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Defense Distributed Has 3D-Printed an Entire Gun 712

Posted by timothy
from the but-how-can-we-infringe-the-people's-right-now? dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes with this snippet from Motherboard with an update on Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed project: "On Friday morning, Forbes's Andy Greenberg published photos of the world's first completely 3D-printed gun. It has a 3D-printed handle, a 3D-printed trigger, a 3D-printed body and a 3D-printed barrel, all made of polymer. It's not completely plastic, though. So as not to violate the Undetectable Firearms Act and guarantee it would get spotted by a metal detector, Wilson and friends embedded a six-ounce hunk of steel inside the gun. They're calling it 'The Liberator.'" (A name I'm sure that Wilson didn't come up with accidentally.)
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Defense Distributed Has 3D-Printed an Entire Gun

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  • by bunbuntheminilop (935594) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:03PM (#43625771)

    The NRA thinks more guns are the answer. Looks like we'll find out if that's true when when we can put a gun in the hands of everyone, rich or poor.

    • by Aguazul2 (2591049)

      You still need ammo, though.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:13PM (#43625839)

        Giving people ammo would be too socialist.

        We'll make people earn their bullets through their own individual efforts.

        • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:25PM (#43625893)

          The NRA are very social guys, they give you bullets for free. Ok, just the front end, but hey...

          • by lexsird (1208192) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @05:58AM (#43628015)

            At some point the intellectual dishonesty of the NRA bashing should come to complete fruition and the Left is going hate it. I factor about the next election cycle when things swing back to the Right due to the ground swell in the grass roots level of this issue, the Left will wish they had hired me to consult for them. lol

            Anyway, we've all pissed around, not came to the table in an intelligent approach to problem solving and this article's issue just might be the forefront of a whole new can of worms that's going to stink to high heaven.

            Factor this into the equation. Printable guns; who want this in a very bad way? Hmm..I don't know, but if I was a bad guy, an industrious one, tech savy, educated, smart enough to avoid the system if they wanted to do something evil. Here is a way to produce a lethal weapon, ranged, possible sound suppressed. Completely untraceable and disposable. Ha! It's probably recyclable, so it's not only an effective weapon, but it's green. It has appeal to the environmentally conscience villain. Oh yes, and thanks to the movies, we know that metal detectors don't work on plastic guns or their parts. Hurray!

            Yeah, inability to work on comprehensive policies is either hallmark of incompetence or corruption. Either way, we are dealing with the possibility of a whole new animal being released into the wild, and we are fucking around arguing about dumb shit like "background checks". What you need is policy that preserves the integrity and spirit of the 2nd Amendment, and places some highly intelligent safety features into play. You can have your cake and eat it as well if you are smart and can work together.

            Here's how I see this kind of animal romping about the countryside. The only hope you will have to contain this is through the tools perhaps, and the plastics used to create this. This will catch the dummies, which leaves the smart guys. They will be able to fabricate this and perhaps come up with their on innovations. Your first bad guys will of course be corporate and government types. This is where the really juicy targets are at. At super high dollar and high level corporate shenanigans, this will make wet work far more elegant, the same with politics. When you are dealing with those resources and those stakes, this will find a nice happy home. On down the food chain it rolls, assassins, vigilantes, crime crews, "militias", you name it.

            But the bullets, you say? Seriously?

            Factor this, if you can print the gun, you can print the simple reloading tools as well. Why not the shell casings and with some modification, even the bullets themselves. With modern chemistry and completely doped up idiots making meth out of common chemicals, how hard will it be for sober people to create a propellant? The variables on that equation get difficult to lock down as any chemical training will probably yield results.

            This is dismaying. Even if we found a bottle on the beach and wished every gun on the planet to be turned into kittens and cheese burgers, we will still have them appear, but now not out of predicable venues, but out of thin air as far as any system is concerned. Let's face it, bad people will have reached their weapon production zenith, while the rest of us flounder around in inept, corrupt politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Squiddie (1942230)
      As opposed to the civilian disarmament crowd that only wants weapons in the hands of the rich and connected.
      • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday May 04, 2013 @02:33AM (#43627497) Homepage

        The rich and connected being the, run away, run away, run away, crowd who always expect other people to do their fighting for them whilst they cheer on the conflict at a safe distance. From poopy pants Nugent to Bush the pretend pilot, to Romney the missionary to France, let's be honest arming them is really rather pointless and just for show, other than shooting house servants if they could get away with it.

        Whether the weapon is printed, made in a machine shop or bought, makes no difference, when it is illegal and you get caught with it you will be prosecuted and either fined or imprisoned or both. Making weapons illegal does not make them disappear until people are caught with them, which inevitably happens over time given the nature of the people who have an urge to amass illegal weapons.

