The world’s first 3D-printed gun

3D-printed AR-15-based .22 pistol

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An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, user HaveBlue from the AR-15 forum, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear.

HaveBlue’s custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal.

The lower receiver was created using a fairly old school Stratasys 3D printer, using a normal plastic resin. HaveBlue estimates that it cost around $30 of resin to create the lower receiver, but “Makerbots and the other low cost printers exploding onto the market would bring the cost down to perhaps $10.” Commercial, off-the-shelf assault rifle lower receivers are a lot more expensive. If you want to print your own AR-15 lower receiver, HaveBlue has uploaded the schematic to Thingiverse.

HaveBlue tried to use the same lower receiver to make a full-blown .223 AR-15/M16 rifle, but it didn’t work. Funnily enough, he thinks the off-the-shelf parts are causing issues, rather than the 3D-printed part.

3D-printed AR-15 lower receiver

While this pistol obviously wasn’t created from scratch using a 3D printer, the interesting thing is that the lower receiver — in a legal sense at least — is what actually constitutes a firearm. Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part.

In short, this means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun. What a chilling thought.

But hey, that’s the ambivalent nature of technology, the great enabler. In just the last few months, 3D printers have also been used to print organs, blood vessels, and drugs. In a few more years, when 3D printers move beyond plastic resins, who knows what we’ll be able to print.

Read: What is 3D printing?


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  • VirtualMark

    Interesting and a bit scary. Theory is, we’ll enter an age of abundance once we can print anything. You’ll be able to download a tv, a pair of shoes etc, anything you want. I look forward to this time!

    The worrying side – a black market where you can get data files for poisons, bombs, guns, missiles etc. Print them off at home, any maniac can become a serious threat.

    • Phil Fot

       You should be more worried about keeping your own freedom than about what the other guy is doing.

      • VirtualMark

        What are you talking about?

        • Marc Forrester

          Possibly he’s talking about control or prohibition of home manufacturing technologies, and the likelihood of that destroying a dozen innocent lives for each crime it prevents.

      • rickcain2320

        I’m sure your .223 peashooter will defend you against Obama’s M1 tanks and F15 strike eagle attack bombers.

        • Chris

           The guys driving those tanks and flying those planes have to eat and sxxx sometime.  They have to be refueled.  They will need to get some R&R or go back home to visit mama and the wife.   So that .223 (basically the same round as our troops use) will come in pretty handy.

          • IceBeam

             You crackpots need to take responsibility for running your own (democratic *) country instead of hiding in your basement fapping over your guns.

            (* The first one to say “we are a republic not a democracy” should be ashamed of his ignorance and then get the hell back to school and learn something)

          • Papa Ray

            No, not school because they think the U.S.A. is a democracy. That is why you do. You were lied to.

            The U.S.A. is a Constitutional Republic. Some say that it
            is a Representative Republic.
            But it sure is not a Democratic Democracy. If it was it would be ruled by only the majority.

            That would be interesting now wouldn’t it?

          • Adrienne White

            We’re a constitutional republic so that minority groups won’t be be subject to the tyranny of the masses. It doesn’t always work (as in the case of same sex marriage), but it’s better than a situation where sheer numbers can be used to violate the rights and protections of certain types of people. For instance, in a straight democracy, all the brown eyed people could get together and vote away the property right protection of all the blue eyed people. 

          • Charles Mananes

            You’ve probably got the most simplest and most logical argument.

          • David Powell

            Not to mention that not all soldiers and police, far from it, would o along with such illegal orders as some posters are mentioning. So it wouldn’ be all the military and police vs. the people.

          • Bales33

            I disagree. From the very start we have been ruled by a small group in revolutionary america it was the white land owner of what they would call wealthy. Now wealth appear’s to be the only trait they share but regardless a government ruled by a small group of people who pass the power between themselves is an oligarchy. 

