3D printing breakthrough: Print your own working gun

We found out today that you’ll soon be able to walk into a Staples store and buy your very own 3D printer for the low cost of only $1,299. As prices get cheaper on these devices, more and more people will be able to use them to create unique and exciting things from concert flutes to edible food shapes to cases for smart phones to… guns?

It looks like people will soon be able to print their very own firearms from the safety of their own home. Forbes reports that Cody Wilson, the 25-year old who founded the non-profit group Defense Distributed, has created 16 different design elements that, when combined, form a fully functional gun. The only non-printed piece is a nail used as a firing pin and a six-ounce chunk of steel that’s put into the body to ensure that it remains legal. The non-profit organization has also obtained a federal firearms license so that the creation of the printable guns is 100% legal for them.

While many may decry the work that Wilson is doing, it’s something that someone would have completed it at some point in time. Congressman Steve Israel is attempting to put the genie back in the bottle by asking for new laws on printable weapons, but the simple fact of the matter is that making a law banning plastic guns is not going to make anyone any safer. Wilson made a good point when he said, “Everyone talks about the 3D printing revolution. Well, what did you think would happen when everyone has the means of production?”

The plans for the printable gun are expected to be posted online to Defcad.org in the near future.

Source: Forbes | Image via Forbes

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I'll stick with my metal ones, although it will be nice to be able to print some of the plastic accessories like pistol grips, collapse-able stocks, etc. As for the receivers though, I don't think I'll ever trust anything made of plastic.

I've seriously considered buying one of these consumer model printers for a long time.

I'd only be interested when they can recreate materials that could be used for clandestine drug labs.
Be cool to hit a button on a machine and have it ding a bell and say,
"Sir, your drugs are ready" LOL

Just a great idea, makes it even easier for terrorists to travel with their weapons because without being from metal they won't be detected ... they should continue to make body parts and maybe they are even able to grow a real life brain to give to those who came up with the idea to make weapons with a 3D printer.

Are you joking, people guns in prisons (yes you heard that right) out of all sorts of things, this is nothing new, and "metal detectors" were long since by passed by the use of other materials for those that wanted to make the efforts.

Except for maybe something extremely low power, like maybe a .22 LR, I would imagine the barrels would have to be made of metal, and even with a .22 LR, if you used a plastic barrel, and assuming it didn't explode from the pressure, all the rifling would be gone after the first shot, and assuming the rifling survived more than one shot, it would just melt after firing 2 or 3 rounds from the heat. I'd say that the "print your own gun" thing is just talking about things like lower receivers, pistol grips, stocks, etc., because the chamber and barrel will "have" to be metal to deal with the intense heat and pressure of a bullet going off.

From most of the reports on what these guys have been doing, the fully printed guns are one time use. The rest are like you said, just grips and other parts that don't have to deal with heat/pressure.

insanelyapple said,
Is this most important thing for US citizens or what?

Yep. Sadly, it is the subject they claim more "rights" on than anything else. Owning a killing device is more or less as essential as food and water for some demented morons, and there's an awful lot of them!

The steel was only used to make the gun "legal," not because it was needed to work. I'm pretty sure you already knew that though.

Fezmid said,
The steel was only used to make the gun "legal," not because it was needed to work. I'm pretty sure you already knew that though.

True, but they didn't print the bullets, nor the gunpowder. You could print a nuke, then place the radioactive material inside afterward.

Fezmid said,
The steel was only used to make the gun "legal," not because it was needed to work. I'm pretty sure you already knew that though.

honestly yeah and no lol
i knew it was needed to make it legal but what about the nail ?

Of all the things a 3D printer could be used, the first idea for some people is to make more weapons. As if there were not enough around.

No. 3d printing has been around for 40+ years and guns are in no way the first thing people made. Nice try. Next time don't make it obvious you are making your own facts up.

I swear if anyone tries to use guns to defend themselves, I'll rip every tooth out of that shark and I'll make them into the most beautiful necklace you've ever seen.. HRMPH!!

Ugh so many demented people in the world... Yay now you too can print your own killing machine! Bloody boys club crap. The US needs to wake up and smell the firearms death rates in the rest of the world and stop with all the "protect my family" BS. It's boys and their toys. No more, no less. Primitive brains will always like to shoot things.

While I agree with you on most parts and I think they need stricter laws for guns there are things we need to consider, for example if you happen to live in LA I wouldn't go out with a gun to start with since there's a reason why it's called the "Gang capital of the world". Also imo there's nothing wrong with owning a gun when it's locked up in a safe somewhere and ammo not anywhere near it or even worse, loaded at all times, maybe it's because I own one but I sure as hell had to jump trough hoops to even get the license for it.

