back to article Judge bars distribution of 3D gun files... er, five years after they were slapped onto the web

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring the online distribution of CAD files for 3D printed guns, upholding a temporary injunction issued in late July. "We just won a preliminary injunction in federal court, continuing to block the Trump admin from allowing the distribution of 3D-printed gun files," said …

Autoresponder?

> "they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States."

I remember a time when you could call a number, give it a code, and get fax instructions back...

It's evolved to email (We are happily ignoring your problem, and will read it up when it's convenient for us...), so a quick autoresponder, and you've got your plans.

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Re: Autoresponder?

You mean something like Ye Olde BBS or FIDONET system?

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Re: Autoresponder?

No, an autoresponder.

Email To: CADplans@example.com

From: youremail@example.net

Subject: Send plans to blow my fingers off, please. (file 666.txz)

Body text: I promise not to use the plans for evil.

The server responds with an email to youremail with the plans attached.

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Re: Autoresponder?

They're also allowed to sell them. I'm predicting that sometime tomorrow, you'll be able to purchase the entire bundle for a single penny on their website.

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Facepalm

Re: Autoresponder?

autoresponder outside of the USA to which you send your PGP key. works for me. Make sure you mention "kittens" in the message body.

either that, or just post it to a binary newsgroup. works for pretty much everything ELSE

yeah a court order - that'll stop it! Considering that most of the people who want plastic firearms would either be hackers or outlaws, good luck with that.

icon, because, facepalm

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Re: Autoresponder?

They're also allowed to sell them. I'm predicting that sometime tomorrow, you'll be able to purchase the entire bundle for a single penny on their website.

It won't take that long and it's "name your price" where $0 seems to be a perfectly valid price.

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I see the result as less 'farcical' than 'NY thumbing its nose at trump' Which is always a good thing

As for guns... yeesh, 3D printing isn't the only way. They're gonna ban machine tools next? (or if you don't mind the risk of it exploding... any tools)

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Coat

@Martin-73

Look, if you want to thumb your nose at Trump, go ahead, nobody cares.

Here, you have an issue of a matter of law which the judge seems to be ignoring, along with some technical facts.

1) Plastic printed guns are a gimmick. You can only fire a couple of .22lr rounds before the gun blows up in your face.

2) There are still ferrous parts in the gun which are detectable while the non-ferrous parts can still be spotted in an x-ray machine.

3) there are other options.

A) a non ferrous barrel, chamber and firing pin with other parts made out of plastic. The non-ferrous barrel could be wrapped in carbon fiber for the needed rigidity to take the pressure from a round being fired.

B) Google zip gun.

C) other ideas out there.

4) Its not illegal for you to manufacture your own guns, you just can't sell them.

So when you consider this... the printing of the plans to create a 3D printed gun is really an exercise of free speech. Which is why its so wrong to stop the sharing of the plans which BTW are out there and you can probably download them off a non US based web / FTP server.

But that's just me... ;-)

Mine's the jacket with the kevlar lining and the side zipper so I can easily get to my legally owned CCW permitted gun.

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Re: @Martin-73

Good points. I can download plans to make black powder rifles and pistols (I have made one of each).. I assume there's probably plans for semi-autos out there.

As for 3D printed guns, no thanks. Just too much risk to the thing blowing up in your face and even if it doesn't the barrel will probably be deformed by the heat of the burning powder and passage of the slug so it will be inaccurate.

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Re: @Martin-73

"I assume there's probably plans for semi-autos out there."

I made a Model 1894 replica in .357 Herrett. Good shooter, my favorite short range varminter and saddle carbine. I still have the drawings, I guess I could make 'em public domain. Good luck building one without a CNC and a good working knowledge of steel, though.

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Re: @Martin-73

No, I don't think these _are_ good points.

That these plans aren't very good isn't the point, it is the _intent_ of them - you can't turn around in a year or two, when 3D printers that can produce metal prints are a reality, and say that readily available plans have suddenly become illegal - the horse will have left the stable by then.

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Machine tools

As for guns... yeesh, 3D printing isn't the only way. They're gonna ban machine tools next?