            Kinda like one  of history’s most famous democracy/oligarchy greece. Almost all started out has a democracy but in time they would become oligarchy’s due to the actions of those in power. Athen’s on the other hand made it so that these job’s were filled by random like are jury’s, hell they even randomly picked their judges. I mean I’m not saying we should do that in america, but it just goes to show that it’s easier for a democracy to become an oligarchy then to remain a democracy. 

          • glad2bout

            Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo. That’s you Papa Ray. How’s that for interesting.

          • Tyler Jordan

            Maybe you should notice the number of likes on the comments of those persons you are referring to as ‘crackpots’ – we are the majority – so, it is you and your ilk who are the crackpots.

          • glad2bout

            Tyler, no one said you are the only screwball out there. Rest assured there are far more sane and rational people who respect our country’s laws than the relatively few anarchists like you.

          • glad2bout

            You are one sick dud. Hey, you know what, what goes around comes around and hopefully you’ll get yours too and soon. The world will be better off without people like you in it.

        • Phil Fot

          If Obama starts rolling tanks in America’s streets, there would be a general uprising. This isn’t 1920. The first cellphone picture, the first posts to reddit, to the news networks, the first phone call outside the area, the first ham radio operator who tells a friend in another part of the country, that will mark the end of America.

          There are enough disgruntled veterans to take on the few troops who might be willing to shoot other Americans. There will be burned out M-1s in the streets. You don’t even want to consider how bad a civil war would become. You see, any attempt to use troops within our borders makes it a case of “us” (the entire civilian populace) against “them” (any troops who have not deserted). Us will always have no compunction against killing them. But that does not work in reverse. Troops will be more hesitant to fire on civilians.

          I know war. It’s an old a comfortable sweater to me.

          • GatzLoc

             Except they’ve been rolling apcs, and other things through the streets for decades now. Seen the things from the 60’s? They police regularily use heavy tac vehicles to purse ‘drug’ dealers, violence vs non-violence sound familiar?

          • Difdi

            APCs are squishy.  In a civil war, there won’t be any police APCs left inside of a month.

          • ProPhotog01

             Obama Rolling tanks…….are you as crazy as you sound??? I mean seriously dude…does Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have that brainwashed and scared…???

          • Phil Fot

             You need to read some American history.

          • Rusl Bicycle

             It isn’t printed on cereal boxes though, Phil.

          • Phil Fot

             That’s okay. He can just ask really old people. about it.

          • Timothy McClure

            Dafuq does that have to do with Obama and tanks?

          • MatTrue

            He’s only crazy if rickcain2320’s “I’m sure your .223 peashooter will defend you against Obama’s M1 tanks and F15 strike eagle attack bombers.” is crazy. Do some research about the 2nd amendment before criticizing others discussing it.

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          • VirtualMark

             Interesting points.

          • Eric Babcock

             Where the fuck have you been mate?  Tanks/Checkpoints are being set up all across America every fucking week!

          • Rusl Bicycle

             “I know war. It’s an old a comfortable sweater to me.”

            Turn off the video games.

          • Phil Fot

             I played a video game before. It was a standalone Asteroids machine that cost a quarter.

            I have enough time in harness to say whatever the hell I want. I have the requisite experience at propping up dictators, overthrowing government, undermining opposition parties, and just plain killing for profit.

          • squirl033

            if a few tens of thousands of camel jockies with AK47’s can fight a hundred thousand troops to a standstill, what would several million armed and very pissed citizens be able to do? between the hunters, the varmint shooters, and the veterans, well, let’s just say i would NOT want to be on the other side! 

          • ash

            But what do you think china will be doing?

        • jhertzli

          Other people, when the topic is anti-terrorist warfare, will claim that “asymmetrical warfare” makes it possible for people with assault weapons
          to stand up to mere tanks and bombs. Maybe you can argue with them.

          • Fredo Lives

            It’s hard to win with asymmetrical warfare.  However, you can often make the price high enough that the other side gives up and goes home (Like what happened in Vietnam and is going to happen in Afghanistan.)

