The very first fully 3D printed gun – The Liberator – is now out on the Internet despite the State Department having the original files removed. So naturally, people are going to start making their own variations of the 3D printed handgun to improve its efficiency.
Forbes’ Andy Greenberg reports that a Wisconsin engineer going by the name of “Joe” has created his own 3D printed gun called the Lulz Liberator. The name comes from the 3D printer it was made with – the $1,725 Lulzbot. One plastic barrel survived eight shots, and they were able to fire off one more from a new barrel before nightfall.
Here’s a short video showing the test firing:
What makes this particular model more interesting is that it was printed on a hobbyist 3D printer. The original Liberator from Defense Distributed was printed on an $8,000 industrial 3D printer. The eventual goal of The Liberator project was to make it possible for hobbyists to print their own guns, but it seems that “Joe” was able to beat them to the punch.
Of course, there are some differences between the Lulz Liberator and The Liberator that must be taken into account. For starters, the Lulz Liberator uses metal screws to hold the gun together instead of the plastic pins found in the original Liberator. That could explain the stability, but Joe has another idea in mind – the plastic he used is just better. He claims that the generic ABS plastic used in hobbyist 3D printers is stronger than the official name brand ABS plastic used in industrial Stratasys printers.
Whatever the case may be, “Joe” is continuing work on something that makes a lot of people feel very uncomfortable. He’s not the only one either. Over 100,000 people downloaded the original Liberator CAD files and even more are accessing it on sites like The Pirate Bay. These people are already more than happy to share their handiwork with the world.