        Very often what it does mean, is those disturbed individuals often get caught for more petty crimes and further investigation reveals the hoard of weapons which are then destroyed and the person who is a threat to society, isolated from society so as to remove the threat. Believe it or not that does makes a huge difference in threat.

    • by Izuzan (2620111) on Friday May 03, 2013 @09:02PM (#43626085)

      Problem with that gun they printed. Judging by the round sitting next to it. It fires 22 shorts or cb caps. Not much better than a pellet rifle coming out of a rifle. Be about as good as a pea shooter coming out of a pistol with a inch long barrel.

      • by Snocone (158524)

        Actually, no, that looks like a 9mm round or a .380 ACP. If it was a .22, then the bullet would take up rather more of the cartridge length and you'd notice the larger rim, .22 being rimfire and all.

        Hmmmm ... actually, doing a quick SAAMI specs Google, I'll revise that first guess to that round most likely being a .32 S&W Short. They look pretty close to the more common calibers of my first guess, and that cartridge is only rated for 14500 PSI, which makes it a pretty compelling choice of commonly avail

    • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Friday May 03, 2013 @10:54PM (#43626725) Homepage
      Guns can be had for cheap so that really isn't a barrier. On the low end this printed gun probably costs more than a real gun that actually fires a round with some power behind it, has some accuracy, and has a really good chance of NOT blowing up in your face. I have seen rifles in good working order for about $90 (Mosin-Nagent M91/30s or M44s) and handguns for about $120 (Nagent revolvers) from reputable shops. Granted these are not brand new but good condition WWII era Soviet military surplus. If you looked hard you could probably get those cheaper in a shootable but beat up condition but I haven't seen any.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Saturday May 04, 2013 @04:02AM (#43627719) Homepage

        It would be more accurate to say this fulfils the dream of putting disposable and untraceable weapons in everyone's hands without any kind of background check or limits.

        The metal part is optional or soon will be, meaning you can have a weapon that you can print, use and melt down, that is undetectable by conventional means and which has no serial numbers or other identification. It's far from perfect but look how rapidly the technology is advancing.

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        You are looking at this from a very Americo-centric point of view (understandably so, considering this is an American company producing that quintessentially American item, the gun). But this perhaps has far greater implications for countries with tighter gun control, such as my native UK.

        Here, there are almost no guns. A few licensed shotguns and whatnot, but practically nothing that would be really useful for violent purposes (such as a concealable handgun or semi-automatic rifles). Contrary to what the N

  • It's a plastic toy that's shaped like a gun, but I don't believe it can be fired. The trigger looks already broken on the picture, imagine how reliable the other parts of the gun are.

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:34PM (#43625935)

      Especially considering that it's not particularly difficult to manufacture a gun out of metal using more conventional technologies. It's not some kind of space-age, 21st-century device; guns have been produced for something like 700 years. Instead of a 3d printer, why not get a CNC mill?

      The answer, I suspect, is that we're dealing with a gun-nut libertarian desperate to get press for their TECHNO-LIBERATION concept.

      • by fluffy99 (870997) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:49PM (#43626009)

        Especially considering that it's not particularly difficult to manufacture a gun out of metal using more conventional technologies. It's not some kind of space-age, 21st-century device; guns have been produced for something like 700 years. Instead of a 3d printer, why not get a CNC mill?

        The answer, I suspect, is that we're dealing with a gun-nut libertarian desperate to get press for their TECHNO-LIBERATION concept.

        Because most people can't afford a CNC mill and you can now buy a 3-D printer at Staples?

        • by Culture20 (968837)

          you can now buy a 3-D printer at Staples

          One that prints 5"x5"x5" max.

          • you can now buy a 3-D printer at Staples

            One that prints 5"x5"x5" max.

            Which is more than big enough to make a pistol (7" on the diagonal).

            Now, whether that pistol would be safe to shoot, that's another question entirely.

            Note, by the by, that you couldn't pay me enough to pull the trigger on one of them, unless it were literally a matter of life or death...for someone I liked...a lot.

        • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday May 03, 2013 @09:40PM (#43626299) Homepage

          You dont need a CNC mill. Let me guess, you think you need a supercomputer to write iphone apps? You can make a gun with rudimentary tools that are in many people's garages. How do you think gun smiths in the 1800's did things? You think they fired up their CNC mill and had their horse program the computer to start cutting?

          • by forkazoo (138186)

            You dont need a CNC mill. Let me guess, you think you need a supercomputer to write iphone apps? You can make a gun with rudimentary tools that are in many people's garages. How do you think gun smiths in the 1800's did things? You think they fired up their CNC mill and had their horse program the computer to start cutting?