Also you can not print the whole gun, just the part that needs the FFL license. If I remember correctly it was the trigger mechanism.

Quillz said,
Forgot that guns do not exist outside of the United States. Thanks for reminding me.

epic fail at understanding the point. The rest of the world should treat America like we want to treat the Middle East. just step away and watch you all blow each other away. Hopefully that'll raise the average IQ of the planet.

Quillz said,
Forgot that guns do not exist outside of the United States. Thanks for reminding me.

Yeah you really slid past his point when running to respond so blindly... Lol

agreed and how many of these other countries use them to such an extent ?
how many other countries have in the past "nuked" another country (more than once)
how many other countries are actively involved in multiple wars now ?
what country leads in the most countries invaded (with guns)
who has the highest death rate by guns ?
what country has the most guns ?
what country is hated as much as the good 'ole US of A ?

Spirit Dave said,
Yeah you really slid past his point when running to respond so blindly... Lol

I'm not sure what his point is, actually. The United States has the 102nd highest murder rate in the world, despite having the most guns per capita (per Wikipedia). Yes, it's higher than places in Europe and Australia, but it's not as bad as the media portrays it to be. I've lived in the US (in three different states) my entire life and I've never once seen a gun except the ones on police officers and the one time I went to a shooting range to see what it was like.

spoetnik said,

who has the highest death rate by guns ?

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. The United States is only 102nd. Honduras is 2nd in firearm murders, and Jamaica is 1st. The US is 19th... And 102nd in murder overall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...y_intentional_homicide_rate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L..._firearm-related_death_rate

what country has the most guns ?

Got this one too. The United States. And yet they're only 102nd highest in murder, and 19th highest in firearm homicide.

ZipZapRap said,

epic fail at understanding the point. The rest of the world should treat America like we want to treat the Middle East. just step away and watch you all blow each other away. Hopefully that'll raise the average IQ of the planet.

You most likely typed that comment using American technology.

"the simple fact of the matter is that making a law banning plastic guns is not going to make anyone any safer"

"simple fact"? more like a simple opinion.

the concern isn't over the guns being plastic--at least, not primarily. the danger comes from the how easy it will be to produce 3-D printed guns. yes, it's obvious that someone would've created a method to 3-D print guns, but that doesn't mean the practice shouldn't be regulated.

I suppose he would also agree to "The simple fact is that making laws banning having sex with children is not going to make anyone any safer."

Ofcourse humans that we live near have the right to create rules we must follow. There is many rules that we attempt to enforce, speed limits, drug use, legal age of sex and gun control. They entirely help to keep civil order amongst the majority of a population.

Australia had 13 gun massacres up until stricter gun controls were enforced in 1996. Since 1996 Australia has had zero gun massacres, how many has USA had?
The stats do not lie.

bits said,
I suppose he would also agree to "The simple fact is that making laws banning having sex with children is not going to make anyone any safer."

Ofcourse humans that we live near have the right to create rules we must follow. There is many rules that we attempt to enforce, speed limits, drug use, legal age of sex and gun control. They entirely help to keep civil order amongst the majority of a population.

Australia had 13 gun massacres up until stricter gun controls were enforced in 1996. Since 1996 Australia has had zero gun massacres, how many has USA had?
The stats do not lie.

It will never work in America, it's a constitutional right to bear arms and a strong part of their culture. Robbing Americans of their firearms is like robbing Australians of their V8 utes (bad example I know), you'll get a massive uprising and it will not go down well at all.

Here in Australia it worked because it's NOT a right to bear arms and was never part of our culture, it was only ever a privilege to which was later revoked when our government decided we couldn't be trusted with them. Using Australia as a example of gun control is laughable at best anyway since the US and AU are nothing alike (in this regard). That is my 2 cents at any rate so take with a grain of salt.

Xerxes said,

It will never work in America, it's a constitutional right to bear arms and a strong part of their culture. Robbing Americans of their firearms is like robbing Australians of their V8 utes (bad example I know), you'll get a massive uprising and it will not go down well at all.

Here in Australia it worked because it's NOT a right to bear arms and was never part of our culture, it was only ever a privilege to which was later revoked when our government decided we couldn't be trusted with them. Using Australia as a example of gun control is laughable at best anyway since the US and AU are nothing alike (in this regard). That is my 2 cents at any rate so take with a grain of salt.

Problem is, the US was built on greed and cruelty and use of guns... Settlers were a**holes. And since then, the country's most important desire is their freedom to have the power to kill. It's as simple as that. Going on about defence is rubbish. The US death rates from firearms outweigh most of the "civilised" world's put together. Not that gun culture is civilised in my mind. It's a need for the power over life or death that excites people. It's demented. Guns and other killing machines were created by men who wanted more than they had and wanted to take it by force.

rorrr said,
"simple fact"? more like a simple opinion.

