Author Topic: An entirely 3D-printed gun (except for firing pin and gov't-mandated metal blob)  (Read 16718 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Forbes: This Is The World's First Entirely 3D-Printed Gun

Quote
...All sixteen pieces of the Liberator prototype were printed in ABS plastic with a Dimension SST printer from 3D printing company Stratasys, with the exception of a single nail that’s used as a firing pin. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition.

Technically, Defense Distributed’s gun has one other non-printed component: the group added a six ounce chunk of steel into the body to make it detectable by metal detectors in order to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act. ...

Designed by: Defense Distributed.  Plans not available yet, but coming soon.

Offline cmxterra

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I think I just heard Feinsteins head explode.

Offline r_w

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I think I just heard Feinsteins head explode.

Oh how I wish.

Offline Absit

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I'm a little confused about something.  The whole metal detector thing..I understand it's a law, and that's dumb enough.  But the fact that people, legislators, are concerned about a plastic gun making it through a metal detector..

Unless, wait, did we invent plastic bullets and casings too?

Offline Oil Lady

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Not to derail, but here's a brief video of the plastic gun from the Clint Eastwood film In the Line of Fire, the gun John Malkovich made to kill the President. 

It seems like the guy who made this homemade video was either able to get his hands on the actual movie prop from the film (not hard to do, the studios auction this stuff off all the time) or else someone online is selling knockoffs of the film prop, or else he made it himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2UqXZ6yOk

Don't know if it actually works. The shaft isn't even rifled.

Offline Nicodemus

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I think the only real difference here between what has come before is an advance in materials. Inventive types have been building "zip guns" for quite some time.

Offline Jakevf

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I've done hundreds of parts via 3D printers and have been using the various technologies for the past 10 years. Not 20 feet from my desk at work sits a 8 year old stratasys FDM machine which is an ancestor of the machine I imagine was used for the model shown.

I'm skeptical that a were at the point where a 100% "printed" gun could be made safe and effective, and EXTREMELY doubtful that a gun printed on an FDM machine would be workable.

Consider this, these prototype technologies are trying to reach a point where parts created by them are as strong as a part made in similar material by conventional processes. They're not there, not even particularly close. Consider an example from Stratasys website.This is the strongest material available and where I would start if I were designing a firearm printed in an FDM (actually I'd probably start by writing a will, but putting the danger aside).


http://www.stratasys.com/materials/fdm/~/media/Main/Secure/Material%20Specs%20MS/Fortus-Material-Specs/Fortus-MS-ULTEM9085-01-13-web.ashx

This is a PEI or "Ultem" plastic for use in an FDM machine, Ultem is high end stuff and unless I've overlooked something this is the strongest stuff currently used in an FDM machine. This material is only about 1/2 as strong as a part molded or machined out of a basic grade of ultem.

Why does it matter? Because if you can't make a gun out of plastic via old-fashioned methods (as far as I know you cannot) you definitely can't make a plastic gun in a 3d printer. In terms of performance plastic is just no where near the strength needed to handle the pressure and heat associated with a firearm. The STRONGEST (and most expensive) plastic generally available is PEEK, it's used in high temperature applications and medical applications and in some cases can be used to replace metal parts. Even taking this plastic, reinforcing it with a 30% carbon fiber fill, you wind up with a material that has 1/3rd the yield strength of mild steel, probably about 1/6-1/10 the strength of a treated alloy steel such as typically used in the barrel and receiver of a firearm. Plus the plastic won't dissipate heat well, resulting a plastic gun being HOTTER on the inside than a steel one, and even PEEK (which is the king of plastics) will weaken significantly before steel's even getting worried. Even basic PEEK runs something like $15-$30 /lb in bulk, much more in small amounts. I hate to consider what a carbon fiber filled grade costs!

