Feeds

back to article Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Defense Distributed, the pending non-profit that plans to make 3D-printed weaponry available for anyone with such a printer, will release the blueprints for a fully-working plastic firearm next week. The 3D-Printed Liberator pistol Here at last – your own printed pistol The handgun, seen by Forbes, uses 16 printed parts that …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge

Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

This fits right into this category. The "plans" are protected as free speech, and anyone can download them.

Think back to audio and mp3's. If one makes things easy to make instead of obtaining through rightful channels, people WILL build them.

Of course, these are not the assault rifles, and probably won't last more than a couple of firings, but they WILL work to some degree and eventually will be used. The next thing the government will want to do is ban the 3D printers.

Sorry, too late!

5
0
FAIL

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

Nope!

The NRA will pass a law that makes owning a 3D printer with the "plan" a nessecitie for every US household.

A 5 year old boy does not need to ask his parents for a Kinder rifle before shooting his sister. Print,Bang,Done

7
9
Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

WTF are you talking about?

"the NRA will pass a law"

The NRA is not a branch of government, so it cannot pass a law.

"a 5 year old boy does not need to ask his parents for a Kinder rifle"

And where will he get the ammunition?

7
4
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

"A 5 year old boy does not need to ask his parents for a Kinder rifle before shooting his sister. Print,Bang,Done" <--- W. T. F. ! Have you not thought about the more abusive government response!

Let's say some ChemCorp comes forth with a polymer who's catalyst is something as cheap and accessible as water. Let's also say that anyone who wants a weapon that has been too inaccessible in acquisition, now has alternative means to acquire parts. Eventually, the whole "3D Printer" concept is taking to a grand new level and now the those who couldn't afford to before, now can on a mass scale. I know this is wild speculation on the future, but is it not feasible to have a synthetic future for at least Bioweapons and deployment? I think rifles and such are out, but 1 off devices such as bombs and missiles are another story.

So I have to wonder, who should I be worried about the most: A. Little Johnny that would do something as horrible as kill his sister. B. My rights to the information I may or may not put to good use. C. New found laws that support even further communist "profiling" of anyone with a printer (even if it was non-3d, I could still print out the plans)?

For the Doom & Gloom minds: Access does not equal intent! If it did, everyone has access to a gun right now, so by that rational, everyone has intent to murder. Now, for the paranoid minds :-): Eventually, these devices and their ilk will open new doors to new laws, regardless if they are needed or not.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

One shot

One shot short range plastic guns are feasible, they have also been around for a long time. Coupled with caseless subsonic ammunition made out of ceramics or carbon fibre which also exists which will be mightly difficult to detect.

However, to obtain a multishot device there needs to be a more substantial barrel and working parts and there are substitutes that can be used but probably not printed. Some sort of ceramic or carbon fibre barrel liner.

At the end of the day, undectable weaponry has been around for a long time, only now the bad guys have more options.

4
0

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

The NRA may not be a branch of the US Government, but they seem to be able to wield a staggering amount of power over the senate.

11
3
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

At those ranges with that ammo i'd be better off with a wooden plank with a nail in it.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

"The NRA is not a branch of government, so it cannot pass a law."

The way US politicians cower before them, they might as well be.

8
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

[quote] WTF are you talking about?

"the NRA will pass a law"

The NRA is not a branch of government, so it cannot pass a law. [/quote]

yeah... neither is monsanto but they pass laws all the time... their most recent one is the MPA (aka the Monsanto Protection Act)...

[quote] "a 5 year old boy does not need to ask his parents for a Kinder rifle"

And where will he get the ammunition? [/quote]

they'll be printing that before long, too ;)

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Be careful for what you ask for, you might get it!

The NRA may not be a branch of the US Government, but they seem to be able to wield a staggering amount of power over the senate.

As they should, if you understand how the American Government is supposed to work and how many people the NRA represents. As a lobby group they probably represent a larger proportion of American citizens than any two other lobby groups combined (I'm guessing, I don't know the exact numbers, but I know that the NRA has a freaking HUGE membership). They are not like the corporate lobby groups who represent small numbers of people (and non-people -- I don't care what the Supreme Court says about corporate personhood) with large financial stores. They represent vast numbers of 'little guys'. American politicians understand that to piss them off is to piss off a not-insignificant base of voters across both major political parties as well as scores of independents.