            No, but I do think they did it with a lot more skill and time than it would take me to push a button on a box I just picked up at Staples. And, with a less strict landlord than mine. If

        • by bcmm (768152)
          And the gunsmiths of the Khyber Pass [wikipedia.org] have been making real, metal firearms on a completely amateur basis since before CNC mills existed. Not single-shot proofs-of-concept either, working copies of Lee Enfields and the like. No high-tech of any sort required.
      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:57PM (#43626059) Journal

        A surprising number of 3d printing projects seem to have been born of the fact that the gutting of domestic blue-collar production means that we currently have a massive glut of geeks who want to make things; but who never had wood shop(and certainly not metal shop, heaven forfend!) in school, and whose fathers pushed paper for a living and weren't in a position to teach them anything about manufacturing...

        There are, undoubtedly, applications for which 3d printed materials cannot be matched by any conventional technique(some of the 'sure, let's just print a highly detailed collagen matrix to build a replacement organ' stuff, or some of the single-piece geometry you can get, along with anything that rewards rapid turnaround on very small runs); but there are a lot of 3d printed objects that are essentially really bad plastic versions of something that could have been knocked together with the machine tools of 50 years ago, never mind fancy CNC gear.

        (And lest anybody think that I'm criticizing from the outside, I'm actually in a pretty similar boat. My grandfather was a mechanical engineer, did it at work, had a pretty serious setup in his basement. We didn't live at all close to that side of the family, so I only really saw it when doing logistics after the funeral. Dad was mostly a white-collar numbers guy, with a little bit of hobby carpentry that tapered off after he had kids. My own education was strictly college prep, and my only machine-tool time was through a university, plus the online services.)

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          An astute analysis and very well-put. Thank you.

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          I find this all very weird because as a physicist, I ended up having to learn machining. Loved it, very useful. But on the other hand, it's very clear (and often complained-about) that there are no young professional machinists out there -- every decent machinist is old and near retirement. While the demand for it is drying up, there's enough that there's some pretty serious risk of having a shortage of skilled machinists in the future.

          • by Patch86 (1465427)

            It raises an interesting point on the concept of supply and demand. Historically, machinists have been quite low paid, as it was a blue collar profession with a large number of skilled practitioners. I'd be willing to bet that historically the skilled machinists working for your lab were paid less than the physicists. However now machining is not considered a desirable profession, and for low pay will not attract many new trainees.

            So as the supply of machinists dries up, so too will their value. You might r

        • I think that lawyers share at least some of the blame for what you describe. After all, can you imagine something as "dangerous" as a machine shop in a high school anymore? Of course not! Why, little Johnny might lose his fingers in the band saw or crush his hand in the drill press. It's easy to see how the pervasive liability culture that's been unfolding since at least the 1960s here in the United States has effectively ruined many of what might once have been considered "classic" activities for boys grow
      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Buddy of mine built an AK47, automatic version out of a frigging shovel and some other metal parts in his poorly tooled metal shop. If you have the plans, you can make things better and faster with less than $100 in metal and some crap tools.

        And yes he drilled a barrel and even put in some crappy rifling. A weekend project.

    • The only question is how many shots before it explodes.

  • Liberator? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:08PM (#43625801)

    They're calling it 'The Liberator.'" (A name I'm sure that Wilson didn't come up with accidentally.)

    Given that the FP-45 was an absolutely *shitty* gun, that might not be a good connotation. The "original" Liberator was literally designed to be a gun you use to shoot someone else and then take their gun. Reloading (after the single shot) required about a minute and a small wooden rod or pencil.

    Even during WW2, they went almost unused. They were supposed to be distributed amongst insurgency (the Polish and French resistances, mainly), but very few of those produced actually made it to continental Europe.

    I suppose the intended connotation was "dirt-cheap gun". The Liberator did cost only a few dollars to produce. But I think, like the actual Liberator, I'd trust this all-plastic gun about as far as I can throw it.

  • by Alejux (2800513) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:20PM (#43625873)
    My kid will be five soon, and I thought it would be a great present!!!
  • Staples has reversed its recent decision to sell 3-D printers. To remain above reproach, the company will also be cancelling orders for some product lines [staples.com].
  • It's actually quite easy to legally get a gun in many countries. Typically you can get a hunting license or join a shooting club. And yet, the vast majority of people don't bother. In fact, a substantial fraction of those that do get a gun choose to keep them at the club or at some other separate storage, just so they don't have to keep a dangerous weapon at home.

    So, there may be people that think this will revolutionize things, in reality it's rather a non-event. People without guns mostly can get them alr

  • ...only outlaws will have undetectable firearms."

  • But I'd be very interested to whom. It seems to be the person firing the gun.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      indeed normal self defense rounds producing 30,000 c.u.p. (copper unit of pressure, roughly can say psi). even "weak" rounds like 25 ACP and 32 ACP go 12,000 (early old ones) to 25,000 (modern) and up. I have a very hard time seeing how this thing wouldn't fail.

  • I'd need to see videos of this working before it means anything to me. No mention in the article how you get a firing pin and springs made out of polymer to work.

  • mythbusters need to test the wooden gun form in the line of fire

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