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You don't bring a 3D printer to a gun fight -- yet

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by entropy13, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. entropy13

    entropy13

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    Welcome to the dark side of 3D printing.

    The hobby is best known for creating colorful toys and trinkets, but some enthusiasts are working on design files that would allow anyone to print a working gun. These don't exist yet, but some believe it's only a matter of time.

    Why would a 3D-printed gun be appealing? For one, it could potentially be cheap. You can buy a preassembled 3D printer for about $500. A spool of ABS plastic to print with goes for $50. Depending on where you shop, you can buy .38 Special ammunition for 30 cents a round. The plans will undoubted be distributed free like so many MP3s.

    In fact, plans for working gun parts already exist. They can be found on a site called Thingiverse and on similar sites, alongside thousands of free plans for toys, jewelry, tools, and design equipment.

    Thingiverse is a creation of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based MakerBot and its CEO, Bre Pettis. Pettis and his company have become the de facto faces of 3D printing thanks to regular appearances in mainstream and tech media talking about how 3D printers democratize manufacturing. Pettis usually demonstrates this idea with brightly colored remote-control cars, robots, and other toys made with MakerBot printers. MakerBot and Pettis don't really talk about files related to gun parts.

    That doesn't mean the issue has gone unnoticed, with the intersection of 3D printing and firearms having made the news a few times this year. In June, Michael "HaveBlue" Guslick reported on his blog about successfully test-firing a homemade gun whose key component, the lower receiver, he made from ABS plastic on a '90s-era Stratasys FDM 1600 3D printer.

    And in August, Forbes' Andy Greenberg wrote about a group called Defense Distributed, which has some lofty goals as mapped out in the video below. In practical terms, their immediate aim is to create a design file for what they call a Wiki Weapon, a functional, 3D-printed firearm.

    The increased attention on printable guns comes as Defense Distributed is approaching a firing test, said Cody Wilson, a University of Texas graduate student and the chief spokesman for the group. Depending on the outcome of that testing, 3D-printing companies, file-hosting sites, and law enforcement and legislative groups may have to tackle a challenging set of questions regarding the manufacture and regulation of firearms, both in this country and abroad.



    Full article here.
     
  2. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    Plastic guns.

    That is all. :cool:
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    its easy. manufacturing or use of firearms without a licence is illegal.


    you cant print ammo, so just track the sale of ammo?
     
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  4. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    That's my thought. How is plastic gonna stand up against the pressure of a bullet being fired?
     
  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    low caliber bullets, for a start. for a single shot weapon firing just a few rounds, it will work.
     
  6. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Who cares? The reliability of such a weapon is low, the fact you can't shoot high energy rounds without the chance of blowing your hand off, and if everyone had a gun, how likely would you be to pull yours, and lastly the most important point.


    If making a gun is illegal, only those inclined to do illegal things will do it. Same with owning an illegal gun.

    I can make a potato launcher with less than $50 of stuff at Ace hardware, and it could be modified to launch much more dangerous projectiles, so should we start tracking the purchase of PVC glue and sewer pipe?

    Fearmongering for lack of ability to write real news.
     
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  7. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Yeah I considered that too. a .22 is not gonna generate alot of presure. But either way it' snot gonna handle too many.
     
  8. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    Lol

    Theres a LOT of energy in a cartridge "bullet", even rimfire. There is a reason you have NEVER seen a firearm with anything other than metal used for the barrel/action/receiver. Especially since the introduction of cartridge style ammo...

    You want a "plastic" gun? Get a Glock.
     
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  9. Jetster

    Jetster

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    You can buy polymer receivers. But the 3d printer is a cool idea.
     
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  10. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    You are correct, some firearms have polymer receivers. VERY VERY high grade polymer... My bad, I'm mostly into bolt action, centerfire rifles so... :eek:
     
  11. bmaverick

    bmaverick

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    Why spend all the money on a 3D printer to make a gun?

    Just find a nice thick pipe at a hardware store, gauge in your home drill press to tight tolerances, get a start solenoid with a good kick and assemble. This all can be done for well under $100.
     
  12. Jetster

    Jetster

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    I think the idea is to go into a secure building and ounce inside print your gun. I see another Bourne movie in the making
     
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  13. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    did anyone miss the point that its made of plastic? they are good for one shot only.
     
  14. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Downloading copyrighted material is illegal, only those inclined to to do illegal things will do it. Wait what? Your argument is stupid.
     
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  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    because once you have that pipe, this lets you print out the rest of the gun.


    clearly this will never make a 'real' firearm. this is going to make a very dangerous weapon easily accesibly, since most countries only make it hard to buy weapons - not the ammo.
     
  16. micropage7

    micropage7

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    maybe its true but there many components to make a gun work
    spring loader, ammo of course and other
    i dont think that idea would work in short time
     
  17. rampage

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    just your standard australian gun nut here :p


    An AR style lower reciever is quite simple design wise in full auto. where the problems begin is with the upper reciever, springs, bolts, barrel threading and the barrel and chamber its self. a 5.56mm > 7.62mm round produces 50,000 > 60,000 PSI of pressure to fire.

    even if a barrel could be made to withstand the pressure it would not last long as there is projectile to plastic contact moving around 3,000 fps and that creates alot of wear and tear (even on a normal firearm)

    then there are the technicalities of action threads withstanding the pressure and also the locking lugs on the bolt being able to take the pressure.

    and being able to do all of this with minimal wear and tear and parts not becoming out of spec fast.. any decent shooter can tell you what happens when yo have headspacing issues in the chamber (you have a BOOM not a bang)

    all that being said a full auto lower made on a 3d printer and a standard upper reciever (recicver and barrel) is the best way expesically in the states where this is easy and cheap to purchace (the lower reciever is the only registerd part on the rifle) hence a cheap way to conver to full auto.


    rant and story time is over
     
  18. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Thanks.

    Did the rotten fish taste extra rotten and put you in a bad mood today?


    Its OK, I forgive you, and I still love you even if no one else does.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  19. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    What, I think I was being reasonable. It was a stupid argument, at least coming from you (you're usually right about things). And the fish isn't rotten, it's fermented, and I don't even like that (it is pretty good, but not that good).
     
  20. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Printed or not, probably the best idea. I did read (somewhere) that they may be coating bullets in some sort of pollen to aid in criminal investigations.
     
  21. D007

    D007

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    /sits down casually as man points gun at him.. "one second please, I need to finish printing"... :laugh:
     
  22. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Lulz.

    It was late and I was tired.

    I just meant to say that who gives a shit, if I want to print a gun out of plastic and try and use it in some evil way I will more than likely get what I deserve, be it a missing hand, being shot by someone with a real gun, or imprisoned for stupidity (if only we could). Not that I would as I am not dumb enough to try something that stupid.


    Tracking ammo is a horrible idea that involves the government in our lives again instead of less involvement and more transparency.
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  23. Sir B. Fannybottom

    Sir B. Fannybottom

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    This could lead to some awesome Halloween costumes!
     
  24. Morgoth

    Morgoth

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    this 3d printer can make Very strong Materials
     
  25. D4S4

    D4S4

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    who gives a fuck about guns? i can't wait for affordable 3d printers, i'm gonna be manufacturing all kinds of stuff for my bike, pc and what not, especially if metal printing becomes an option. hell, if it does, i'm gonna be making by own bicycle suspension components instead of shelling ridiculous amount of money on halfbaked crap manufacturers have the nerve to sell, there will be no end to tweaking.
     

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