1
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: One shot

You could build a ceramic gun that could take the pressures of multiple rounds.

You could build a ceramic/carbon fiber barrel that could take multiple rounds through it.

As to caseless ammo, it does exist however its very expensive and its a collector's item. Its not made out of ceramics or carbon fiber, btw....

The drawback to caseless ammo is that you need an electronic firing device to set it off.

Ironically while there is fear of the case less ammo, if you wanted to insert an RFID tag/ring or some other biometric feature to the gun, it would be easier to do it to a gun that fired case less ammo.

There is a reason why the gun doesn't have a barrel ;-)

The interesting thing about this gun is that you could print it but to be in possession of such a gun would be an instant jail term.

I think its cool as shit, while I'd be willing to download the plans, I am sure as hell I wouldn't actually consider printing it.

0
0
Bronze badge
Flame

Re: where will he get the ammunition?

Probably, according to this survey, on a shelf at home.

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/general-firearm-discussion/142216-how-where-do-you-store-your-ammunition.html

1
0
Silver badge

Given that you could do the same thing with a cnc milling machine, I don't see how this is much more than hysteria. There's no novel capability I can see via using 3D printing rather than any other method for shaping material.

26
14

David, you missed the point

I don't have a milling machine at home or the knowledge to use one.

This? Plug in to USB, file>open... Select plans and press Print!

Also your milled gun makes metal detectors go mental, this wouldn't.

21
7
Silver badge

Re: David, you missed the point

Doesn't matter about the milling machine, anyone determined enough could just use a drill, files, a dremel, or even an exacto knife set and carve their own from ABS stock. Voila! Xray proof pistol. (I wouldn't fire it, though.)

It's not like a gun is some super-sophisticated piece of arcane machinery, people have been cobbling together homemade firearms since gunpowder was introduced to the western world from Asia. (just google "zip gun", "pipe gun" or "prison gun" to see a world of home made ordinance.)

9
4
Silver badge

CNC milling machines are expensive as hell compared to 3D printers, and not that easy to use, even if you already have a tape describing gun parts.

8
5
Bronze badge

Rent

CNC milling machines might be expensive to buy, but why limit your thinking to just that path. You can rent, hire, or just ask a company to make one for you.

As for not having a CNC machine, many don't have a 3D printer either. In fact there are fewer 3D printers in the world (at the moment) than CNC machines. They will be overtaken as 3D printing takes off (thanks to the publicity like this), but for now it's still easier for someone to go to a company with a 3D printer or CNC milling machine then to do it themselves.

5
2
Silver badge
Childcatcher

Keep calm and carry on hysterizing!

> Given that you could do the same thing with a cnc milling machine

But this one pushes the buffoonic buttons of democrats in far more efficient manner. Now they can show they are caring because 3D PRINTERS WILL MAKE SURE THERE WILL BE DEAD CHILDREN EVERYWHERE. Now there is something to ban again.

Anyway, wasn't there a movie with Clint Eastwood about plastic gun building to kill the prez?

9
11
FAIL

Its not as clear as that, you could have a CNC up and running for less than £300, try getting a 3D printer fot that cost. you can even double the CNC build cost and build if from off the shelf parts and still be cheaper than a 3D printer

7
1
Bronze badge
FAIL

@the J to the C

you could have a CNC up and running for less than £300, try getting a 3D printer fot that cost

Fail yourself. My 3D-printer, a Mendel90, has ended up costing roughly £350, and there were several ways I could have shaved those 50 quid from the bill, like scavenging printers and scanners for materials, something I simply couldn't be bothered to do.

