3-D Printing | Guns | News

Gun Created with 3-D Printer Fires Its First Shot: VIDEO


Last week, Forbes reported that Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old Universtity of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, had created the world's first entirely 3-D printable handgun and planned to release the CAD blueprint files required to make it online.

GunWilson yesterday released a video of the gun being fired.

Forbes adds that Wilson's project has made him one of the most controversial figures in the 3-D printing community:

Once the file is online, anyone will be able to download and print the gun in the privacy of their garage, legally or not, with no serial number, background check, or other regulatory hurdles. “You can print a lethal device,” Wilson told me last summer. “It’s kind of scary, but that’s what we’re aiming to show.”

Since it was founded last August, Wilson’s group has sought to make as many components of a gun as possible into printable blueprints and to host those controversial files online, thwarting gun laws and blurring the lines between the regulation of firearms and information censorship. So far those pieces have included high capacity ammunition magazines for AR-15s and AK-47s, as well as an AR lower receiver, the body of that semi-automatic rifle to which off-the-shelf components like a stock and barrel can be attached.


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  1. Meh, guns are plenty easy to get and people arent going to flock to plastic pistols. Maybe this will finally shut up the gun nuts that are afraid all guns will be outlawed, there, now you can make your own! SO PLEASE SHUT UP.

    Posted by: Fenrox | May 6, 2013 8:53:03 AM

  2. It wouldn't suprise me that Cody names this initial 3-D printed gun the "LaPierre" in honor of the gun-crazy NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. Hell, the NRA probably will give Cody a special award for creating a gun that could increase gun ownership! What a great country will live it (now shut up and hand over your valuables).

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | May 6, 2013 9:16:25 AM

  3. So after I spend 30K on a 3D printer I can make myself a gun. Cheaper to hire a limo to drive to back and forth from west virginia.

    Posted by: QJ201 | May 6, 2013 9:26:19 AM

  4. Why so many good inventions cost so much damage in society?

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 6, 2013 9:26:21 AM

  5. All you smartasses who think this isn't a big deal have not realized that these are plastic guns that can easily make it through airport security or any metal detector. Still think it's no big deal?

    Posted by: brian | May 6, 2013 9:33:47 AM

  6. The NRA, which is actually a front for gun and ammo manufacturers, may not show much support for this. They want people to buy their guns, not make their own.

    Also, 3D printers don't cost 30K. Staples just announced that they are the first U.S. retailer to carry one. It's priced at $1,299.

    Posted by: ripper | May 6, 2013 9:38:19 AM

  7. "thwarting gun laws and blurring the lines between the regulation of firearms and information censorship."

    Law students are the worst.

    Posted by: David | May 6, 2013 9:39:42 AM

  8. The bile in my throat just jumped.

    I have never met a person who "needs" a gun who has all their marbles, and this is catering right to them.

    Posted by: Rad | May 6, 2013 9:44:26 AM

  9. Congratulations Cody Wilson, what a life achievement -- facilitating the taking of life from hundreds of thousands in the future.

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | May 6, 2013 9:51:44 AM

  10. You can't print gunpowder.

    The anti-2nd-Amendment crowd have realized that they don't need to ban guns. They can just have government preemptively buy-up all of the ammunition and reloading supplies (powder, primers, etc) using dollars created out of thin air by the "Federal Reserve" (which isn't Federal, and has no reserves).

    What they indent to do with the billions of rounds they've bought is the reason for the 2nd Amendment.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | May 6, 2013 10:02:14 AM

  11. 3D printers that can so this kind of sophisticated printing are very expensive, but the real unspoken angle is that making your own guns out of metal is perfectly legal in the US, and you can sell those guns without going through the normal registration process. However, it's rare for guns to be used in crimes that were privately made or sold. The issue is mostly one of quality and/or cost. Privately made guns sell for 10x as much as mass manufactured guns so don't appeal to criminals, and while often very ornate and pretty, they might not be accurate or reliable. As for airport security, the bullets still need to be metal. Law enforcement is well aware of these issues already.

    Posted by: anon | May 6, 2013 10:08:04 AM

  12. Maybe it's last shot too. The last video I saw of something like this, the thing broke apart after two or three shots. They don't just have the structural strength necessary to last long.

    Posted by: Steve | May 6, 2013 10:33:29 AM

  13. @Brian:

    Congratulations, you've pointed out the obvious: these guns (well not THESE, since they have metal in them) could make it past a metal detector.

    NEWSFLASH: Ammunition is still made out of metal.