No, it's a fact. Laws do not prevent anything, they're used to punish people who do something. The United States made a law banning alcohol -- but it didn't stop anyone from drinking. There's already laws against drunk driving, but people still drive drunk. There's already laws against child pornography, but people still make it. There's already laws against doing drugs, yet the drug problem is worse than ever. The laws give law enforcement the chance to prosecute after the fact, but do nothing to prevent the activity from happening in the first place.

there's no need to take the right to bear arms away it just needs to be more specific in which arms the bearer can own ie: if your an hunter then you have the right to own an high powered hunting riffle or for you personal protection of your property and family you can own an hand gun but I don't see any need for the average redneck owning an fully automatic AR15 assault riffle (or any other assault riffle) or any mag that holds more than 10 rounds

Fully automatic weapons are already illegal in the US. There are a few ways to get them legally, but your average redneck has exactly zero legal access to that weapon. If someone modifies their AR15 to be fully automatic, they have committed a felony. On top of that, and AR15 is not an assault rifle. It has the same operational functions as any hunting rifle in its legal form. You a hunter should be allowed to have a hunting rifle and then go on to say a hunting rifle should not be legal. So which is it?

No but if you think 3d printers are somehow new, I guess we can leave you in your own little reality. 3d printers have been around since the 70s so based on your comment, you believe that in the past 40 years, nobody has printed anything and now finally, the first thing has been printed... a gun.

"The non-profit organization has also obtained a federal firearms license so that the creation of the printable guns is 100% legal for them."
---
Actually it would be 100% legal for you to do it yourself without a FFL so long as it's for personal use. (ie you are not manufacturing said item for sale)

Anyway nothing here is really new except the tooling used, pretty cool though and it's been interesting watching this and the 3d printing space in general mature over the last couple of years.

Maybe it's for the best. The sooner they all kill each other, the sooner they can start over with a clean slate

they ?
Americans or people who buy 3d printers or what ?
and you better hope you don't run into one of "them" in a dark alley lol

Of all the things that this technology brings into play, a gun! Really? Background checks needed on 3d printers now! lol

Yes really and it's not that revolutionary. re: BG checks ha ha or metal milling tools which aren't that expensive either, how about pressure cookers and fireworks while we're at now too huh.

People joke about things like this--but they work. They won't ban them but they'll require stricter control of serial number printing from manufacturers and greater access to the systems storing that information to allow them to be tracked better. It's just as effective.

Fortunately there's an alternative gun control....equip yourself with one in case of emergency. No law is going to help you in those situations.

techbeck said,

There was no hope to begin with.


Agreed. Gun control only works in a perfect world. It's an unrealistic pipe dream and nothing more.

cetla said,
Fortunately there's an alternative gun control....equip yourself with one in case of emergency. No law is going to help you in those situations.

Except that all the evidence shows that you are more likely to be shot if you own a gun. Don't get me wrong, I

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. Gun control only works in a perfect world. It's an unrealistic pipe dream and nothing more.

Except for those places where it has worked. Like Australia. Australia hasn't had a single gun massacre since banning personal firearms in 1996--they had 13 massacres in the 18 years previous to that.

M4x1mus said,

Except that all the evidence shows that you are more likely to be shot if you own a gun. Don't get me wrong, I

You are also less likely to be murdered or raped if you have a gun too. Look at chicago, when guns were banned rapes went up by 40% the next year and murders by 80%. Yes guns result in more murders by guns but the overall number of murders goes down. Why would you risk breaking into someone's house and robbing them if guns were legal, you wouldn't. If you knew guns were illegal then there is little chance of you getting killed. Guns reduce crime, deaths and rapes but increase in murders caused by guns.

torrentthief said,
Yes guns result in more murders by guns but the overall number of murders goes down.

That's patently untrue. The US has four times the murder rate of the UK and twelve times the murder rate of Japan, two countries with very strict gun control laws - the vast majority of murders in the US involve firearms. Throwing 3D printed weapons into the mix is only going to make things worse.

What has been proposed is not "Gun Control", as people believe, but rather handing over guns to the government. That is a threat that people ignore because they have been propagandized into believing that people working for the system, likewise propagandized, would never harm them. See, people allow the government to kill every person that they think is a "potential" threat without even questioning that the person might be innocent. The intention, in this case making people safe, does not justify anything by itself.

