3D printing has come a long way in a relatively short time. You don’t have to look far to find people people scoffing at the technology even today. That’s not to say it doesn’t still have many issues to overcome, but certain groups are making leaps and bounds pressing forward. Take, for example, Defense Distributed. They’ve long been working on creating a 3D-printed gun, and it looks like their efforts might finally have paid off. They’ve supposedly created an entirely 3D-printed gun, and they’re calling it the Liberator.
As for the design of the weapon, the prototype’s sixteen pieces were made with a Dimension SST printer from ABS plastic. Well, there’s also a nail being used as a firing pin — the one real component that isn’t from a 3D printer. If nothing else, that’s awfully impressive.
Without touching on any kind of moral issues using a 3D printer to make a gun might raise, the creation of a gun by a 3D printer is a fascinating project. Not just the design and mechanical aspects of it, but the legal ramifications of creating and distributing plans for such a thing. Specifically, the Undetectable Firearms Act comes to mind.
Defense Distributed isn’t unversed in hurdles like this though, and they’ve included a unnecessary bit of steel in the design so it’ll set off metal detectors. The question is, though, how long before someone strips that chunk out of there once the designs go live? My guess: Not very long.
That’s not meant to strike fear into the hearts of innocents, mind. There’s no telling exactly how reliable the Liberator really is, and even if it is, it just brings a whole new set of questions that need answers. The Undetectable Firearms Act and other laws will almost certainly have to be changed or drastically altered in order to comply with the new reality we live in.
Here’s what the prototype looks like, according to Forbes:
- New 3D printer makes synthetic shapes imitate living tissue
- Here’s a 3D-printed crossbow
- Defense Distributed was surprised when one of their earlier printers was confiscated