            Or to stop asymmetrical warfare, either you have to get to populous on your side (what the US is trying and failing to do in Afghanistan) or level the place and totally destroy the opposition (Like the Russians did in the Second Chechan War and were in the process of doing in Afghanistan before US started smuggling in Stingers and other weapons.)

          • Phil Fot

             Nicely stated. I’m saddened by the fact that no one remembers the government attacks on the Bonus Army.

            If such a scenario played out today, the outcome would be drastically different..

        • RobTaylor

          The Taliban and insurgents in Iraq seem to do OK with less.

        • Difdi

           And because a .223 rifle is militarily useless, no modern military in the world issues them to its troops…oh, wait…

        • maodeedee

          “I’m sure your .223 peashooter will defend you against Obama’s M1 tanks and F15 strike eagle attack bombers.”

          Wow.You actually look forward to cheering on Dear Leader Obama using M1 tanks and attack bombers agaisnt American citizens tryingto defend themselves?

          Liberals really DO hate this country.

          • glad2bout

            Talk about hate, I think you have that down better than anyone.

        • squirl033

          Obama isn’t Assad. if he so much as suggested using tanks and F-15’s against American cities, he’d be history so fast it’d make his widow’s head spin. besides, how many F-15 pilots do you think would actually obey orders to bomb Los Angeles?? 

      • MuskratMcDougal

        12 people were not worrying about what the other guy was doing when they went to watch a movie last week.

        • John Dee

          And they were totally safe in that “gun-free zone”, weren’t they?

          • MuskratMcDougal

            Tell me what good a gun would have done in a dark theater with smoke bombs and a gunman decked out in full body armor right down to the bulletproof gonad protector?

          • John Dee

             Hit him in the arms and incapacitate him.

            Tell me how you are going to keep arms out of the hands of criminals.

          • WhiteandNerdy

             Exactly. If guns are banned, only outlaws will have guns.
            The only thing that gun control does is take away from
            law-abiding citizens the ability to defend themselves.

          • MatTrue

            I’m pretty sure 2 or 3 shots from a .45 at medium range could knock someone down no matter what body armor they were wearing. Even a much less powerful gun could put a bullet through his skull or just knock the gun out of his hand, giving a few precious seconds for people to escape. I don’t think the smoke would have filled the entire theater fast enough for the gunman to be invisible, as evident by the eye-witness accounts of the orange hair.

            Besides, your defeatist/anti-gun tone could also be an argument to disarm police, or have fewer of them.

          • James O Donnell

            You mean the guy who threw up his hands and surrendered without firing another shot when a cop pointed a gun at him?

      • John Dee
        • glad2bout

          Cross fire shootings, innocent bystanders hit as shots go all over the place, road rage shoot outs, etc. Yeah, arming everyone is the answer. Oh and let’s not forget those with just plain bad judgement in deciding when to use their weapon. In the situation you refer to it was more likely very lucky that the armed man shot only the bad guy.

    • Michael Garrett

       Printing guns? That’s great! But tell me more about this printable TV…

      • smartalix

        3-7 years.

        • Al Kay

          Fifteen at least.

      • rickcain2320

        Can I print out my own Jessica Biel?

        • Brian Kern

          ~19 years, more or less, and you have to work both with a host mother who looks a lot like Ms. Biel, and a geneticist (to ensure a female birth). When you get done raising her, you need to make sure you’re in a location with really permissive laws about incest.

          Otherwise totally do-able with today’s technology. Go for it.

      • Paul

         Printable pizza.  Soon we will be too fat to care.

      • David Powell

        Star Trek replicator for real…..

        • Adrienne White

          More like the matter compilers in The Diamond Age.

    • Dirk

      What, like the already readily available recipes and designs freely available on the web and in published books for bombs and simple home-made firearms?  This just adds a method of construction to what is already out there, yet surprisingly (to people like you) rarely results in harm to anyone.  Granted on occasion harm does occur, but it’s due to criminals who intend to do harm, not due to the inanimate objects they choose to use as weapons.

