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Anyone for 3D Printed Guns?
Posted: 30 July 2012 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just wait until someone decides to print out their own howitzer.

Get ready. It’s now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of “HaveBlue” (incidentally, “Have Blue” is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.

Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 receiver in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Early testing shows that it works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.

Methinks the lid on Pandora’s Box is just beginning to crack open.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I saw that also. Pretty scary huh?

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Posted: 31 July 2012 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 30 July 2012 10:33 PM

Just wait until someone decides to print out their own howitzer.

Get ready. It’s now possible to print weapons at home.

An amateur gunsmith, operating under the handle of “HaveBlue” (incidentally, “Have Blue” is the codename that was used for the prototype stealth fighter that became the Lockheed F-117), announced recently in online forums that he had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol.

Despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds in testing.

HaveBlue then decided to push the limits of what was possible and use his printer to make an AR-15 rifle. To do this, he downloaded plans for an AR-15 receiver in the Solidworks file format from a site called CNCGunsmith.com. After some small modifications to the design, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Early testing shows that it works, although it still has some minor feed and extraction problems to be worked out.

Methinks the lid on Pandora’s Box is just beginning to crack open.

Homemade firearms are nothing new.

Here is the blog for “HaveBlue"http://technabob.com/blog/2012/07/29/3d-printed-assault-rifle/.

I think the PopSci article took it slightly out of context.

EDIT: I apologize, I posted a dead link to the blog.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Whether this is true or not gun dealers will howl and work to outlaw it. The inventor had better be ready for a lengthy legal battle and copyright infringement suit. And the thought of little Johnny and janey assembling their very own assault rifle is frightening.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 31 July 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow. What a piece of utterly contemptible journalistic hyperbole. HaveBlue did not print a compete AR-15 assault rifle, he printed the lower receiver and mated it to existing rifle parts. This is nothing new and is not a sign of the impending Apocalypse. 3D printers are nowhere near capable of producing complete firearms.

Everyone sit down and get back to work.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You’d have to make every single part out of plastic.  And I doubt any purely plastic gun (or at least any that could be made in a 3D printer) would be able to stand up the the pressures of a CO2 cartridge, let alone gunpowder.  And wouldn’t it be prohibitively expensive to make a gun this way anyhow?  Last I knew, these 3D printers were crazy expensive.

And like Mid said, homemade guns have been around for a long, long time.  You can make them out of plumbing parts and a home chemistry kit or even crap you dig out of your garbage can.  They’re perfectly legal too.  Mostly because the feds realize that making them illegal is a pointless exercise in futility.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Coldheart Tucker - 30 July 2012 10:33 PM

Methinks the lid on Pandora’s Box is just beginning to crack open.

me thinks that happened long along, we are simply reaping the fruits.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dead Monky - 31 July 2012 06:45 AM

You’d have to make every single part out of plastic.  And I doubt any purely plastic gun (or at least any that could be made in a 3D printer) would be able to stand up the the pressures of a CO2 cartridge, let alone gunpowder.  And wouldn’t it be prohibitively expensive to make a gun this way anyhow?  Last I knew, these 3D printers were crazy expensive.

And like Mid said, homemade guns have been around for a long, long time.  You can make them out of plumbing parts and a home chemistry kit or even crap you dig out of your garbage can.  They’re perfectly legal too.  Mostly because the feds realize that making them illegal is a pointless exercise in futility.

You can buy a 3D printer for less than a grand these days.  It only prints in plastic, but they work quite well from what I understand.  Ones that print in metal are still hugely expensive, but the prices are falling fast.  Its only a matter of time before they hit prices low enough for the average person.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Someday someone will print a Lamborghini or some oversized SUV in his living room and assemble that thing somewhere else, but i think it will onyl possible to drive these things in some rural areas with only a few piolice officers…

“Sir, did you pirate-copy that Mercedes?

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Posted: 31 July 2012 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Wow. What a piece of utterly contemptible journalistic hyperbole. HaveBlue did not print a compete AR-15 assault rifle, he printed the lower receiver and mated it to existing rifle parts. This is nothing new and is not a sign of the impending Apocalypse. 3D printers are nowhere near capable of producing complete firearms.