The difference being that making a gun out of metal (and other materials) using machine tools requires actual skill.

In theory, any idiot can plug in a 3D printer, load some plastic into the hopper (or whatever) and click "Print" to start churning out shitty finger removers plastic guns.

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Re: @Martin-73

"in a year or two, when 3D printers that can produce metal prints are a reality"

If you don't mind spending five figures, you can buy such a printer right now (they've been around for many years). Consumer-level metal printers, though, are much further out than a year or two. Even resin printers are only just now becoming available to ordinary consumers.

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Pirate

Re: @Martin-73

"I can download plans to make black powder rifles and pistols (I have made one of each).. I assume there's probably plans for semi-autos out there."

guns were invented about 1000 years or so ago in China, about the same time as gunpowder.

The Kentucky Long Rifle, one of the most accurate weapons in the mid 18th century, was hand-built by craftsmen without modern milling equipment. (wikipedia quotes someone as describing them being built with 'crude tools').

I think modern educated/trained engineers, machinists, and craftsmen are even smarter now [they won't have to go through as much trial/error to get some kind of success]. I see no obstacles to success here.

And you could simply hire a machinist to build certain parts for you, and make the rest of out plastic or wood or whatever in whatever design you like. "I want a hollow metal tube with a fracture toughness of XXX or more, capable of withstanding temperatures up to XXX, with several small grooves cut into the inside that slowly rotate their orientation from one end to the other." <-- rifled barrel

(and a firing pin isn't that big of a deal, really - yeah has to be strong so it doesn't bend, but still...)

Then you do experiments in a bunker-like enclosure to test the limits of your new rifle design, just like gun manufacturers would do. when you get a good one, mass produce!

So yeah who needs to rely on "illegally distributed" intarweb plans, when you can MAKE! YOUR! OWN! [with a little time in a regular old library studying up beforehand]

(pirate icon, because, obvious)

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Re: @Martin-73

Current cheap 3D plastic printers are also quite capable of producing reasonable forms for casting metal parts so it wouldn't take much to produce a functional firearm. No they probably won't outlast or outshoot modern firearms but they'll likely do far better than plastic.

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Re: @Martin-73

The concept of amateurs combining castings and explosives in a hand-held device gives me hives. But again, let 'em! Stupidity SHOULD hurt!

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Re: @Martin-73

If you want to SUPER-TECHNICAL you can 3D print out of plastic the form for a 300 to 500 metres-per-second rail gun that can fire 5 cm long and 4 mm thick ceramic coated ferrous metal darts and would be the size of some 4 inch diameter (10cm) by one meter long ABS plastic plumbing tubes. You only need a backpack array of simple video camera camera batteries (you can get as high at 375 watts for the Anton Bauers which can be carried in a backpack to power the gun for 10 to 20 shots or more.

I can get ... relatively cheap ... fast pulse discharge capacitors attached to a high current millisecond-or-less current gate (i suggest IGBT) and as of 2018 there DEFIINITELY ARE means to get the 1000 amps or so I need in a relatively small space to pulse the induction coils to make the dart go as fast as 500+ metres per second.

My current estimates are about $15,000 for the parts needed to fit a 50 pound (20 kg) backpack to power the coil gun! It's the high cost of high current, fast discharge capacitors that eats all your money BUT another option is a small 10 lite size 100,000 RPM counter-rotating flywheel made out of titanium or carbon composite carried in the same 50 lbs (20 kg) backpack. The all you just need, is a fast switching gate such as Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) or a mini-Krytron to pulse the coils. That would probably last for at least 100 rounds+ before charging up the backpack flywheel is needed.

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Remember PGP

Remember PGP and Zimmerman, and having to publish via another country. America needs to learn that once the technogenie is out of the bottle it aint going back in.

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Re: Remember PGP

Politicians need to learn - citizens pretty much got it down.

Anyone want some CAD files?

;)

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Re: Remember PGP

Not quite, PGP was banned from being exported - being a weapon.

