Skip to comments.FYI: Is It Legal To 3-D Print A Handgun?
Posted on 10/05/2012 11:39:04 AM PDT by marktwain
Earlier this week, the Wiki Weapons Project--an initiative to create a 3-D printed handgun and distribute the digital design file for free online--ran into a stumbling block when 3-D printer provider Stratasys pulled the lease on a printer it had provided the group. Stratasys cited a clause in the lease agreement that allows the company to rescind a lease for printers believed to be used for unlawful purposes. That raises the obvious (and thorny) question: Is the Wiki Weapons Project doing anything illegal?
We at PopSci are experts on many things, but federal firearms regulations and intellectual property law are not among them. As we understand it, one is required to obtain a federal firearms manufacturing license to produce firearms in this country--if those firearms are for sale. The Wiki Weapons Project has demonstrated no intention to sell any potential firearm it creates, but rather to create a freely distributed digital file that would allow anyone with the right hardware and know-how to print their own firearm.
And the law doesn't have much to say about that, not explicitly, anyway. Regardless of your personal feelings toward the Wiki Weapons Project, it is at the very least forcing us to take a look at what happens in a world where information (which wants to be free) can be easily converted into physical objects--many of which (like firearms) are not supposed to flow freely.
This raises lots of interesting questions, says Michael Weinberg, a staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a legal consortium focused on digital technology, the internet and intellectual property. There are going to be a lot of stories in the future about people doing interesting things and uninteresting things with 3-D printing. The question people need to ask themselves is: was this possible before 3-D printing?
(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...
Works just fine. Not quite up to printing a barrel yet... But getting there.
Depends on if you're talking about the M-203A or the Mk-19.
I would say it's a start. I'm sure metallurgists and material scientists are working on improvements.
After all, CANON used to be made from cast bronze!
And shotgun barrels used to be made of twist steel. I wouldn't advise running modern powder through either.
As always, I believe the technology will go toward wherever people's interests and willingness to pay lie, barring any physical impossibilities. I don't see any impossibilities down the path to what's been stated thus far on this thread. It seems analogous to a desire for 12 megapixel camera resolution (a resolution that would allow photographers confidently to abandon most legacy film designs) that started out twenty years ago as 640x480. We're now at something analogous to the 640x480 camera resolution in the 3d printer realm, IMHO.
Stopped reading right there.
Does anyone know what kind of material ( gook ) is used in these 3D machines?
Is it possible to use a transparent acrylic ( or some other transparent fluid/plastic ) for making aquariums for example?
Very interesting. Thanks!
bump for later
Some of the people here are missing the point.
It is not necessary to print the ENTIRE gun on a 3-D plastic printer. You only have to print the controlled part — the receiver. In some cases (such as the AR-15) you can buy the upper without government oversight. In addition, in some cases (such as the AR-15), the lower has to withstand very little force. The bolt (steel) locks directly into the barrel (also steel) while firing. The lower only has to hold everything together during recoil. Some force, but not nearly as much as the barrel and bolt see.
I would imagine that a LOT of other designs could be created that would have very little stress on the controlled part (the lower). This looks VERY interesting.
My CCW instruction LLC is Isher Enterprises.
True, from a current legal standpoint. Print an AR15 lower receiver, which does little more than hold the remaining major components together, and most of it legally amounts to mail-ordering accessories.
Nonetheless, being able to insert bulk raw material & push one button and have the entire functional product appear is a major paradigm shift.
Ya know, DARPA does have a real interest in this. Imagine a supply chain that instead of moving finished goods to the front lines could just move raw materials and manufacture whatever they needed within minutes and yards of use.
What, you don’t want the barrel and brass blowing up in your face like a trick cigar? Killjoy.
I don’t see why it would be illegal, unless you aren’t legally allowed to possess a gun.
“Nonetheless, being able to insert bulk raw material & push one button and have the entire functional product appear is a major paradigm shift.”
It’s really not that big of a shift from what is currently possible with a CNC Mill. You’d have to change tool heads manually and flip the billet over manually with a “hobbyist” level mill, but it’s essentially just “push a button” and the mill does all the work.
Remember how slow printers were in the old days? You had to wait forever to get a page out of them. Now, plenty of home laserjets can crank out 30 pages a minute, no problem.
I suppose we’ll see similar speed improvements with these 3D printers, not to mention many, many other improvements in them, including in the kinds and strengths of materials and substances they can “print” out.
Then the question won’t be whether or not it is legal to print a handgun, but whether or not it is legal own a little flake of silicon that has particular strings of 1s and 0s on it. Because who would want his closet all cluttered up with curios and relics when, with the push of a button, he could start cranking out thirty M249 SAWs every minute, and thus start rocking and rolling with the forces of tyranny on a moment’s notice? That’s what we’re really talking about. And I say “yes,” because they won’t be able to stop those who are determined to retain and restore their freedoms, no matter what silly laws they pass in the interim.
Thing is, I seem to remember some granades being mostly made of plastic, filled with shrapnel and explosive, so that a hi-pressure body burst is not necessary. Just a speedy drive load.
These things might be very good for printing.
If so, I have a neat design here which will give the fighter the ability to project the thing 100 yards plus, with no actual barrel and material cost of 50 cents or so, fitting in your shirt pocket :).