4
2
Bronze badge

"Given that you could do the same thing with a cnc milling machine, I don't see how this is much more than hysteria"

Can't agree with that. Most people would have to involve another party to get a gun machined. But 3D printers are set to be commonplace. Hell you could print out a gun for the evening without anyone knowing carry it with you while you do the thing you need protection for, then burn it the next day and nobody will be any the wiser. Talk to any policeman. Opportunity is a huge factor in criminal behaviour. So are you saying this is not a concern when your average South London teenage "Gangsta" (read "ignorant idiot with a teenage hormone overdose") gets the opportunity to acquire a gun at the snap of his fingers?

12
3
Bronze badge

Re: David, you missed the point

> anyone determined enough could just use a drill, files, a dremel, or even an exacto knife set and carve their own from ABS stock.

No they couldn't. I certainly don't have the ability to do this and I was trained to use lathes, mills, drills etc (decades ago). There is a fair degree of skill and dexterity needed to make complex parts to exact specifications and the vast majority of the population will not have the ability. It also takes a lot of effort and patience, something which the criminal element isn't generally renowned for.

On the other hand, pretty much everybody knows how to print a file.

9
6
Thumb Up

Re: Keep calm and carry on hysterizing!

>>Anyway, wasn't there a movie with Clint Eastwood about plastic gun building to kill the prez?

Yup. In the line of fire with John Malcovich playing a post-breakdown SS turned assassin... Kinda reminded me of an Americanized version of Day of the Jackal.

2
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Keep calm and carry on hysterizing!

"3D PRINTERS WILL MAKE SURE THERE WILL BE DEAD CHILDREN EVERYWHERE. Now there is something to ban again."

Not to sound callus but so what?

During his speech on the subject President Obama said there had been 33 mass shootings from 1983-2013, IE more than 1 a year.

But when the time came to vote for even minimal federal gun control requirements nothing happened.

"Anyway, wasn't there a movie with Clint Eastwood about plastic gun building to kill the prez?"

I prefer the one with Harrison Ford as the President where he also gives a speech. It begins

"The dead remember our silence."

7
2
Silver badge
Terminator

The point is-

Any idiot can make stuff now.... after someone has done the skilled bit once.

4
0
FAIL

Re: David, you missed the point

What might have escaped most of the people sucked in by the media hype is that a 3d printer isn't some kind of universal assembly machine, and that it can doesn't print double-sided 3d parts, or those with internal cavities straight off the machine's table - some kind of formwork is always required, and in the case of cavities, you're probably looking at a two parts that are then glued together.

Plug in USB-and-go this isn't.

1
0
Go

Re: Rent

isn't this precisely what you friendly neighbourhood Hackspace or modelling club is for? Access to machine tools one wouldn't otherwise be able to buy ;)

0
0

Table Top CNC machine cheaper than 3D Printers

The price you pay for a 3D printer is going to be relative to the bed-size and the resolution. For production of a firearm, you will pay more for a 3D printer than you will for a habbiests table-top CNC machine which is more than good enough for the Liberator, and your tolerances will be much better on the cheaper CNC machine.

4
0
Facepalm

Re: David, you missed the point

CNC = Computer Numeric Control... you just load the appropriate design file, and tell it to go. If you can set the time on your VCR/DVD Player then you can produce a firearm on a CNC machine. No real milling skillset required. The only "skill" you really need to start is be able to follow the Onwer Manual and learn to change the tool and zero the part. Finding engineering specifications for a part is painfully easy, converting the specs or CAD/CAM design to your CNC machines G-code might actually require a few minutes on Google. The bonus? You can make metal guns too.

Oh, and making guns at home is already legal in US law so long as you do not produce firearms which are restricted by the NFA, nor are you allowed to produce home-made firearms for sale. Technically criminals are not legally allowed to make guns, and if we knew which criminals where making them, we could arrest them. http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/general.html#gca-manufacturing

3
0

I think the issue is more that the plans are going to be easily available to be used on readily and cheaply available equipment.

Could you do this on a CNC mill? Absolutely. Does average Joe have the money to go buy one? Probably not. :-p

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: David, you missed the point

But, may I remind you that you need bullets?

This thing won't work without those METAL parts, and no, an ABS bullet won't kill you.

As for safety, they should be perfectly safe for a "one shot" gun, if properly designed and tested.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: David, you missed the point

"Also your milled gun makes metal detectors go mental, this wouldn't."