    Who is the smartass now?

    Posted by: Jack | May 6, 2013 10:42:59 AM

  14. I'm under-impressed. Just because you can make a cannon out of an old tree-trunk and some leather straps doesn't make it a good cannon.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | May 6, 2013 12:51:47 PM

  15. Some of these comments are great. Some not so much.

    There is a lot of stuff to ponder here. First 3D printing is going to have more useful value than gun-making. It's going to be used to make all kinds of things, including organs made out of real organic tissue. And, while the tech is expensive now, it will be incredibly affordable in ten years. This is the way it works.

    Whether or not the gun can get through security isn't an issue. As someone pointed out, bullets are made with metal casings. As of now, I don't think there is a cost-effective way to make them any differently. But, with technology, where there is a will, there is an answer.

    By the time these products are affordable for everyday people, I'm guessing the printing material is going to have detectable qualities, including serializability, which isn't a word... yet. But the point is that each batch of 3D material for printing will be traceable to the person(s) who bought it, even if the parts are very tiny. That's the only way to make sure nobody is liable for things they didn't do.

    As of now, if this sort of thing happened, the makers of these guns (and the 3D printing tech) would be liable for what happens with their products. The 3D printer sellers and the makers of the printing materials would be most liable. That will change in a few years, if people let it. But I'm pretty sure that the framers had no idea that this was ever going to be something people can do, so it won't be a 2nd amendment issue. In fact, if a case ever goes to court because of someone dying at the wrong end of a 3D-printed gun, the defense would likely have to involve first amendment rights to express one's self with technology.

    Finally, people need to lay off of Cody Wilson. His point isn't to show how the rapid development of technology is going to make all sorts of laws pointless. This is just a reality. Look into it. It's called the technological singularity. There's an 80% chance that it's going to happen within the next 5-90 years, which seems like quite a spread, but it's not. As for what it is, you need to do a lot of reading. But the main gist is simple: technology is going to increase at such a rate that it will be impossible to control or regulate it.

    Effectively, once we reach the singularity, we will no longer be able to predict what the next day is going to hold in terms of technological development. Your iPhone is updated every year. Well, once we reach the singularity, you'll be able to get the next model every day. This might not be the best example, but it is probably what most people can grasp without reading about what scientists have known is coming for nearly 60 years.

    Posted by: Terry Jackson | May 6, 2013 1:28:11 PM

  16. @ Terry Jackson

    "Finally, people need to lay off of Cody Wilson. His point isn't to show how the rapid development of technology is going to make all sorts of laws pointless."

    I disagree. Cody named his gun "The Liberator". The gun name and the political subtext of his act are very much meant to convey the supposed futility of gun laws.

    Posted by: Anony6 | May 6, 2013 6:57:01 PM

  17. This is a BIG danger to the public because now guns can be made by Joe Smoe and look like anything which will give them a surprise element that can kill.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | May 6, 2013 8:11:52 PM

  18. do you need 3D glasses to see these guns?

    Posted by: grego | May 6, 2013 8:23:08 PM

  19. Would love to see it blow up in his face, maybe take his hand or a few fingers off.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | May 6, 2013 10:23:16 PM

  20. @Billy Crytical: don't worry for now. The printer these guys used costs a minimum of $8,000 if you buy it on-line. It's far cheaper to buy a commercially made handgun.

    Note that they showed it firing a single shot. There is no indication of its accuracy. How many times you can use it before it fails is not shown or stated either. How you load it isn't clear either.

    Posted by: Bill | May 6, 2013 11:20:46 PM

  21. If someone comes out with a special gun called the Castrator that shoots nanotech smart bullets which always accurately home in on the groin (no matter how bad the aim), the NRA will oppose any form of ban. Because guns don't castrate people, people castrate people.
    Or a gun that shoots atomic waste sludge, or a gun that shoots the ebola virus, or a gun that only kills the intelligent, or a gun that ..

    Posted by: stentor | May 7, 2013 2:46:34 AM

  22. In all honesty I'm looking less at the liberator and more now at the second prototype. Just for extra "fun", this one's made by a quasi-anarchist law student from Texas: http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=GHJRO7TH9GR4&preview=article&linkid=63171faa-4437-4e53-a9f1-c93dc68677be&pdaffid=ZVFwBG5jk4Kvl9OaBJc5%2bg%3d%3d The jokes write themselves so I won't bother.

    Posted by: Elene Parker | May 8, 2013 12:30:55 PM

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