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Old 05-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
 
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Default You can now 3D-print a fully operational handgun

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[YOUTUBEHD]drPz6n6UXQY[/YOUTUBEHD]

A plastic gun made on a 3D printer has been successfully fired. What's more, its developer has released the blueprints online, meaning anyone with the right 3D printer can create a gun of their own, right in their living room. Say hello to the dark side of the maker movement.

This past weekend (May 4), the controversial group Defense Distributed successfully tested the new firearm at a firing range south of Austin, Texas. Called the "Liberator", it took a year to develop. In response, anti-gun campaigners have condemned the project, while a number of law enforcement agencies have started to monitor developments.

The Defense Distributed video notes that the pistol can be "downloaded today." As of this posting, the CAD files for the firearm's 15 printable components are freely available for download on DEFCAD, the 3D-blueprint repository for "misfit objects" operated by Defense Distributed. The Liberator's download link calls up a .ZIP folder containing .STL files for the gun's various components. 3D-printing expert Joseph Flaherty tells io9 that ".STL files can be used by any 3-D printer," after being converted into 3D-printer-friendly file formats – like .GCODE – by any number of freely available software packages, known as "slicers." Translation: with the right equipment, you can download and print a 100% operational handgun. Today.

Defense Distributed says it's aiming to "defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms" through "information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms." The company is headed by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas who describes himself as a "crypto-anarchist." For Wilson, the issue is "about liberty."

Image: BBC.

The BBC recently spoke to him:

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"There is a demand of guns - there just is. There are states all over the world that say you can't own firearms - and that's not true anymore.

"I'm seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much be able to have whatever you want. It's not up to the political players any more."

Asked if he felt any sense of responsibility about whose hands the gun might fall into, he told the BBC: "I recognise the tool might be used to harm other people - that's what the tool is - it's a gun.

"But I don't think that's a reason to not do it - or a reason not to put it out there."
Nearly all the parts of the Liberator can be made with a 3D printer, except for the metal firing pin which is made from a single nail. In order for the gun to comply with U.S. law, it must be embedded with a 175 g piece of steel so that it can be picked up by metal detectors.

Writing in the Guardian, Alex Hearn says we probably shouldn't overreact:

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But technologically, it's still simple. That's because the principle behind a gun isn't too tricky: load a bullet into a reinforced tube, and whack the back of it hard. That's an engineering problem street gangs in the 1950s managed to solve with wood, antenna housings and elastic bands, building "zip guns" to shoot at each other; and it's also the basis for converted air rifles and cap guns. The difficult stuff – getting it to fire accurately, repeatedly and without jamming or blowing up in your face – is still a long way off for 3D printers. And even the best 3D-printed gun still relies on someone else to make the gunpowder.

The fuss around the printing of guns shows the real impact 3D printing will have on our daily lives. By expanding the realm of "digital" goods into the physical world, it extends the questions we've been struggling with when it comes to the internet – how to control the instructions for hacking copy-protection, encrypting files or making bombs (those last instructions apparently followed by the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston to lethal effect) – to a whole new area...

...Ultimately, trying to pin down whether 3D printing is good or bad is like trying to answer the same question for the internet, telephones or the postal service. Some livelihoods will be transformed, others ruined; the only constant will be the change it bring.
The timing of this announcement is interesting given that the Cube 3D printer is about to become available for purchase at Staples.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:02 PM   #2
 
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You can get small soft plastic only printers for under $400 these days
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:58 AM   #3
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I guarantee the government will either ban 3D printers or place heavy restrictions on them in the near future (special license needed, background checks, etc.)
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:03 AM   #4
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You can DIY 3d printers for super cheap....good luck making those illegal.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #5
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Pretty cool. +1 for them making it a legal firearm.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
 
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Pretty cool. +1 for them making it a legal firearm.
I'm pretty sure they only did it to stay out of prison
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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I cant remember the exact law, but i believe it is perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms *for personal use* as long as you can legally own firearms. no serial numbers required
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
 
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I cant remember the exact law, but i believe it is perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms *for personal use* as long as you can legally own firearms. no serial numbers required
I assumed he was referring to them adding the metal, per BATFE regs
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
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I cant remember the exact law, but i believe it is perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms *for personal use* as long as you can legally own firearms. no serial numbers required
Yep, that's why you can get non-serialed 80% machined AR lowers, that you can buy off the internet without background check, finish the machining, and now you have a complete and legal gun without the paperwork.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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I assumed he was referring to them adding the metal, per BATFE regs
AHHHH yes. What is the barrel of this gun made of? i mean i suppose the actual frame must contain metal but does the barrel need to be metal? i believe carbon fiber tensioned over a polymer core could withstand a few shots without blowing up (not that accuratly) but could slip past a metal detector
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Yep, that's why you can get non-serialed 80% machined AR lowers, that you can buy off the internet without background check, finish the machining, and now you have a complete and legal gun without the paperwork.
They also make 80% AK recievers. all you need to do is get a template and drill some holes and rivet in some trunions and you are set.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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I guarantee the government will either ban 3D printers or place heavy restrictions on them in the near future (special license needed, background checks, etc.)
... you can build your own firearms legally.

Google "80% lower". It's a lower receiver that's not fully machined, allows people to machine out the well for the trigger and have a fully functional and fully legal AR15.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:27 PM   #13
 
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Lol AK stamps are like $70 and you mostly just need a drill. UZI stamps can be had for cheap as well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #14
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Aaaaaand the department of defense just shut down Defense Distributed.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:06 PM   #15
 
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I've got a 3d printer sitting on my desk
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:08 AM   #16
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Aaaaaand the department of defense just shut down Defense Distributed.
There are mirrors up already. The zip is not hard to fine.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:33 AM   #17
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Yea they won't be able to stop it. They will try, but information flows way to fast nowadays.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #18
 
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Aaaaaand the department of defense just shut down Defense Distributed.
And they are shutting down other websites that are posting up the blueprints while they "figure out if it's legal or not". Unbelievable
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #19
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Since when is freely given information illegal? You can look up how to make tons of illegal things if you chose to.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #20
 
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It's still available
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #21
 
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Yeah, it's available from plenty of places.

AFAIK there's no way for them to know who downloaded/has it for the people who used mega
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:19 PM   #22
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The government is a joke. I remember watching a video of the guy making it where his 3d printed lower wouldn't break so easily and he's even asked about the legalities of making a printed gun. If I remember correctly the only way it would have been illegal was if he sold anything he manufactured. He even went as far as obtaining a license to manufacture.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #23
 
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All firearms, with zero exceptions (to my knowledge) must have a certain amount of metal in them to make them detectable by metal detectors. From there, home-made (non-NFA) weapons are perfectly legal and do not even require a serial number.

Now, most of those regulations (or lack of regulations) change if you want to transfer ownership (other than death/inheritance I think).
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:28 AM   #24
 
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They are now going and TAKING the file from people. I had it in my mega account, and was NOT sharing it with anyone. I mean really, are you kidding me?
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #25
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Now you're on a list. Way to go
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