You are aware you can mill plastic just as easily as easier than you can mill metal.

Besides it's pretty trivial to head down to the local hardware store and buy the necessary pipe, say 1/4" cpvc schedule 80, to build an equivalent or better weapon. You could even fire glass marbles with compressed air so the whole thing could pass the metal detectors or make it into a pipe bomb. Seriously, anyone who needs a 3D printer is severely lacking an imagination or never saw a youtube video of a compressed air potato cannon or Punkin Chunkin' competition.

With all that said, can we at least be honest and admit that the likelihood a criminal is going to go through the trouble is nil when he can go out and buy a throwaway gun for $25 in a back alley with no paperwork and the serial number pre-ground down that he can probably sell the next day for the same money? Adding a billion more laws that say it's illegal in a slightly different way than the existing laws that already say it's illegal won't change any of that and neither will a congresscritter getting his panties in a twist over printed plastic single use(?) junk. It would have to be pretty cheap to compete with the virtually free and resalable black market piece.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: David, you missed the point

Milled *metal*? Milling machines work just fine on common structural plastics, too... and there are g-code machines and other fully computer-controlled micromills available.

For that matter, a milled plastic part is often structurally and thermally stronger than a thermoplastic extruded part.

2
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: David, you missed the point

> What might have escaped most of the people ... doesn't print double-sided 3d parts, or those with internal cavities straight off the machine's table

What seems to have escaped you is this part of the article:

"The handgun, seen by Forbes, uses 16 printed parts that are clipped together"

16 parts so as to avoid any with internal cavities.

2
1
FAIL

Re: @the J to the C

Its all about context, the topic here is the printing of a gun, not a 3D model that kind of looks like it could be something in the right light, while your £350 3D printer is something of a toy its not really going to be able to produce a gun the same as a CNC machine.

it kind of like saying that you can build a car for less than £50, sure you could but it cant do the indy 500

2
0

Re: Keep calm and carry on hysterizing!

In the near future, you may want to keep an extra eye on those kids down the street playing cops and robbers.

Who needs Daisy when you can print your own "toy" pistol?

0
0

I doubt your neighbor has a cnc ready to crank out plastic guns...

0
2

Re: David, you missed the point

Um, think you'll find that there are milling machines that you can plug into a USB port as well, and for a similar cost, I'd be surprised if some highly responsible and socially aware US arms manufacturer hadn't already made the control files available on the internet.

BTW - If a plastic pistol is likely to shatter the first time you fire it, wouldn't the designers and distributers of the print files be really, really exposed to all kinds of law suits to those dumb enough to trust a download file to make a gun. I would guess that the print process would take at least 50 hours in total, and who knows what glitches might happen. After all what could possibly go wrong with the build quality, answers on a postcard to Cody I think. I'd love to see the disclaimers.

0
0

Re: David, you missed the point

Why would a milled PLASTIC gun make a metal detector go mental? The OP said nothing about milling in metal.

BTW a CNC mill costs a few grand, is a proven technology and trivial for anyone to make 3d shapes in any material. I could make a passable gun with 3 grands worth of machinery I have in my garage. A mill, lathe and piller drill are plenty. And whats more it would work and not blow up in my hand. A gun is a trivial machine to make.

3
0

Re: David, you missed the point

'..No they couldn't. I certainly don't have the ability to do this and I was trained to use lathes, mills, drills etc (decades ago). There is a fair degree of skill and dexterity needed to make complex parts to exact specifications ..'

Whilst I agree with you regarding accurate use of lathes etc., you're missing the point slightly. A 'zip-gun' class weapon has no complex parts, nor exact specifications and doesn't require machining skills other than fairly basic ones to knock one together (Google zip gun for examples)

Hell, with very basic drilling, gluing and soldering skills, you can go to Homebase and buy plumbing fixings and knock together a barrelled weapon capable of killing someone.

It isn't really a question of 'having the ability' to do something, it's a question of 'having the need'. Humans can be pretty inventive when they need to be, especially, it seems, when it comes to weapons manufacture.