Now, there are 3D printing technologies that use metal (google DMLS, or direct metal laser sintering). These MIGHT could be used to make a firearm. They're really a non-issue for the near future however as the "printers" are extremely expensive and the technology far less easy to implement on a DIY basis than FDM (which is what most people in the DIY community call a 3D printer, FDM is actually only one of probably dozens of technologies). DMLS parts are still extremely expensive, anything the size of a handgun would cost thousands of dollars and I doubt DMLS machines exist that could print a rifle or even a carbine. More likely one would print all your gun parts in an FDM machine and then use those parts as patterns to investment cast metal parts, that could probably be done by anyone with some know-how and a furnace. I'd still stand very far away when they started shooting such a weapon.

Offline Sonny

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They just released the plans.  Better get them before they take them down.


http://defcad.org/liberator/




Offline Oil Lady

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I only just realized this about 5 minutes ago.

The government knew that the age of the 3-D printed gun would soon be upon us. They knew there was no way to stop 3-D printed guns from happening. Soooooo .... go to the other end of the problem and restrict access to bullets.

The result will be (5 years from now) millions of people who bought 3-D printers, printed out guns, and then wound up with over-priced Hollywood movie props on their hands. No bullets and those printed guns are just a lot of expensive plastic.




Thoughts???



Offline Nicodemus

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You're missing the concept behind 3D printed plastic guns and what they're capable of at this point.

I didn't want to bring this up before, but the "Liberator" was probably given the name to conceptually connect it to WWII's FP-45 Liberator. Its intent is not to hold off an army with the ability to fire as many rounds as you can put through it, but rather as a one or two shot ambush/insurgency pistol used to acquire a better firearm.

So, conceptually one need only keep a round or two for it, ever. A person doesn't practice with it, just uses it in the only situation it was made for.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 06:25:05 AM by Nicodemus »

Offline ADKwarrior

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+1  I would bet your exactally right.

You're missing the concept behind 3D printed plastic guns and what they're capable of at this point.

I didn't want to bring this up before, but the "Liberator" was probably given the name to conceptually connect it to WWII's FP-45 Liberator. Its intent is not to hold off an army with the ability to fire as many rounds as you can put through it, but rather as a one or two shot ambush/insurgency pistol used to acquire a better firearm.

So, conceptually one need only keep a round or two for it, ever. A person doesn't practice with it, just uses it in the only situation it was made for.

Offline David in MN

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I've heard Cody interviewed before on the Anarchy Gumbo podcast. If you'd like to learn more, it's a good place to start. The concept of a 3D printed gun is interesting not in that it works perfectly right away but once the proof of concept works, a "gun" could be computer code available anywhere in the world. Anyone, anywhere could print a workable gun. This means that guns cannot be banned. Or it means the code is a gun. Cody is breaking down barriers and ushering us into an era where we see the folly of regulation. He even joked recently that magazine restrictions are silly because anyone dedicated could 3D print a magazine as big as the printer would allow and use that. Technology is replacing the government and I love the idea that people like Cody are pushing the limit.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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that's pretty cool. i saw the video of their AR lower that fired several hundred rounds. i can't find the link now of course... but this is pretty cool stuff.

Offline Nicodemus

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Wow! I wish there was more information than this.

DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.
Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.


DEFCAD


Offline Nicodemus

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On the "we don't get this interweb" front. The files had already been downloaded more than 100,000 times. So, the move by the government seems a tad silly.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Offline Nicodemus

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Thanks, Mr. Bill!

According to that article, he had to remove all files that could be used to produce any part of a firearm.

Offline David in MN

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Hey everybody, Cody just combined the first and second amendments. They now want to ban a "gun" that is a string of ones and zeros on the interwebs. Who would think that in an era of tech the first amendment would buttress the second?

Offline Jakevf

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Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.



That's funny.

Offline iam4liberty

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I'm a little confused about something.  The whole metal detector thing..I understand it's a law, and that's dumb enough.  But the fact that people, legislators, are concerned about a plastic gun making it through a metal detector..

Unless, wait, did we invent plastic bullets and casings too?

Yes.  They already exist.

In fact there was a person at the range a couple weeks back shooting wax bullets in his black powder revolver.  Never saw that before.  Would be interesting to shoot into ballistic geletin.

