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Thingiverse Cracks Down on Firearm Parts
blog.makezine.com ^ | 20 December, 2012 | Sean Ragan

Posted on 12/24/2012 7:53:12 PM PST by marktwain

This is the lower receiver of an AR-15 rifle, printed in fused plastic filament from a digital model that was, until this week, freely available for download on Thingiverse.

This part is significant because all other parts of the common rifle can be readily purchased in the open market. A person who builds a working lower receiver has, in the eyes of the state, essentially built a working AR-15. It is legal to do so for personal use (at least under US law), but until lately the required tools, time, and talent put the project beyond the reach of most casual tinkerers.

The rise of desktop manufacturing, however, may be set to change all that. Recently, a 3D printed AR-15 lower receiver made of fused plastic filament was demonstrated to fire and cycle six times before breaking.

Andy Greenberg over at Forbes has the story on the removal of this model, and other key firearms-related physibles, from Thingiverse. As of this writing, no official statement appears on either MakerBot’s or Thingiverse’s sites, though the action seems entirely consistent with Thingiverse’s established Terms of Use, which were updated following the the site’s first firearms controversy back in 2011 to include proscriptions against content that “contributes to the creation of weapons.”

Up to now, however, the policy has gone largely unenforced.

From the comments: Sean Ragan on December 20th, 2012 at 6:56 pm said:

I note, as an aside, that it just took me about 3 minutes to nab a torrent containing digital models of an AR-15 lower (and the parts for a 5-round magazine) from The Pirate Bay’s “physibles” section.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 3d; ar15; banglist; printing

1 posted on 12/24/2012 7:53:22 PM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain
In future, with a large enough printer, one might build a fighter plane, ship or recoiless rifle. Deleting plans from some website won't stop humans.
2 posted on 12/24/2012 7:59:46 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Sarah Palin's presidential run. What'll you do?)
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To: marktwain

They lock up Criminals for 23 hours a day, with one hour exercise time in the Yard at Maximum Security Prisons.

They routinely find hand made knives on those same Prisoners.

Human Ingenuity knows no bounds. Don’t believe me, just ask Captain Kirk about the time he had to fight that big Lizard on Star Trek.


3 posted on 12/24/2012 8:12:38 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (I don't Trust a Government that doesn't Trust me. How about you Comrade?)
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To: marktwain; AD from SpringBay; al_c; AnalogReigns; archy; bmwcyle; Boogieman; bigbob; BuffaloJack; ..

3-D printer ping!


4 posted on 12/24/2012 9:16:01 PM PST by null and void (Going Galt: The won't of the people)
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To: marktwain

>> demonstrated to fire and cycle six times before breaking.

KABOOM!

Does the printer come in a box from ACME?


5 posted on 12/24/2012 9:33:28 PM PST by TArcher
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To: marktwain

You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. There is this thing called the Internet and information will always be available, just because one site remove the information means nothing it will soon be available on ten. Removing the information on lower at this time means nothing, as was pointed out it broke after six rounds were fired. It is just not worthwhile to build a gun with that limited potential. But someone will soon figure out how to beef up the lower so it will withstand more firings.


6 posted on 12/24/2012 9:35:29 PM PST by Mastador1
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To: TArcher
>> demonstrated to fire and cycle six times before breaking.

Yup! (But don't tell Zero and Feinstein -- they'll require printed plastic receivers for all ARs and AKs!)

7 posted on 12/24/2012 9:43:51 PM PST by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: Sooth2222

I would wonder if one of these could be used to create a mold for a metal version using something analogous to the lost-wax technique.


8 posted on 12/24/2012 9:51:11 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: Mastador1

3-D printer aren’t limited to plastics.


9 posted on 12/24/2012 9:51:19 PM PST by null and void (Going Galt: The won't of the people)
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To: marktwain

Yeah, but can that machine print up those full auto triple action semi-bullet burst fire assault ‘clip’ thingies to.....??


10 posted on 12/24/2012 10:15:15 PM PST by bobby.223 (Retired up in the snowy mountains of the American Redoubt and it's a GREAT life!)
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To: TArcher
Does the printer come in a box from ACME?

Not for anyone with casual familiarity with the phrase "lost wax process."