2
0

Re: David, you missed the point

Apparently do you not only not know how to using a milling machine. You also don't know that it's possible to mill plastic or that milling machines have been CNC-ready for years before at-home 3D printers. You can get a ready-made CNC tabletop mill for around the same price as a 3D printer. It's just subtractive shaping rather than additive. Here's one model: http://www.robotshop.com/sherline-5400a-cnc-tabletop-vertical-mill-package-1.html

2
0
Holmes

Re: David, you missed the point

No, I think you missed the point. A milling machine can be used to shape and bore virtually any material (plastic, glass, stone, ceramic) in addition to metal. So can a drill motor, hand tools or numerous other implements. David's point is, restricting how a firearm is made is not going to stop somebody from making one. Firing a bullet or shotgun load is not rocket science. Please stop trying to save the world with yet more dim-witted new regulations and bans. Hint: Criminals don't abide by codes and ordinances. That's why we call them criminals.

5
0
Silver badge
Go

Re: David, you missed the point

oh, and CNC milling machines are NOT mad expensive. We paid £3000 for our denford (we needed to pick it up ourselves) you can get micromills even cheaper which would be big enough (we already use micromills mainly for balsa proofs and models).

1
0

@ David W: [quote]Given that you could do the same thing with a cnc milling machine, I don't see how this is much more than hysteria. There's no novel capability I can see via using 3D printing rather than any other method for shaping material.[/quote]

The danger is its accessibility and the proliferation of such weapons in the hands of potential radicals who wouldn't otherwise have the means to smuggle arms into public areas where they can cause mayhem. A CNC milling machine is rather difficult to hide. A 3D printer is much more conceal-able.

0
1

stupid

A gun is nothing more than two holes in a piece of metal. You can literally make one with a drill in about 8 seconds. One hole for the projectile (barrel) and a touch hole to set it off.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: David, you missed the point

" and in the case of cavities, you're probably looking at a two parts that are then glued together."

No, you are looking at something that is rigid under the heat load of the printing but that can be removed later by, say, chemical action. Sugar sand mixed with small amounts of chinaclay with a smidgeon of moisture would be my first choice to experiment with, because it could be dislodged using water.

We've been doing this sort of thing since the early days of sandcasting and jewelry-making. No new concepts to come up with. How do you think they make oilways and the water jacket in an engine block?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: David, you missed the point

[quote] > anyone determined enough could just use a drill, files, a dremel, or even an exacto knife set and carve their own from ABS stock.

No they couldn't. I certainly don't have the ability to do this and I was trained to use lathes, mills, drills etc (decades ago). There is a fair degree of skill and dexterity needed to make complex parts to exact specifications and the vast majority of the population will not have the ability. It also takes a lot of effort and patience, something which the criminal element isn't generally renowned for. [/quote]

i guess you've never heard of a zip gun, then? a piece of pipe, a bullet and something to smack the back of the bullet with when it is put into the pipe end... that's all it takes... you can get various sized pipe at the local hobby shop or even the hardware store... ya don't even need a handle (aka grip) to hold it but i wouldn't want to hold one for more than one or two shots... but a piece or two of board and a screw or two would work in a pinch if you have to have a handle...

if it takes more than one (shot) to accomplish your task then yer not doin' it right ;)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The point is-

[quote] Any idiot can make stuff now.... after someone has done the skilled bit once. [/quote]

ummm... seems to me that the idiots have been making stuff since time began... one can also check records from at least the '20s to modern day and find incidents of folks making and using their own projectile weapons... kinda makes ya wonder who the inventor of the zip gun is, eh? ;)

0
0
Anonymous Coward

down voted because 5 of my neighbors within shouting distance all have CNC machines and they do mill both metal and plastic parts... turning out a gun of some sort is a no-brainer...

1
0
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: @the J to the C

Nope, you said that 300 quid wouldn't get you a 3D printer. No statement modifiers to the effect that that 3D printer would have to be able to print a gun that would be comparable to a milled one. And the gun under discussion here CAN be printed on that £300 printer, no ifs and buts.

0
2

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.