      Don’t fear the object or the ease of making it, fear the criminal who wants to use it to harm you, and the politician who wants to deny you the ability to defend yourself against the criminal.

      • VirtualMark

        Yeah, i guess things like mass shootings at cinemas and schools don’t happen then. Christ, there’s some stupid responses on this site at times.

        I think you’ve totally missed the point tho – when’s the last time you got hold of uranium or plutonium? With nanotechnology, we should be able to create materials at will. Terrorist groups will be able to mass produce whatever they want given the right information. Sure, it may be easy to make a crappy bomb out of household goods, but what if you have the ability to print off missiles or c4 or whatever weapon is available.

        So it stands to reason that information will become highly valuable and people/organisations will try and protect it. We’ll see a move from material property having value, to intellectual property having the most value.

        • Sebastian Anthony

          Hey, don’t attack ET!

          • VirtualMark

            Attack ET? How so? I’m not knocking the site, merely some of the comments.

          • ProPhotog01

             I agree Bro!!! Its the comment here that are very disturbing.

        • rickcain2320

          Luckily that’s still in the domain of Alchemists.

        • Mason

          The thing is, the cinema and school shootings use off-the-shelf guns. No modification or home construction necessary. Hell, most guns were legally obtained or stolen directly from someone who legally obtained them. Worries about how new technology eases access to weapons seem misplaced given how hilariously easy access is and has been. Rather than a technological hurdle, we need a cultural change and to de-stigmatize mental health issues so that people with depression, schizophrenia, and dissociative episodes don’t fear getting treatment.

          • VirtualMark

            Access to guns is fairly easy by the sounds of it, but access to more advanced weaponry isn’t. Who knows the limits of this sort of tech, could you build a rocket launcher in the future? A nuclear tipped warhead?

            Data would certainly have to be well guarded.

          • Dennis HIll

            Thank God most folks don’t know what is possible with a simple machine shop (not a huge one), some seamless pipe, and some Walmart cleaning supplies.

          • James O Donnell

            They don’t even know what’s possible with just a Home Depot or a Loew’s.

          • Scottlowther

            > could you build a rocket launcher in the future?

            You can do that *now.*

            > A nuclear tipped warhead?

            Not unless you can print plutonium.

          • VirtualMark

             Another person who has missed the point.

          • Scottlowther

            Then help me out. If you have a machine that can print in plastic and certain metals, how do you use it to make a nuclear bomb? Is there a special “cheat code” that will make the printer transmute aluminum powder into plutonium, or ABS plastic into RDX?

            If you are going to live in fear, such as you seem to want to do with regards to someone using a 3D printer to produce rockets and atomic explosives, don’t you think it would be wise to check and see if your fear is based on something more realistic than a SyFy channel movie?

          • VirtualMark

             Todays science fiction is tomorrows science fact. Clearly i’m not talking about tech that’s available now – if you read my post you’ll see i’m talking about future generations of this technology.

            Read up on some theoretical physics, nanotechnology etc. You’ll see that its not just pie in the sky, but a very real prospect. Not if but when.

            I used those weapons as examples, but who knows what people will be able to create.

          • utera

            Worse the hysteria pushers don’t seem to realize the virginia tech shooter managed to double this recent guys kill count with just pistols…

          • VirtualMark

             How many kills would he have got with just a knife?

          • John Dee

             How many with explosives made from off-the-shelf, unregulated  items?

          • James O Donnell

            An unemployed Cuban ex-con managed to kill 87 people in New York with just a dollar’s worth of gasoline and a match.

          • John Dee

             But that would be attacking the illness itself rather than the symptoms.  We can’t have that. That would make too much sense!

        • aebe

          Assembling something from bits of a material only changes the shape of the material.Transmutation is not yet possible,so no making lead from gold or any such foolishness.