But the 1st amendment rights still won, so he was able to export a printed book of the source code

It is one of the advantages of a written constitution and an independant judiciary - things don't just get banned on the whim of a home secretary or a BBC DJ

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Re: Remember PGP

It was banned from being exported, true. But I wore the T-shirt into and out of the country on maybe a dozen flights from '91 to '93 without anybody even blinking at me funny. Security theater is worth the paper it is printed on, but not much more.

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Re: Remember PGP

I downloaded the CAD files a little while back just on principle. But thanks for the offer.

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Unhappy

Re: Remember PGP

"America needs to learn that once the technogenie is out of the bottle it aint going back in.

no, just our politicians (well, MOST of them, anyway)

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Bad Logic

Real guns aren't hard to get in the US, generally. Much easier than putting together 3D printing and so on, as well as cheaper, and easily made just as untraceable with a little grinding. Most crime guns long ago lost trace-ability - many are simply stolen themselves, anyway. At least if you believe the FBI, difficult as that is becoming. Or surveys of criminals in prison for violence.

Would you rather have some wacko using a plastic gun as likely to blow his own hand off with the first shot, sending a bullet weakly in some direction almost but not as intended, or a real gun that can accomplish a mass shooting?

I want all my attackers to have a plastic gun useful for somewhat less than a single shot. I'm in a lot more trouble if they use a good one, no?

And you can tell the agenda - an administration simply does nothing to violate the constitution - no constructive action of any kind - but somehow this thing is their fault!

Try stuffing crypto back in the box. OK that didn't work, lets have a war on poverty. Um no good, lets try war on drugs - that'll make them unavailable, and no one will shoot anyone over drug turf, since they have so many other means of making a living /s. See the pattern?

A decently working shotgun takes a piece of pipe, a cap, and a nail, if you want to get fancy, you can add the rubber band, and the only secret is the diameter of the pipe...and lots of people know that, or chemistry of explosives or whatever other nasty - if you have the will, you can find a way to do bad things - the will is what needs addressing.

This is ignorant virtue signalling that will have - if it works - a negative effect on the problem, lucky it won't work.

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Re: Bad Logic

Hope you aren't in the UK DCFusor. Collecting or distributing "information … likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" gets you 20 years

And for all el'reg regular readers, repeated viewing of the above information gets you 15years

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Black Helicopters

Re: Bad Logic

What about people who can work out for themselves that a pipe, a projectile and a small quantity at one end makes a firearm? Has the UK outlawed thinking as well?

Actually, don't answer that - the answer is probably 'yes'.

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Devil

Re: Bad Logic

selling drugs probably gets you jail time too. yet I bet it's easy to buy them, depending on where you go... (UK, USA, or anywhere for that matter)

[this is the classic libertarian 'making it illegal does not stop it' argument, yeah]

Don't forget the USA's experiment with prohibition. Not only did alcohol consumption continue, it became 'bad alcohol' consumption [home-made hooch with methanol and other poisons in it], and a great empowering of organized crime.

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Day late, Dollar Short, Doesn't Matter

These (and others like them) have been available on the net for quite a long time already. There's nothing that a judge can rule that will change that.

But it isn't as bad as all that, really. Given the state of the art for 3D printing, any gun made this way is inherently dangerous to use (there's a serious risk that it will explode), and each such gun can only be fired once. It's still literally cheaper, easier, and safer to make an old-school zip gun instead.

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Re: Day late, Dollar Short, Doesn't Matter

Indeed. In fact, why ban it? Let the perps print 'em out ... you KNOW they'll want to test-fire it a couple times before using it "for real". Stupidity SHOULD hurt!

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Where is the NRA?

You would expect the NRA to be screaming bloody murder, but they remain silent...because protecting "gun rights" only matter if the guns come from the manufacturers who pay for the NRAs continued existence.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

Having plans to make a gun still require one to have some rather expensive equipment. Plus one would need to obtain the proper alloys and furnaces to heat treat parts, etc. Or as others have pointed out the gun would be a single use weapon that is possibly more dangerous to the shooter than the target. The NRA is not concerned with this because any sensible person who wants a gun will buy a well made one from a competent manufacturer.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

Sure that's true today. Someday it'll be cheaper to make a gun (and a lot of other stuff) from CAD files than to buy a mass manufactured product. What will happen to the NRA's generous corporate contributions from Big Gun when people quit buying from them?

