3D-Printable Gun Project Runs into Trouble
A .22 pistol assembled using a 3D-printed receiver part.
A 3D printing project aimed at making the world's first fully 3D-printable gun has run into trouble, but not with the law. Not yet.
The Wiki Weapon project based in Texas lost its uPrint SE 3D printer after Stratasys, the maker of the 3D printer, got spooked and took back its equipment, according to New Scientist. Stratasys lawyers told Cody Wilson, the law student at the University of Texas at Austin and head of Wiki Weapon, that he lacked a federal firearms manufacturer's license to carry out his plans for making a digital gun blueprint, building several plastic prototypes and refining the gun design for manufacture on relatively low-cost 3D printers.
Gun enthusiasts have tinkered with making 3D-printed parts of guns before, but the Wiki Weapon project's goal of making a fully plastic, 3D-printable gun would have represented a new and unprecedented step — as well as possibly a nightmare for law enforcement to oversee existing gun regulations. But the Wiki Weapon goal was seen as technically impossible given the limits of 3D printer plastics in containing the gunpowder combustion of a gun firing.
Given the latest move by Stratasys, it appears that the Wiki Weapon team will also have to find a different 3D printer manufacturer or make their own printer based on open-source designs to move forward.
Source: New Scientist