Author Topic: An entirely 3D-printed gun (except for firing pin and gov't-mandated metal blob)  (Read 14593 times)

Offline David in MN

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It's called a printer because it works like an old inkjet. CNC and the like remove material. 3D printers melt plastic (or something like it) and draw material on a plane until that plane is done and the object lowers to let the next plane be produced. It's hard to describe in words but pretty hypnotic. It's the first tech that allows an object to be "built" rather than removing material to reveal something. They are fun to play with, I had an experience where some friends and I built a model airplane and "printed" the ideal wing for a competition. Crashed, of course.

Offline ag2

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But the name is understandable as the machine is printing, layer by layer.........

Ah, that's the part that I was missing.  So I take it you feed in the raw material, (ink) and through heat or force it applies a layer at a time.  This reminds me of laminate plywood in a way.

Offline cheryl1

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I heard the guy sharing the plans was shut down by gov, but over 100,000 downloads have already been shared.

Offline Jakevf

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Ah, that's the part that I was missing.  So I take it you feed in the raw material, (ink) and through heat or force it applies a layer at a time.  This reminds me of laminate plywood in a way.

Very much so,

The tech used for this gun is called FDM (fused deposition modeling) and the easiest way to think of it is to picture a hot glue gun mounted on a 3-axis CNC system. The head extrudes plastic along a programmed path, tracing the outline of that "layer" and then filling the interior before moving up to the next layer. The reasons for using this technology are that the "printers" can be built surprisingly cheaply and it produces relatively robust parts from easily acquired material. There are better 3D printing technologies, but none that can be so easily acquired or fabricated and run on a budget that's believable for your average individual. The printer used was probably 20-30k new, but I believe he purchased used for 8k, there are lots of models intended for home/hobby use that are pushing the $1000 threshold. It is probably only a matter of time before the price and quality improves to the point where these low-end machines can easily duplicate his results.

That said, anyone with basic shop tools could build the equivalent out of scrap found in any junkyard, and that's been true for decades. (first thought I'm thinking a drill press, bits/reamers, a band saw, some files, and maybe a welder, I'm NOT saying you'd need CNC mills or lathes or such). This is just a new technique for doing the same thing, making a straight-bore, single-shot, firearm with zero traceability. Even it's being made out of plastic isn't anything revolutionary, since you can machine a piece of plastic just like you can a piece of steel. (Though I'm still not sure how this thing is handling the pressures created even by something like a 22lr.)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Forbes: State Department Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printable Gun Files For Possible Export Control Violations

Three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court sides with State Department in 2-to-1 decision:

Court: With 3D printer gun files, national security interest trumps free speech

From the majority opinion:
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Ordinarily, of course, the protection of constitutional rights would be the highest public interest at issue in a case. That is not necessarily true here, however, because the State Department has asserted a very strong public interest in national defense and national security. Indeed, the State Department’s stated interest in preventing foreign nationals—including all manner of enemies of this country—from obtaining technical data on how to produce weapons and weapon parts is not merely tangentially related to national defense and national security; it lies squarely within that interest.

 :P

Offline Alan Georges

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Three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court sides with State Department in 2-to-1 decision:

Court: With 3D printer gun files, national security interest trumps free speech

From the majority opinion:
 :P

Asshats.  Meanwhile, down on the $5 flash drive aisle at Wal-Mart, liberty marches onward.  Can't stop the signal.


Offline Skunkeye

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Indeed, the State Department’s stated interest in preventing foreign nationals—including all manner of enemies of this country—from obtaining technical data on how to produce weapons and weapon parts...

Would those be the same foreign nationals who have been making AKs with hand tools in primitive machine shops for the past fifty years or so?  Maybe someone at the State Department ought to google the phrase "Khyber Pass" before they get their panties all twisted up about foreigners being able to make a barely-useful plastic single-shot .380...

Offline jerseyboy

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Would those be the same foreign nationals who have been making AKs with hand tools in primitive machine shops for the past fifty years or so?  Maybe someone at the State Department ought to google the phrase "Khyber Pass" before they get their panties all twisted up about foreigners being able to make a barely-useful plastic single-shot .380...

