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Gunsmith Uses 3D Printer To Make A Rifle

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Gunsmith Uses 3D Printer To Make A Rifle
[ Technology]

We’ve seen 3D printers being used to make everything from houses to organs. It proves that 3D printers have the potential to democratize how we make everything, for better or worse. Depending on how you feel about the subject, the next 3D printing marvel could be one or the other.

A member from the gun forum AR15 thinks he may have created and successfully tested the first 3D printed firearm. He used a Stratasys 3D printer from the mid-90s to create a .22 pistol. He claims to have fired over 200 rounds from the 3D printed marvel and it still works fine. Here’s what it looks like:

Can't Afford A Gun, Make Your Own With A 3D Printer

After this successful field test, he took it to the next level. He attached a .223 upper to the 3D printed lower. The experiment proved to be a success yet again. This time, however, he ran into some feed and extraction issues with the upper.

Can't Afford A Gun, Make Your Own With A 3D Printer

All of this is to say that you can now print your own gun if you so wish. The blueprints for guns are available on 3D printing resource Web sites now. While this experiment turned out successful, I would suggest that only gunsmith experts only try this. One mistake and the gun could explode in your hand. Plastic isn’t exactly the greatest material to make guns out of and there could be problems.

Despite how you feel about guns, it’s still amazing to see how versatile 3D printers have become. The fact that 3D printers from the 90s can do this is even more amazing. The resources used to make a gun with a 3D printer are probably a fraction of the cost a gun at a sporting goods store would cost.

Gunsmith Uses 3D Printer To Make A Rifle
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  • http://www.frogdice.com Michael Hartman

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    Zach, I am glad you keep writing articles about 3D printing because it is one of the most amazing innovations of the last few decades. It deserves more press.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      I’m honestly surprised that 3D printing doesn’t get more press. The technology has been around for 30+ years and the majority of people still don’t even know it exists. It’s especially sad when you realize that 3D printing has the potential to change everything. There are even some people who speculate 3D printing could end world hunger. The possibilities are limitless and it just gets more exciting all the time.

      • Kev

        You really need to edit your article. You state:

        “All of this is to say that you can now print your own gun if you so wish. The blueprints for guns are available on 3D printing resource Web sites now. While this experiment turned out successful, I would suggest that only gunsmith experts only try this. One mistake and the gun could explode in your hand. Plastic isn’t exactly the greatest material to make guns out of and there could be problems.”

        The chamber is not plastic, the guy took the upper part of a preexisting gun and added a 3d printed lower portion of the gun. While impressive, this is not what you are claiming he did.

        While I don’t expect to see hobbyists printing guns any time soon, (I’d be surprised if it was impossible, plastic guns already exist). What I doubt is that the plastic coming out of the print head of a 3D printer would be suitable for containing the explosion or if it would be smooth enough for a predictable trajectory. But I’m not an expert, don’t take my word at face value.

        Thanks for the article, 3D printing is a fascinating topic.

        • Chris from OZ

          Thanks for clarifying that Kev, that sounds more like it.

  • Robert in Canada

    I’m not surprised that few people know about 3-D printing.

    Most people don’t know much about anything except useless trivial things – Hollywood stars, sports scores, etc.

    They know nothing about things that matter such as how an economy works and what makes their standard of living higher than others.

    And they know nothing about how 3-D printing will impact them and their lives dramatically.

    If 3-D printers appear in sit-coms and cartoon shows, that’s when they will become popular and well known.

    • Shut up Canuck

      Which is why you live in sh@thole like Canada. The place where comedians get arrested for telling jokes, and there is no free speech.

      I hate Canadians.

  • http://haveblue.org Have Blue

    Zach, just a quick nitpick – I did not print the .223 upper (and would be quite hesitant to test a printed upper at this point). The .223 upper is just a DPMS unit.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Thanks for clearing that up. The forum post made it seem like you also printed the upper. I have made the necessary corrections.

  • Matt

    screw regular guns, I’d love to make paintball guns out of this concept!

  • apipyong

    Impressive dude. Sharing is caring!

  • Al

    He did not print a gun.
    He printed a plastic gun part.

