS+ thermoplastic, which is known for its durability and is commonly used in industrial settings."

    yea but its not thin slivers of plastic that happened to surface bond to a cooling surface, yea it seems strong to your hand, but not to any mechanical force, its actually quite brittle

    but yay 3d printing with weedeater string!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:58AM (#43553039)

    This man is single-handedly ruining 3D printing for EVERYONE, just because he's a gun nut obsessed with firearms. He's pushing into a gray area and setting a very early precedent that will impact the availability of 3D printing for the rest of America.

    Cody Wilson is just what you'd expect from a 25-year old, gun nut, pothead, government conspiracist. He's afraid of having his weapons taken away, he's afraid of having his weed taken away, and he's afraid of his rights being taken away. His entire life is ruled by fear. So how does Cody respond? He perverts a revolutionary technology to make _more_ fucking weapons with them in violation of the law.

    Fuck Cody. This is why scientists and engineers fucking hate people that take what they pour their lives into and deform for their own fucked up needs. When the 3D printer was invented people envisioned a technology that could help, that could make development rapid, that would improve our lives. Now Mr. Wilson has ruined all that and made it a tool to create weapons.

    Cody Wilson is a fucking asshole.

    • If you believe in gun rights (or at least don't consider them to be a concern), then surely there's nothing wrong with what Cody is doing, and you should rather go after the people who would take away your ability to 3D-print things for the sake of restricting guns.

      if you believe in gun control, then you should be thankful to Cody for demonstrating how 3D printing is highly relevant early on, enabling regulation before someone actually designs and prints a gun for themselves and goes on to enact Newtown 2.0

    • If this gets 3D printing banned then it proves him right, and the government is tyrannical and does need to go.
    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Friday April 26, 2013 @06:42AM (#43554233)

      He's pushing into a gray area and setting a very early precedent that will impact the availability of 3D printing for the rest of America.

      What he's doing doesn't really matter. It could just as easily be someone printing dildos in Alabama or cloned Games Workshop miniatures. At some point, someone is going to use 3D printing to do something the government really doesn't like, and... well, I'm not sure anyone really knows what's going to happen.

      Personally, I'd prefer that the government gets a bloody nose going after the second amendment nuts than quietly shutting down sex toy creators.

  • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

    It can only fire "a few shots" before needing repair, and the muzzle velocity is probably low enough that even those are unlikely to be deadly. If a nutcase in my neighborhood was getting a gun, I'd want him to get this one.

    Stricter control on real guns, and 3D-printing for the masses seem to be a good way forward.

  • by WinstonWolfIT (1550079) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:52AM (#43553521)

    I know what I'm thinking. "Did I fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is plastic gun, and if it backfires it will likely blow my head clean off, I've got to ask myself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do I, moron?

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:07AM (#43553617) Homepage
    I want a 3D printing gun. *pow* Hoberman sphere! *pow* Strandbeest! *pow* 3D printing gun!

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