New 3D Printing Project Aims for Gun Blueprint
A .22 pistol assembled using a 3D-printed receiver part.
3D printers may challenge U.S. gun regulations the coming decade by creating the possibility for a gun factory in every home. The "Wiki Weapon" project aims to make that a reality by creating the digital blueprint for such homemade weapons.
The Wiki Weapon project successfully raised $20,000 to hit its fundraising goal last week — even after crowd-funding website Indiegogo kicked the project off its site. The project's creators, a group of friends organized under the name Defense Distributed, want to create the first fully plastic, printable gun for anyone with a 3D printer to make, according to The Guardian.
Such a plastic gun would probably only fire one shot before failing, and gun makers questioned whether 3D printer plastics could even contain the force of gunpowder explosion for one shot. But the idea of a gun easily made at home by a relatively inexpensive machine will likely raise the hackles of U.S. law enforcement and present a challenge to existing gun regulations if the idea is refined and 3D printer popularity spreads.
3D printing technology has grown more affordable for hobbyists as prices drop from several thousand dollars to just hundreds of dollars on the lowest end. Such machines that can build a wide array of objects layer by layer, as long as they have the digital design and the raw materials.
Gun enthusiasts have already begun building parts of working guns from 3D-printed parts. The Wiki Weapon project would try to carry such intentions to the extreme with a fully printable, working gun — even if it may end up still requiring metal parts or lack the homemade ammunition to go with it.
The Wiki Weapon project is also meant as a symbolic stand for the libertarian ideals embraced by its creators. But if it succeeds or even pushes the idea further along, its impact may go far beyond symbolism.
Source: The Guardian