    Here is a picture
    http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.com/renders/ed/fe/f8/df/61/strengthened_AR_lower_preview_card.jpg

  • Matthew

    Zach Walton, you are one kick-ass reporter! Your recent articles here about needles in the eye, 3D printing, cocaine curing, etc. have been fantastic reading for me tonight! thank you so much

  • Stanley

    I don’t consider myself ignorant, but this was the first time I heard about 3D printing. What the what? It sounds like something ‘from the future’. Wikipedia, here I come (and other sources too, of course)

    • http://thingiverse.com John Ecker

      Your head is about to explode. Goto RepRap.org and thingiverse.com to get started.

  • notgnirrad

    There are some critical issues with this article. The headline is deliberately sensationalized and important facts are misrepresented in the body.

    The only thing made on a 3D printer is the lower assembly; i.e. the fire control group, trigger, hammer, etc. Granted that is the part of an AR15 type weapon controlled by BATF as a ‘gun’, but is is not functional as such without the upper assembly. In both test cases the upper was a standard off-the-shelf model as stated by the creator himself in the comments: Have Blue on July 25, 2012 at 10:36pm.

    Please update/retract. This is poor journalism and does not warrant the raves given in certain other comments unless I am missing the /sarcasm tags.

    • Matt

      Even if he only produced the lower assembly, that would also mean he could easily produce the m16 full auto hammer group which otherwise is unavailable to typical consumers…. That’d be more sensational.

      • Ft. Defiance

        Matt that is not quite correct. The bolt needs to be compatible with a full auto sear and trigger assembly. Those bolts are not readily available as they are manufactured for mil spec(auto capable arms)

    • Mike

      the only part that has a serial number is the lower….NOT the fire group (ie trigger hammer seer springs etc). To build your own AR15 only the lower needs a Brady clearance….the rest is like a Barbie doll. You can mix and match the upper and all its wonderful parts as well as put in a different fire group and butt. In the picture the clear mag is likely an after market 22lr mag made for conversions kits (which are all horrible because they lead up the gas tube). In the second picture I see a line just above the trigger that is missing (it appears in the .22lr pic.
      My guess would be that the guy JUST built the lower and used after market for everything else….why not if our point was that one could circumvent the ATF.

  • http://poorarticleaboutfantasticideas... soltani imad

    There are some critical issues with this article. The headline is deliberately sensationalized and important facts are misrepresented in the body.

    The only thing made on a 3D printer is the lower assembly; i.e. the fire control group, trigger, hammer, etc. Granted that is the part of an AR15 type weapon controlled by BATF as a ‘gun’, but is is not functional as such without the upper assembly. In both test cases the upper was a standard off-the-shelf model as stated by the creator himself in the comments: Have Blue on July 25, 2012 at 10:36pm.

    Please update/retract. This is poor journalism and does not warrant the raves given in certain other comments unless I am missing the /sarcasm tags.

    from Ahmad Habash on google+

  • Warren

    Umm that’s not a 22 bullet in the picture it’s a 223 and the mag is for a 223 as well.. so what’s the go?

    • http://rjdempsey.com Ryan Dempsey

      I think the firearm pic with the translucent mag is 22lr. The full sized AR15 below is a 223.

  • http://yahoongoogle yanchulim

    Hi Friends
    Very niece 3d n i like this

  • http://rjdempsey.com Ryan Dempsey

    Guns aren’t rocket surgery. Never were. People have been building guns with all sorts of methods and materials for a long time.

  • Mechatronic

    I’m a product design engineer (ME, EE) and I’ve been using rapid prototyping for the last 15 years. It has made great strides but is still not remotely up to injection molded or machined parts. It’s invaluable for prototypes as well as fit and function issues prior to release for tooling. It is expensive, machine time is at least $60 an hour and you need to know CAD. That part probably took 10 hours of engineering time and 2 1/2 hours of machine time ($1250).

    I agree that the headline is hyped, but the more people that get excited about this technology, vs. the Kardashians for instance, the closer we get to flying cars!

  • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk/ Cartridge James

    Yup, he printed a gun part. I suppose eventually you could end up printing the entire object? The headline “jumped the gun” a little it seems ;) hyuk hyuk