Everyone sit down and get back to work.

I thought this sounded hinky when I first read it. Although zip guns have been around forever and yes you can make them out of just about any metal. In my younger, stupider days my friends and I made a cannon from steel pipe and an end cap. I won” t go into any further details but suffice it to say, it worked. I’ve heard of plastic being used by terrorists to sneak them past the security guards at airports but beyond that I don’t see how plastic would hold up to the pressure created by black powder. Smokeless is out entirely. BTW our school is considering purchasing one of the machines and I’ve seen a modeled demoed for us. 3D parts were programmed into the machine to replicate walls etc. for a model house. Very interesting.  Oh well, back to work!


Cap’t jack

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Posted: 31 July 2012 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This thing is the real deal (3D printing) and it will change everything.

Remember the “desktop publishing” revolution? In the span of less than a decade during the 80’s, the cost of buying the equipment to create professional camera-ready copy for the printer went from six figures to less than a grand. I know—I was in the newspaper business during that time. Small town newspaper publishers with fortunes invested were put out of business by kids with a desktop computer, laser printer, and some paste-up supplies. I saw it happen more than once.

The same thing is coming with 3D printers, only it will be more disruptive by orders of magnitude as pretty much every industry will be affected. In our lifetimes, there will be “open source” markets for tangible products. Patents will be virtually worthless as they will be unenforceable. (How do you like my rounded corners, Apple?) Like the desktop publishing revolution and the much more disruptive Internet revolution that came on the heels of it, it is at this point impossible to predict all of the outcomes. But I can envision a future where traditional manufacturing becomes a footnote to history.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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The 3D printers are prototyping machines, that’s not the same as manufacturing.  The variety of materials in manufacturing are not available for the 3D printer, now.  If the 3D printers are cheap enough, they will bring prototyping home.  Plastic is not as strong as metal, for the same mass and the same shape.

But 3D printing is a good thing.  Imagine printing a replacement for your little broken hinge, a spare key, a foot for your furniture, a case for your cell phone, etc.  The 3D printers will be changing society, for sure.  I don’t think that they print in full color, you’d have to add the color yourself.  You’ll need to have the design (the proper measurements as a computer file) for the prototype.

Plastic being strong enough for a complete, and small portable gun?  I think they would have made that change years ago, if it were possible.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Very interesting. Is 3D printing the first step towards building materials only Replicators (as is Star Trek)?

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Posted: 31 July 2012 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I think the idea of printing plastic AK-47s is great.  That way, the first time the idiot who wanted an automatic firearm loads it with bullets and fires it, it will blow up and damage him/her severely, thus eliminating one more gun nut.  snake

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Posted: 31 July 2012 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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CuthbertJ - 31 July 2012 12:07 PM

Very interesting. Is 3D printing the first step towards building materials only Replicators (as is Star Trek)?

Yes.  Besides plastic, they can print metal medical implants (as well as other metal objects).  There are at least three DIY versions of plastic 3D printers that I know of: MakerBot, RepRap, and Fab @ Home, all of which can be had for less than a grand (or so).  The DIY site instructables has lots of plans for how to build your own.

Shapeways is a company that prints metal objects and their prices are so low that many artists are now using them to make objects designed by the artist that the artist can sell (some items cost well below $100) for a profit.

There are even food printers.  I can’t find a link to it, but there’s a fancy restaurant in Chicago where not only are portions of the meals printed out, but the menu is printed on edible paper that customers eat once they’ve made their selections for the evening.  There’s also the Burrit0bot.

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Posted: 01 August 2012 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 31 July 2012 11:55 AM

The 3D printers are prototyping machines, that’s not the same as manufacturing.  The variety of materials in manufacturing are not available for the 3D printer, now.  If the 3D printers are cheap enough, they will bring prototyping home.  Plastic is not as strong as metal, for the same mass and the same shape.

Yes… for now. Theoretically, there is virtually nothing that can’t be made this way. Once the technology is sufficiently advanced, we will be printing everything.

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