Printing guns at home with 3D printers

3D printed gun

From John Robb comes the startling news that guns can now be made with 3D printers. “Havenblue” has printed several assault weapons and they fired fine. This rather clearly changes everything for insurgents, revolutionary groups, etc.

This could be like designer drugs, where chemists stay ahead of the law by making drugs that aren’t illegal yet. Designer assault weapons could probably be manufactured so they are temporarily legal, at least in some states. As for changing a semi-auto rifle to a full auto, maybe that’ll be easy now. Just print the part you want. Perhaps we’ll see entirely new weapons, designed for specific one-time purposes, being made with 3d printers, used, then disposed of. The possibilities here are both intruiging and scary.

3D printers are available now for less than $20,000 and for as low as a few hundred dollars. The prices are dropping as 3D printing goes mainstream.

It’s now possible to print functional weapons at home. This is going to progress rapidly now.

Think: global file sharing of designs for servicable weapons, from pistols on up to ?, that can be printed at home. What you can print — from the materials to the size/quality of the object to the completeness (snap together construction) — is already moving forward quickly. The weapons effort will just be along for the ride.

A commenter says this means you can now literally beam devices from one physical location to another by sending the specs. Beam me an AK, Scotty.

3 Responses to Printing guns at home with 3D printers

  1. Steve G Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    So basically these are cheap desktop CNC machines or what?

    • Bob Morris Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      I don’t quite understand how they work but basically they take the input medium (alloys, plastics, etc) an create the object in 3D

      • Steve G Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

        Well if they carve the object out of a solid block that’s not a printer and it’s a CNC machine, so I suppose if they actually take molten material and print the object bit by bit then it’s a real printer.