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Working AR-15 Assault Rifle Made With a 3-D Printer

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#1 Ice_Blue

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 22:43

Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.


An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of "HaveBlue" (incidentally, "Have Blue" is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.


Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.


HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 receiver in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Early testing shows that it works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.


HaveBlue has also been testing the "marketplace" for 3-D printing weapons. To do this he askedThingiverse, the 3-D design sharing site run by Makerbot Industries, whether it was permissible to post weapons designs or not. According to HaveBlue, Makerbot's senior leadership decided to not disallow, but to discourage, the posting of weapons designs. Haveblue then posted a design for an AR-15 part on Thingiverse, but in the intensive legal discussion that followed Haveblue's posting, Thingiverse decided to ban weapons designs outright. However, since Haveblue'sdesign is still on the site, it's unclear whether Thingiverse is enforcing a ban or not.


While there are still some details to sort out, it's pretty clear that making weapons at home using 3-D printers from commonly available materials is going to become much more commonplace in the near future. In fact, as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.



http://www.popsci.co...ade-3-d-printer


#2 nominak

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 22:51

Let's not forget, he only printed the AR-15 receiver and the rest of the AR-15 was bought elsewhere.. so only the receiver was plastic.

#3 Dot Matrix

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 22:54

Let's not forget, he only printed the AR-15 receiver and the rest of the AR-15 was bought elsewhere.. so only the receiver was plastic.

As far as the law is concerned, the receiver is "the gun".

#4 OP Ice_Blue

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 22:54

Let's not forget, he only printed the AR-15 receiver and the rest of the AR-15 was bought elsewhere.. so only the receiver was plastic.


But I wonder how long it will be before printing the entire rifle is possible.

#5 Alera

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:07

But I wonder how long it will be before printing the entire rifle is possible.


Never, since I'm pretty sure any printed parts with resin or plastics could not stay together (like, literally fly apart or crack) with the forces firing the weapon would create. :/ Please correct me if I'm wrong though...

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#6 mudslag

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:11

Never, since I'm pretty sure any printed parts with resin or plastics could not stay together (like, literally fly apart or crack) with the forces firing the weapon would create. :/ Please correct me if I'm wrong though...

- Alera



Give it time, someone will create a resilient compound that can be made to last. And with 3D printing, replacement parts will be easily replaceable.

#7 Detection

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:27

Never, since I'm pretty sure any printed parts with resin or plastics could not stay together (like, literally fly apart or crack) with the forces firing the weapon would create. :/ Please correct me if I'm wrong though...

- Alera


Its going to be a hell of a lot easier to purchase those parts only, in bulk, without suspicion of building weapons if you can print the rest of the weapon yourself

#8 Tender Foot

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:28

Get ready for full body strip search at air ports and all of your luggage hand checked bag by bag! 3D printed knives etc

#9 Detection

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:30

Get ready for full body strip search at air ports and all of your luggage hand checked bag by bag! 3D printed knives etc


You wouldn't need to take 3D Printed knives or guns onboard, just a battery powered 3D Printer and a Laptop ;)

#10 roadwarrior

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 00:43

Please fix the title. As those of us who know what the **** we are talking about have repeatedly pointed out around here, the AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle.

#11 Alera

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 00:54

Its going to be a hell of a lot easier to purchase those parts only, in bulk, without suspicion of building weapons if you can print the rest of the weapon yourself


True, and yet that still wouldn't be printing the entire thing. :p Only the part that is legally said to be the "gun". :/ Buying the other parts in bulk could be suspicious too. :laugh:

You wouldn't need to take 3D Printed knives or guns onboard, just a battery powered 3D Printer and a Laptop ;)


I doubt they'd let you do that xD Besides, 3D printed knife? Come on, how it's going to be useful to stab/slash someone? As a prop maybe but not as a real weapon. :s I think I'm missing something here...

Please fix the title. As those of us who know what the **** we are talking about have repeatedly pointed out around here, the AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle.


Yeah, everyone makes that mistake just because it looks like an assault rifle. :laugh:

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#12 Hum

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:00

I rather print these:

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#13 roadwarrior

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:01

Yeah, everyone makes that mistake just because it looks like an assault rifle. :laugh:

- Alera :shiftyninja:

Yeah, and so do most of my kids' Nerf guns. Doesn't make them one though. Even the full-auto Stampede ECS. Like the AR-15, it is missing at least one characteristic of being an assault rifle.

#14 nominak

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:17

Yeah, and so do most of my kids' Nerf guns. Doesn't make them one though. Even the full-auto Stampede ECS. Like the AR-15, it is missing at least one characteristic of being an assault rifle.


PHEW... One whole characteristic... That makes it better.

#15 Solid Knight

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:22

Anyone with access to a machine shop could engineer any weapon of their choosing. Just like anyone can build a flamethrower. Just like anyone can build a bomb. Just like anyone could build a rudimentry guided missile with off-the-shelf components from a hobbiest store. Just like anyone can weld armor plates onto a CAT and turn it into a rudimentry tank. These things really aren't hard to build.