                    Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.
                    And help to prevent mass murders.

          • VirtualMark

             I’m well aware its not available yet, but thanks for pointing that out.

            I’ll put money on it that it will be available in the future tho, not if but when.

          • Edward Copeland

            At the moment I know of only 2 things that can make gold. A super nova and a nuke going off. Lets pray that new gold is never made!

        • Fredo Lives

          Virtual Mark:  There is definately some validity to your comments.  However, to play devils advocate here – you are right about plutonium/enriched uranium being hard to get (hard to build a breeder reactor in your basement). Chemical warfare requires some specific chemicals that are annoying (Methylphosphonyl difluoride), but not impossible to get, assuming you are trying to make sarin and not chlorine (household cleaners – mix at your own risk).  Its still not easy to do correctly/efficiently as demonstrated by the Tokyo subway attack’s limited casualities. (LD50 for percutaneous Sarin exposure of 70kg human is 1.68g.  They had ~5kg of Sarin.  Theoretically they could have kill ~3000 people – they killed 13.)

          Bio-warfare agents can probably be created by any intelligent micro-biology/virology grad student with $5-10,000 of equipment that could be easily obtained since it is dual-use.  Of course, the process of weaponizing the bioweapon for optimal delivery tends to be a little more challenging than most people realize, but if one started with an easily spread, highly infectious disease (like small pox or influenza), then getting large numbers of infections particles (of the correct size to optimize delievery to the lung tissue) to each target becomes less important, unlike using anthrax, plus it spreads itself – which can be good or bad, depending on if you want to be able to survive the long-term aftermath or not (Steven King’s The Stand…)

          If nanotechnology ever gets to the point where it could be weaponized, who knows how much infrastructure it would require.  It might require large amounts of very expensive and precise equipment (like Intel producing CPUs) or it might require the technological equivalent of a home printer (MrNanotech – use only as directed in user manual) – its impossible to say where technology will be a decade from now, let alone 50 years.

          And while the average criminal is unlikely to ever use this type of technology (average criminal isn’t smart – if they were, they wouldn’t be criminals, they would be investment bankers – pay is much better, its safer, and the government protects you, even against yourself.)  Its harder to say what criminal organizations would do – we know that Columbian drug lords are building submarines of increasing sophistication to smuggles tons of cocaine at a time into the US. 

          Controlling information is hard and getting harder every day as technology advances and people get more connected.  For you not only need to control the information of the original discovery, but you have to control everyone else recreation/rediscovery of that same information. And due to the perversity of human nature, people will design various type of weapons and put them out of the web just for their own enjoyment, ie the $5000 DIY Cruise Missile (

          • VirtualMark

            Wow – just looked up that $5000 cruise missile, i’m probably on a list somewhere now. It says the NZ government is trying to stop the project. Interesting stuff.

            I agree, we don’t know what level of sophistication these 3d printers will reach. I’d like to think that someday we will be able to manufacture any material but i’d guess that’s a long way off. If it did happen, then we’d enter an age where data could become reality. Someone designs a car – the whole world can print it off. Someone else modifies the car, uploads the changes and people can add to that.

            Yeah the average criminal isn’t smart, but they would still use technology if its readily available. I suppose that’s my main concern, if this sort of thing were to become mainstream then it would put power in everyones hands. I’m sure there’ll be safeguards to try to prevent this.

            Its just pure speculation really, but interesting to think about.

          • SteveW

            Lol Virtual Mark – you so paranoid!

            Come on now – You’re using your imagination and conspiracy generator on a one sided basis!

            If (a big IF) we get to the point where we are working on a level to produce elements (which wouldn’t be nano, but rather QUANTUM printing at that point) we will also be well evolved into the defense side of things.

            Case in point – Force feilds, powered by “nearly” unlimited sources of energy known as anti-matter/matter engines.

