Fully 3D Printable Guns Waiting on Firearms License
A .22 pistol assembled using a 3D-printed receiver part.
Working plastic guns made by 3D printers could end up in testing by year's end. But the "Wiki Gun" makers must first get government approval of their U.S. federal firearms license before moving ahead with their plans.
The "Wiki Weapon" project created by the organization Defense Distributed aims to create the first working gun made entirely from 3D printed parts, according to The Guardian. 3D printers can create objects from plastic, metal or even food by building them up layer by layer — offering the possibility of turning almost any digital design into a real 3D object.
Some gun experts seem skeptical that a plastic gun could fire more than one shot, if at all, before failing. But the mere possibility of 3D printed guns raises questions about how U.S. law enforcement would enforce gun regulations in a world where anyone with a 3D printer could easily create any type of gun.
Gun enthusiasts have already tested working guns that use 3D printed parts, such as gun receiver component that holds the critical bolt, trigger and magazine parts of a gun. Some of them see advantages in 3D printing because they can easily create replacement parts for worn out or damaged gun components.
But the "Wiki Weapon" project was created by a group of friends — organized under the name Defense Distributed — as more of a personal libertarian statement about what the government should or should not control.
Controversy over the project has already led one 3D printing company, called Stratasys, to withdraw the use of its equipment. The crowd-funding website Indiegogo also froze the Wiki Weapons effort to raise funding through its online portal.
Those early troubles have not stopped Defense Distributed. It received additional support from two Texas companies that have volunteered 3D printing equipment and space for ballistics testing of the guns. Once the federal firearm license is approved, Defense Distributed plans to begin making prototypes based on five gun blueprints submitted by independent designers.
Source: The Guardian