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[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]Get ready. It's now possible to print weapons at home.[/left][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]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.[/left][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.[/left][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]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.[/left][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]HaveBlue has also been testing the "marketplace" for 3-D printing weapons. To do this he asked[url="http://thingiverse.com/"]Thingiverse[/url], 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's[url="http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11770"]design[/url] is still on the site, it's unclear whether Thingiverse is enforcing a ban or not.[/left][/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3][left]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.[/left][/size][/font][/color]

[url="http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-07/working-assault-rifle-made-3-d-printer"]http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-07/working-assault-rifle-made-3-d-printer[/url]

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Posted

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.
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[quote name='nominak' timestamp='1343775086' post='595049311']
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.
[/quote]
As far as the law is concerned, the receiver is "the gun".

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Posted

[quote name='nominak' timestamp='1343775086' post='595049311']
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.
[/quote]

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

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[quote name='Ice_Blue' timestamp='1343775259' post='595049323']
But I wonder how long it will be before printing the entire rifle is possible.
[/quote]

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

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[quote name='Alera' timestamp='1343776049' post='595049353']
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
[/quote]


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.

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Posted

[quote name='Alera' timestamp='1343776049' post='595049353']
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
[/quote]

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

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Posted

[color=#222222]Get ready for full body strip search at air ports and all of your luggage hand checked bag by bag! 3D printed knives etc[/color]

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[quote name='Tender Foot' timestamp='1343777316' post='595049385']
[color=#222222]Get ready for full body strip search at air ports and all of your luggage hand checked bag by bag! 3D printed knives etc[/color]
[/quote]

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

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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.
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[quote name='Detection' timestamp='1343777220' post='595049383']
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
[/quote]

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:

[quote name='Detection' timestamp='1343777449' post='595049391']
You wouldn't need to take 3D Printed knives or guns onboard, just a battery powered 3D Printer and a Laptop ;)
[/quote]

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...

[quote name='roadwarrior' timestamp='1343781784' post='595049505']
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.
[/quote]

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

- Alera :shiftyninja:

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Posted

I rather print these:

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[quote name='Alera' timestamp='1343782465' post='595049537']
Yeah, everyone makes that mistake just because it looks like an assault rifle. :laugh:

- Alera :shiftyninja:
[/quote]
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.
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[quote name='roadwarrior' timestamp='1343786497' post='595049675']
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.
[/quote]

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

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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.

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Posted

Didn't he only print the lower receiver? The barrel is still steel, I would guess that a metal projectile traveling at 3,000 feet per second would demolish a plastic barrel in one shot, or at least rip out all the rifling so successive rounds would just fly all over the paper. I've seen all plastic lower receivers, but the upper is still metal to allow for the bolt and stuff to slide back and forth.

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[quote name='nominak' timestamp='1343787462' post='595049699']
PHEW... One whole characteristic... That makes it better.
[/quote] Would you call a nascar a formula 1? Don't think so. So why would you want to call something what its not. By definition an AR-15 is not an assault rifle I don't care what you say, until you officially change what an assault rifle is an AR-15 is not one.
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[quote name='nominak' timestamp='1343787462' post='595049699']
PHEW... One whole characteristic... That makes it better.
[/quote]
Well, that "one whole characteristic" is the main defining one of an assault rifle - being capable of full auto operation. Since it doesn't have that feature, the AR-15 is absolutely no different, functionally, than any other small caliber semi-auto hunting rifle. It is more compact (which is an advantage in thick woods) and has a wider range of available accessories, but it works in exactly the same way. There are plenty of hunting rifles with more powerful ammo and better range and accuracy than the AR-15.

[quote name='Gerowen' timestamp='1343787832' post='595049713']
Didn't he only print the lower receiver? The barrel is still steel, I would guess that a metal projectile traveling at 3,000 feet per second would demolish a plastic barrel in one shot, or at least rip out all the rifling so successive rounds would just fly all over the paper. I've seen all plastic lower receivers, but the upper is still metal to allow for the bolt and stuff to slide back and forth.
[/quote]
The interesting aspect though is the fact that, legally, the lower receiver is considered the firearm itself. You can register a lower receiver (since it is the part that has the serial number) and add or change any other parts you like without legally having a different firearm.

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I am asking this out of genuine curiosity, but I have always been under the impression that the difference between semi-automatic and full-automatic is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Is this not correct? I guess the easiest way to understand it is if you have a full clip, how long does it take to (accurately) expel that clip using semi vs full auto? Is it not a matter of mere seconds?

Also is it not relatively easy for someone who knows what they are doing to modify (specific firearms that let you) a semi into a full automatic? Or is that just the stuff of movies and legend?

I am very curious as to the answer to these questions. Does it really just come down to semantics of words? Or is there a huge difference as far as end result?

I get legally there is a difference. But is there a major difference lethally?

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By the way, the link in the article for the site where he got the CNC model is wrong, here's the correct one: [url="http://www.cncguns.com/downloads.html"]http://www.cncguns.com/downloads.html[/url]

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[quote name='DirtyLarry' timestamp='1343789462' post='595049763']
I am asking this out of genuine curiosity, but I have always been under the impression that the difference between semi-automatic and full-automatic is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Is this not correct? I guess the easiest way to understand it is if you have a full clip, how long does it take to (accurately) expel that clip using semi vs full auto? Is it not a matter of mere seconds?

Also is it not relatively easy for someone who knows what they are doing to modify (specific firearms that let you) a semi into a full automatic? Or is that just the stuff of movies and legend?

I am very curious as to the answer to these questions. Does it really just come down to semantics of words? Or is there a huge difference as far as end result?

I get legally there is a difference. But is there a major difference lethally?
[/quote]
First they aren't called clips, they're called magazines. Secondly an ar-15 is just like any other semi auto the bullets will go out of the gun as fast as u can pull the trigger with your finger, just like any other gun. And modifying an AR-15 to make it full auto is mostly stuff of legend. I think it can be done but its harder than you think, plus its illegal. Full auto guns are not illegal. But it is illegal to manufacture full auto firearms.

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[quote name='Alera' timestamp='1343776049' post='595049353']

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...[/quote]

There are now 3D printers that print metal one layer at a time, about 10+ microns thick, using either a laser or plasma beam to fuse each successive layer into a solid mass. It can not only do metals like aluminum but tough ones like titanium which are normlly a bear to work with. Good enough that GE, Airbus and others are planning on introducing aerospace parts that are 3D printed within 3+ years.

As for critical parts like the barrel, precision machining of the rifling is only necessary if the weapon will have to shoot 100 meters or more. Below that, and for close quarters weapons like a submachine gun (small machine gun that typically uses pistol ammo), you can go with a 'musket' design - an un-rifled barrel.

As for the rest of a weapon; the AK-47 design is among the simplest, allows for very loose tolerances, is highly reliable and was designed to be made using mostly stamped steel parts. Dump one in mud, sand or water, pull it out, give it a shake and it'll likely work fine, which is why a lot of hunters love the semi-auto version so much - especially those who hunt in swamps or other wet places like Louisiana or the rest of the South, or in sandy regions like out West.

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