I had to look this up. Fascinating. Here is the wiki link to the gun manufacturing.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khyber_Pass_Copy

Here is a YouTube video on 1911s made in the Philippines

https://youtu.be/pq1TXEE_QK4

Jerseyboy

Offline Smurf Hunter

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This issue reminds me of "music piracy".  I'm just old enough to have experienced the tail end of vinyl records and the early adoption of music CDs.
In the early 1990s, there was no way to "rip" a CD into mp3s, or even burn a CD image at home.

Cassette tapes were king,  Every teenager I knew had "mix tapes" of their favorite songs.  Making these were a labor of love.  You had to understand the available length of tape on each side, and plan your playlist accordingly.  Further you had to record in real time.  A 90 minute (45min per side) tape took that long plus time to pause, flip the record, advance the track, etc. etc.

The reason I brought up that was not for nostalgia, but that behavior was ubiquitous with American youth 25-30 years ago.  We never heard of any legal consequences of doing this.  Fast forward to the mid-late 1990s, where MP3s came out.  Suddenly any moron could click their mouse and get any song imaginable in perfect quality.

That's when the music industry and regulators lost their stuff.  I admit, it's still difficult for me to morally reconcile how borrowing my friend's Van Halen album and dubbing it onto cassette was ok in 1989, but downloading the same album in mp3 format was a soft form of organized crime in 1999.


Back to DIY guns.  For the cost of a decent sandwich, a slam-fire shotgun can be manufactured from parts in the plumbing aisle at Home Depot.  As it's been said, many hobby machinists could make "real" gun parts that work better than 3D printed ones.

This is all emotional reaction.  Nothing is materially different.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Forbes: State Department Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printable Gun Files For Possible Export Control Violations

Settled in the manufacturer's favor:

ArsTechnica, 7/17/18: 3D-printed gun lawsuit ends after 3+ years—in gun publisher’s favor

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Defense Distributed, the 3D-printing gun activist group, has secured a settlement with the Department of State that will enable it to legally distribute its CAD files of firearms on its DEFCAD website, putting an end to a years-long lawsuit. ...

The settlement, which was signed in April but only took effect in late June, says that the DEFCAD files in question are "approved for public release (unlimited distribution) in any form and are exempt from the export licensing requirements of the [International Traffic in Arms Regulations]."

The State Department has also agreed to pay Defense Distributed's legal fees, which total nearly $40,000.

The federal civil suit began more than five years ago when Cody Wilson and his group, Defense Distributed, published designs for the "Liberator," the world’s first 3D-printed handgun.

Within months, Defense Distributed received a letter from the United States Department of State's Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance stating that 10 files, including the designs of the Liberator, were in violation of the ITAR. ...

Offline Mr. Bill

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NPR, 7/31/18: Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Blocking 3D-Printer Guns

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A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that prevents the publication of online 3D blueprints for plastic yet deadly guns.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said the untraceable weapons – which bear no serial numbers and can be printed from directions downloaded from the Internet – could end up in the wrong hands...

But it is is unclear how effective the temporary restraining order is since the schematics for one of its guns — The Liberator — were posted on the company's website on Friday — five days ahead of the company's announced release date. ...

...Wilson said he had suspended downloads of the 3D-printer gun "until he reviews the order."

"We're disappointed," Wilson told The New York Times. "The law is clear. These plaintiffs just don't have standing to challenge the settlement. You can't unclose a federally closed matter. And I consider the matter to be closed."

The judge has scheduled a hearing on Aug. 10.

Offline David in MN

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NPR, 7/31/18: Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Blocking 3D-Printer Guns

So they think they can literally ban a string of 1s and 0s? Beyond freedom of speech issues it's just plain nuts. I do love how people like Wilson make idiots show their hand. Sure, I can download plans for a nuclear weapon but what we really need to worry about is a single use single shot pistol capable of only point blank accuracy. Just wait until these judges discover a revolver. Just imagine the horror of 6 liberators in one package...