Offline joeinwv

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Have any of you seen the video of a guy making an AK receiver from an old garden shovel?

Did you see the Myth Busters where they made a cannon out of a log?

Ever go to a gun show and see a copy of the improvised munitions manual?

Any of you take mechanical drawing in high school?

Just because it's plastic and a "printer" people get all excited.

If a guy on TV can make spiderweb motorcycle rims from a solid block of aluminum, do you really think it would take more than about 4 minutes to mill out a lower?

Offline Waiting in the Weeds

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Have any of you seen the video of a guy making an AK receiver from an old garden shovel?

Did you see the Myth Busters where they made a cannon out of a log?

Ever go to a gun show and see a copy of the improvised munitions manual?

Any of you take mechanical drawing in high school?

Just because it's plastic and a "printer" people get all excited.

If a guy on TV can make spiderweb motorcycle rims from a solid block of aluminum, do you really think it would take more than about 4 minutes to mill out a lower?

I agree. Big deal its printed out. Does DHS have every machinist on a watch list so their skills can be monitored? As to plans, ever heard of a thumb drive you politician geezers?

Offline MTUCache

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Lol, the State Department is beyond hilarious at this point... to the point where they're just downright pathetic.

"Remove" the plans from the internet? What is this? North Korea in 1994? The piss is in the pool, you're not getting it back out! It's been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and it's being actively hosted on sites that aren't within your jurisdiction. WTF are you going to do about it? What is the original publisher going to do about it?

So he needs to "prove" he didn't do anything wrong or dangerous before he's allowed to let this information out? How does that work with the first amendment again?

And the reason this same argument shouldn't be applied to Monsanto GMO seeds is....... ?

Anyway, Cody Wilson actually seems happy to have this out in the media and open for discussion, and I agree. I really hope for his sake he doesn't end up with a black bag over his head on a plane ride to Gitmo, but the more attention this gets the more ridiculous this will look. There's been plans for "homemade" guns on the internet since there was an internet. Many of them are "undetectable", so what makes this one any different? Just because technology has moved far enough that people will be able to make these very easily without specialized equipment or materials? You can bet the government will be ALL over the at-home 3D printer market now, watching every purchase.

People can make deadly weapons out of rocks... there are plenty of people out there who can kill with their bare hands. What kind of moron thinks they're going to be able to completely control and monitor and catalog everyone who is capable of murder. That's the definition of a totalitarian government.

Offline David in MN

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Right on, right on! I saw a Youtube video about how to improve my left hook. That information should be taken down. A left hook can only hurt people, it has no value for society...

I have completely given up on the feds but this could be a really cool first amendment case. I can imagine going to the bookstore and buying a book of just ones and zeros that contains the code to build a gun. I have heard from people in the industry discuss the moment when metal becomes a "gun" (apparently on a 1911 it's the slide rails) and it's a very odd concept. I can buy a manual on how to machine a gun but a computer code to build one is criminal? Once again the first amendment will guard the second in a very unusual twist.


Offline MTUCache

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This information is now disappearing and links are being disabled!
Zero Hedge has your back.

(Note: That link is to a news article about what we're discussing. In that article there are links to Pirate Bay, which appear to let you download this information. I'm not brave enough to click on them myself right now. :p )

Offline theBINKYhunter

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it'll pop up again somewhere. once it's on the net, it's always available.

Offline ag2

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Why does everyone call these things "3D printers"?  To me, it seems these are just CNC machines on three axis (x,y and z).  These have been around for years.  What's all the comotion about 3D printers?  Am I missing something?

Offline liftsboxes

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... and now the plans are available on most torrent sites.

Offline Nicodemus

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Why does everyone call these things "3D printers"?  To me, it seems these are just CNC machines on three axis (x,y and z).  These have been around for years.  What's all the comotion about 3D printers?  Am I missing something?

It could be grouped in CNC machines, but it's a 3D printer in the way that a Milling Machine isn't an Engine Lathe.   ;D

But the name is understandable as the machine is printing, layer by layer, an object whereas a lot of other CNC machines cut away or use force in some fashion on a material to form an object.