The NRA won't be able to use FUD and alarm their members every time a democrat gets into the White House into buying additional guns because gun sales are going to be banned by the evil godless libtard if millions of people have the means of making as many guns as they want at home.

Whether someday is in 2025 or 2055, that we don't know. But 3D printing has advanced a lot in the past decade, so I wouldn't bet against it a decade from now.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

"You would expect the NRA to be screaming bloody murder, but they remain silent..."

Approximately 5 seconds of google-fu shows the NRA issued a public statement almost a week ago... probably took less time to find it than it took to type your rant asking where it was.

“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media have wrongly claimed that 3-D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms. Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years. Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA’s support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm.”

Not a great response (IMO) but hardly silence.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

"Having plans to make a gun still require one to have some rather expensive equipment"

Not necessarily. I'm not into guns, but I remember several people in my youth who built zip guns in grade school shop class, using basic and readily available tools and materials.

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Boffin

Re: Where is the NRA?

The NRA is silent because its a non issue. (There is a statement out, but not really a hot topic)

The legal issue is the issue of the 1st amendment and not the 2nd.

Its like bump stocks. A buddy of mine bought one for 'shits and giggles'. He put it on one of his ARs and played with it. He then took it off and put it in one of his many gun safes along with the ATF ruling making it legal. (He lives in one of the 43 states that allows the legal ownership of machine guns by civilians, and owns at least one that I know of. )

The issue isn't your ability to manufacture your own guns. You can legally do that but you can't sell it or even give it away. (God help you if it gets stolen...)

The issue is the absurd fear that someone with a consumer grade 3D printer can print up a gun and then go on a shooting spree. (You can't. ) Or that the gun would be undetectable. There are metal pieces and again, its a .22lr only and will last at most a couple of rounds before it goes boom. Anything large and it will go boom in your face.

So why waste time on this when you have real issues to deal with.

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Boffin

dew3 Re: Where is the NRA?

The plastic gun isn't really undetectable.

The key would be to make a gun, a real gun, where when broken down doesn't look like a gun so that you can pass thru security and then build it when needed.

This is not a really hot 2A topic, but more of a 1st A topic.

Building your own gun is legal. (Except if its built to be undetectable. )

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Re: Where is the NRA?

The NSSF is the group that represents manufacturers, not the NRA.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

1. Want to explain why 6 million people each need to pay $35 per year in membership dues to the NRA if the gun "manufacturers pay for the NRA's continued existence"?

2. The gun control industry is squawking about plastic guns because they fear competition to the illegal gun sales by gun control advocates. Google for leland yee philippines if you want one example. Oh, here's a result now:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/02/25/ex-calif-state-sen-leeland-yee-gun-control-champion-heading-to-prison-for-weapons-trafficking/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b8c91daed6b2

3. Drug related shootings cause more people to vote for politicians who support gun control, including Hillary Clinton. While Hillary was Secretary of State, the Obama Administration's "Project Fast and Furious" supplied thousands of guns to trigger-happy drug dealers. That was shortly before Hillary ran for president. And gun control supporters said not a word about it, until after criticism from the NRA forced Obama to end his "gun murders for Hillary" program.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

1. Want to explain why 6 million people each need to pay $35 per year in membership dues to the NRA if the gun "manufacturers pay for the NRA's continued existence"?

I want to , but I cant. Can someone explain why the 6m people do this?

Is there an annual picnic or something?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Where is the NRA?

"What will happen to the NRA's generous corporate contributions"? I don't think Russia really cares. They back the NRA because it destabilises the USA.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

Did you bother to look before you declared the NRA remain silent. NRA have commented on 3D guns previously. Most recent statement on it seems to be from just last month:

“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media have wrongly claimed that 3-D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms. Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years. Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA’s support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm.”