11 posted on 12/24/2012 11:11:15 PM PST by publius911 (Look for the Union Label -- then buy something else)
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To: Mastador1
But someone will soon figure out how to beef up the lower so it will withstand more firings.

If this part can be made of wax, it can be used as a core in investment casting of brass or aluminum by the lost-wax method. Just attach a sprue(s), pour the plaster-of-paris based investment around it in a steel-can container, heat and drain out the wax, then pour in molten metal. This is how dental casting is done.

One method would be to coat the plastic part with curable silicone rubber. Then after cured cut and remove the rubber form, reassemble it and fix that in a case to hold its form; and use it to pour in hot wax to make one of many cores for investment casting.

12 posted on 12/25/2012 12:59:18 AM PST by imardmd1 (An armed society is a polite society -- but dangerous for the fool --)
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To: imardmd1
But someone will soon figure out how to beef up the lower so it will withstand more firings.

Or you could make the part out of stainless steel the way jet engine turbine blades were made back in my day. I think maybe hand-gun parts are already being made by this form of investment casting, perhaps.

13 posted on 12/25/2012 1:08:07 AM PST by imardmd1 (An armed society is a polite society -- but dangerous for the fool --)
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To: Mastador1
A .22 conversion barrel and assembly might last longer.

14 posted on 12/25/2012 1:25:15 AM PST by MaxMax (Gun free zones was the invitation to gun bans)
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To: marktwain

“Recently, a 3D printed AR-15 lower receiver made of fused plastic filament was demonstrated to fire and cycle six times before breaking.”

And they call them “assault rifles”? High tech garbage.


15 posted on 12/25/2012 4:33:49 AM PST by gotribe
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I considered that possibility. Lost wax produces very accurate copies.


16 posted on 12/25/2012 5:32:06 AM PST by marktwain
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To: publius911; All

Printing workable magazines is much easier.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2971732/posts


17 posted on 12/25/2012 5:35:06 AM PST by marktwain
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To: publius911

Something that did these consumer-CAM molds in “loseable” wax would be more useful than something that did them in a thermosetting plastic.


18 posted on 12/25/2012 5:41:47 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: marktwain
It is legal to do so for personal use (at least under US law), but until lately the required tools, time, and talent put the project beyond the reach of most casual tinkerers.

So it doesn't bother the government when it's too hard for most people, but they worry when it's easy for people? I didn't know "rights" were skills-based.

19 posted on 12/25/2012 6:04:48 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: TArcher
Does the printer come in a box from ACME?

This is roughly analogous to Wilbur and Orville's first 3 or 4 hundred foot flight at Kitty Hawk.

20 posted on 12/25/2012 8:59:01 AM PST by RobinOfKingston (Democrats--the party of Evil. Republicans--the party of Stupid.)
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To: TArcher
Does the printer come in a box from ACME?

This is roughly analogous to Wilbur and Orville's first 3 or 4 hundred foot flight at Kitty Hawk.

21 posted on 12/25/2012 9:03:56 AM PST by RobinOfKingston (Democrats--the party of Evil. Republicans--the party of Stupid.)
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To: marktwain
Would it be possible to make that out of a melt-able plastic in photo negative reverse? I seem to remember a process known as lost wax molding in which the piece to be cast is molded in a wax compound and then encased in a ceramic. Its then heated to melt off the wax and the ceramic shape used as a mold for casting the object in metals.
22 posted on 12/25/2012 9:45:33 AM PST by nomad
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Yes, see my post. It would be a simple matter of building a retort, obtaining a crucible, and buying the proper metal alloy.Even if it must be cast a bit heavier, like Hi-Point`s line, they work.
23 posted on 12/25/2012 9:50:14 AM PST by nomad
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To: marktwain
Research Hi-Point manufacturing out of Mansfield, Ohio. I believe they cast their major components, very little machining left. Properly thought out, this could be a major, but doable, home project.Something that entails only a fully adjustable, table equipped drill press and hand finishing with a Dremmel tool.
24 posted on 12/25/2012 9:59:02 AM PST by nomad
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To: publius911

Err umm, sorry - I seem to have lost my crucible in an unfortunate boating accident.


25 posted on 12/29/2012 8:56:26 AM PST by TArcher
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