A "perfect world" has its flaws, people would admit that - so there is not perfect world. Even so, "perfect" is subjective. Utopia is a subjective concept we have to be allowed to live by ourselves. People have to be able to defend themselves under conditions agreed upon voluntarily and not by a king and his aristocrats.

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. Gun control only works in a perfect world. It's an unrealistic pipe dream and nothing more.

like getting rid of piracy

Robert Sundström said,
What has been proposed is not "Gun Control", as people believe, but rather handing over guns to the government.

That's not even slightly true. The proposed legislation would ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines but include a grandfather clause, meaning that any weapons legally owned at the time the law comes into effect would be exempt.

Pretty much. It might help with law abiding citizens, but something tells me criminals won't follow the law.

ascendant123 said,

Except for those places where it has worked. Like Australia. Australia hasn't had a single gun massacre since banning personal firearms in 1996--they had 13 massacres in the 18 years previous to that.

Different country, different conditions. Cannot compare one country to another as what works in one, will not work in another. Especially since one of the rights the US was founded on was the right to bear arms. Americans are passionate about their weapons...I would like to see anyone try and take that away from them. Do a little reading on the Constitution to know exactly why we have the right and what it means to Americans.

I would also like to see anyone dare to invade the US. They will not only be met by the army, but every citizen that owns a firearm...and there are many. I know several people who have dozens of firearms not to mention the many places you can by them.

theyarecomingforyou said,
That's not even slightly true. The proposed legislation would ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines but include a grandfather clause, meaning that any weapons legally owned at the time the law comes into effect would be exempt.

Robert Sundstrom is actually 100% correct. New York State recently enacted "tough gun laws," and when people complained that the government was "coming for their guns," legislatures (through the media) said, "No, you gun crazy nuts are over-reacting!" Then, not a week or two after the law passed, guess what? The government came to confiscate someone's guns because he was taking anxiety medication. http://www.wkbw.com/news/local...State-Police-202620671.html

techbeck said,
Different country, different conditions.

That's a fairly asinine argument given that most countries behaviours are modelled after other countries -- where you let someone else test the water first.

I can see the argument as to why it may not work, which basically revolves around stubborness, and that's fine. But please don't argue about the efficacy of gun control: because it does work and there is plenty of evidence to prove it.

If you want to keep your guns then the argument needs to be a constitutional and cultural one. If you try to argue this on the merits of efficacy you will eventually lose.

ascendant123 said,

That's a fairly asinine argument given that most countries behaviours are modelled after other countries -- where you let someone else test the water first.

I guess history and time will prove my point. Asinine? Only for those who think what happens in one country will work in another. There are examples of this not working....like health care. IF it was so easy as to model after another country, this issue would of been solved a long time ago.

Edited by techbeck, May 5 2013, 2:03pm :

ascendant123 said,
But please don't argue about the efficacy of gun control: because it does work and there is plenty of evidence to prove it.

What about situations like Switzerland, the country with the most lax gun laws in the world, which also has the lowest crime rate in the world? Or perhaps Texas, our own gun capital, which has one of the lowest crime rates in our country?

As much "evidence" you can pull up to support gun control can be countered by an almost equal amount of evidence supporting amendment 2. Despite this, there are other facts about our country that are interesting: In 2011, there were 167 more murders committed with hammers than with guns. Hammer control laws, where art thou? Each year, more people are killed due to accidents caused by inebriation due to marijuana than by guns, yet many of the same legislators and lobbyists trying to ban firearms are trying to legalize marijuana.

The key fact, though, that I can't get past is simply this. A criminal is a person who ignores the law. Why does anyone think that any criminal is going to respect a new law? Sure, some might... But if you're expecting any criminal to respect any law, then you're simply foolish.

banggugyangu said,
What about situations like Switzerland, the country with the most lax gun laws in the world, which also has the lowest crime rate in the world?

But it has a very high firearms fatality rate. Most of that is related to suicide but the firearms homicide rate is thirteen times higher than the UK and twenty-six times higher than Japan. As for crime rates, that is largely because Switzerland isn't as urbanised as other countries - it's largest city has a population of only 380,000; by comparison, New York and London are both in excess of 8,000,000.

banggugyangu said,
In 2011, there were 167 more murders committed with hammers than with guns. Hammer control laws, where art thou? Each year, more people are killed due to accidents caused by inebriation due to marijuana than by guns, yet many of the same legislators and lobbyists trying to ban firearms are trying to legalize marijuana

I've never understood this argument. It's like everyone against gun control read the same forum or magazine or something and keeps repeating the same things, creating a self perpetuating reality distortion field. Most of the numbers and facts cited repeatedly (ctrl+f hammer in this thread and others) are poorly contextualised and represented even more poorly.