Seems an accurate statement to me. I'm unclear on what exactly you expect their position to be.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

>>

What will happen to the NRA's generous corporate contributions from Big Gun when people quit buying from them?

The NRA has over 6 million dues paying members. This may shock you but guns are actually quite popular in the USA. The biggest share of its funding is from ordinary members. There's around another 10% from advertising (which is probably your "big gun") and then a chunk of private contributions above and beyond dues. As lobbyists, they rank far, far, far behind big players like Google and Health Insurance industry.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

Not necessarily. I'm not into guns, but I remember several people in my youth who built zip guns in grade school shop class, using basic and readily available tools and materials.

I read the post as meaning "real" guns. Not dangerous but highly inaccurate one-shot devices. But they are guns, I suppose. So it depends what is meant. In any case, it takes a lot of bulky and expensive equipment to make a modern firearm, that is for sure.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

"Someday it'll be cheaper to make a gun (and a lot of other stuff) from CAD files than to buy a mass manufactured product."

I don't see that happening within the next hundred years, if ever. It's VERY hard to reduce the cost of producing onesies to be comparable to the cost reduction that mass production gets you.

The value of 3D printers is not related to the cost of production. The value is the ability to easily create unique or customized items.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

The NRA is a gun industry lobbying group, nothing more.

"Want to explain why 6 million people each need to pay $35 per year in membership dues to the NRA if the gun "manufacturers pay for the NRA's continued existence"?"

Sure -- a lobbying group that can claim they have millions of dues-paying supporters is a lobbying group with more political power.

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Re: Where is the NRA?

"I read the post as meaning "real" guns."

Zip guns are absolutely real guns. They're very poor quality guns, certainly, but that makes them even more relevant to the topic at hand, as we're talking about 3D printed guns, which are even lower quality than zip guns.

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Big Brother

Re: Where is the NRA?

"You would expect the NRA to be screaming bloody murder, but they remain silent"

I think you misunderstand the NRA's position. It's mostly about the right to DEFEND YOURSELF using firearms. Plastic guns are more like 'skoff-law' weapons. The NRA wants you to be able to purchase, carry, and use a weapon that you legally purchase [one that is safe and won't explode when you try to use it].

It really has nothing to do with gun manufacturers, though it's likely that the gun manufacturers are members. But then again, in a capitalist society, someone will make money from selling things people want. I don't have a problem with that. Burdening the citizens' cost of ownership with excessive taxes, regulations, and 'ban-laws', I have a LOT of problems with THAT.

And yeah, it's reasonable to make it illegal [for a time, at least] for convicted felons to own/use firearms. Simply "being accused" should NEVER deprive you of your legally owned firearms, however.

(icon because an armed citizenry is difficult to manipulate and control - big brother is behind the bans)

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Re: Where is the NRA?

"an armed citizenry is difficult to manipulate and control"

Oh, I dunno.

Exhibit A: The current occupant of the Oval Office.

Exhibit B: Radio & TV "preachers".

Exhibit C: Mass media conspiracy theorists.

Need I go on?

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Mushroom

you must be...

Utterly bonkers or desperate to even consider combining 3D-printing and explosives....

Icon for end result.

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Boffin

@Grikath Re: you must be...

Uhm... who said anything about plastic?

Yeah. That's the thing. You could use a 3D metal printer to print the components to make a gun.

There is one company that manufactures these printers did just that. They printed a .45 ACP 1911 and then put it out on to a test range.

It worked flawlessly. The goal was to show that its possible to use their printer to manufacture specialized parts that can withstand the high pressures of a gun and thus be useful in engine or other machine parts.

The company didn't release the cost of the gun, but said you could easily buy a lot of 1911s for the price so that its not realistic to make a 3D gun when you could easily buy one.

In terms of plastic guns... the barrel will explode after one or more shots from the pressure of a .22lr.

Anything larger would be dangerous on the first shot.

Now if you did a mix of non ferrous metal, carbon fiber and resin filled plastic... you could build an undetectable gun if you wanted. Oh and it wouldn't be cheap either.

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