Yes, there are other weapons of choice that kill people. Are you suggesting that if we can't stop people being killed with hammers we shouldn't try and stop murder at all? Hell, if people are using hammers, why even have a police force? We should just let people run rampant and do whatever they want.

criminals will ignore it etc

Yes they will. And now we will have a crime to charge them with to lock them up.

ascendant123 said,

I've never understood this argument. It's like everyone against gun control read the same forum or magazine or something and keeps repeating the same things, creating a self perpetuating reality distortion field. Most of the numbers and facts cited repeatedly (ctrl+f hammer in this thread and others) are poorly contextualised and represented even more poorly.

Yes, there are other weapons of choice that kill people. Are you suggesting that if we can't stop people being killed with hammers we shouldn't try and stop murder at all? Hell, if people are using hammers, why even have a police force? We should just let people run rampant and do whatever they want.


This is precisely my point. Murderers will find a way regardless of a law, furthermore, few murders outside of crimes of passion are committed with legally registered firearms. Crimes of passion are more often committed with knives than firearms simply because that's the more readily available option. I'm not suggesting that we not try to stop murder, I'm implying that restricting firearms from law abiding citizens will do nothing to stop it.

On the other hand, I propose that our country should in turn increase the punishment. When someone should choose to ignore the law and take another's life, then have a more severe punishment waiting for them. For anyone who WOULD think twice, it could be enough to prevent it. For anyone else, making a gun harder or illegal to get won't stop them from finding a way to murder the person they're wanting to murder.


Yes they will. And now we will have a crime to charge them with to lock them up.

We already have such a thing. It's called Murder. I dunno if you know this or not, but we already have a law for people with illegal firearms too. The crazy thing is, they don't tell too many people when they purchase a firearm illegally. They sometimes get caught with them, and in most cases where they DO get caught with them, they're offered to drop said weapon charge in exchange for other things (information, etc...).

You accuse gun supporters of reading the same material, but that's easily turned around. Why are you accusing the gun instead of the individual of the crime committed? We had a bombing in Boston recently. Explosives are much deadlier weapons than guns. No one accuses the explosive for the crime, and rightly so. Guns, like hammers, are tools. They can be used properly or improperly. The determining factor is the user. Target the problem, not the medium.

banggugyangu said,
This is precisely my point. Murderers will find a way regardless of a law, furthermore, few murders outside of crimes of passion are committed with legally registered firearms.

This is the crux of your point and a terrible, terrible misconception.

Do you know where large amounts of these illegally obtained firearms come from? Stolen from stores, stolen from homeowners. Making them less readily available to be stolen will and does have an impact on their use in other crimes as well as proven in countries like the UK and Australia.

ILikeTobacco said,
And now that we can print them, your entire point is invalid or are you suggesting we should ban 3d printers to prevent murder?

People made the same arguments with drugs 20 years ago; wahh we don't need drug control, government shifting power, etc. Then meth and other backyard-shed producitonised drugs came along and people said it's not even worth trying to legislate, anybody can make them now.

We'll respond the same way we did then: serial numbers to allow easier tracking, legislation to make registration mandatory. Hell, in this case we should probably just make printing guns illegal--I don't even care if it's for gun control.

The printed gun this thread is about exploded in the hands of the user on the second shot. Nobody needs a bunch of idiots running around with printed guns who a) don't know how to use, b) haven't been trained in their use and the appropriate culture regarding safety and c) they're all going to have varying levels of safety.

At least when Glock put out a gun we know it's safe.

I have never once suggested that we don't need gun control so stop suggesting I did. When I was 12, I was given basic training with a BB gun. When I was 15, I was trained in the use of a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 bolt action hunting rifle. When I was 19 I was given military training with a M16. Last year, I was trained with a Glock. I still think gun control should exist and support what does already exist. It is already illegal to buy/own weapons when you are mentally unstable or have a criminal record. It is already illegal to kill someone other than self defense. Add more laws does nothing but punishes law abiding citizens for no reason at all because it won't make our gun crime rates go down. Statistics show that in the US, the more you control something, the worse it gets, especially things like guns, drugs, and alcohol. The argument that guns come from sources that originally obtained them legally is 100% invalid with the ability to print guns. Make a law that says printing a gun is illegal and then law abiding citizens who harm nobody are punished for what reason? The person who wants the gun for something illegal or to kill someone will get it anyway. If the laws don't stop them from stealing a gun, why would you think it would stop them from printing one? That makes no sense whatsoever.

You bring up that the gun just about exploded on its second use. Yes, they even tell you that if you watch the videos and read the instructions and warnings. Most of their guns are single use. The ones that aren't can't be fully printed.