            Come on man, if you’re going to get all “sci fi is tomarrow’s reality” you have to understand there will always be offensive and defensive technology. I think given the open source nature of technology right now – we’re going to see some very cool defensive developments to go along with the amazing harnessing of power in offensive developments!

          • VirtualMark

            Yeah i agree there will be counter measures. I was just pointing out that it could theoretically give people the power to create what they want. Having sufficiently advanced technology will mean that the average person will have access to far more.

            I’m not being paranoid or trying to say that we’re heading for some bleak future, just saying a few things worth considering. As you pointed out, there will be more defensive developments – which means there will be a lot of people like me also considering the ramifications of this technology. 

          • William Libbrecht

             Investment banker might not be the best example to use for smart but not criminal.

      • John Dee

        “Don’t fear the object or the ease of making it, fear the criminal who
        wants to use it to harm you, and the politician who wants to deny you
        the ability to defend yourself against the criminal.”


    • cppthis

      All that stuff is already available on the black market though, so all it would really do is shift that illicit fixer power away from crime syndicates towards tech-empowered individuals.

    • utera

      No, this article pointed out one of the few areas where we can print something useful.   The problem of printing complex materials is not at all solved, nothing close to it. Simple single material stuff like this receiver are possible yes, the pundits getting over excited about printing replacing purchases need to get their heads screwed on right…this is great for prototypes and “makers”, printing a ceramic mug isn’t in anyones future in any practical sense, some mass produced version costing a tiny fraction from china just makes far more sense.  This is like someone prognosticating excessively about the potential of cnc machines back in the day, soon everyone can have one…mill their own parts at home!  yea you can…but it doesn’t make any sense for most people regardless.   and yes you can cnc a lower receiver for a gun, out of metal, no need for silly plastic.

      • VirtualMark

         Thanks for pointing that out Captain Obvious. This is a 1st gen printer, i was talking about the future.

        • utera

          And you still aren’t making any sense. Your logic like this, since we have planes, soon we will have flying cars.  You know, we invented flying machines so why not right? its inevitable… nothing is inevitable.   the level of break throughs in science and tech required to make a home affordable device that could print an eye phone are staggering.  

          • VirtualMark

            Maybe not making sense to you, if your imagination really is that limited. We’ve had flying cars for a while now:


            Once we learn to manipulate gravity, expect to see a hell of a lot more flying vehicles. Now we’ve discovered the higgs boson, its only a matter of time.

            I agree, we need a lot of breakthroughs to print an iphone, so what? We have breakthroughs all the time.

          • utera

            Lol citing stupidly impractical compromised designs only makes my point for me.  we’ve had flying cars for a while?  really?  who do you know with one?  you missing the point of this discussion again?

            yea your jump to “once we learn to manipulate gravity”  is exactly the point, each requires such a leap in technology and science that it is silly to even pretend these crude early types will lead to anything.  

            Its like saying the space shuttle just needs a warp drive and then its gonna be awesome…..

          • VirtualMark

            “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein.

            Seriously, go away now. I have no interest in discussing anything with negative boring people. Read some books on theoretical physics, nanotechnology, then come back once you understand.

            If we’d had more people like you in history, we’d just be discovering the wheel. This is 3d printing in its infancy, and already we can print multiple materials, yet you think it wont get better? Dear god.

  • JamieStanton

    This is quite uncanny as I just blogged about this eventuality yesterday. ( Downloadable guns, or any other physical objects capable of harm, will shift the file-sharing debate to a whole new level. It is about time file sharing advocates take a long hard look at their notoriously ethically neutral stance. 

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      The barrel will not be print capable for a long, long, time.  While one can jig-cut a barrel from things like transmission shafts, commercially, they’re hammer forged on very expensive equipment by a few very select companies.  Printing something with that kind of precision, and that can take repeated impacts of 50-100 PSI is not going to happen this decade.

      • Phil Fot

         You’ll find that you can buy stainless pipe that works just fine for a barrel. The people who may need these aren’t going to be worried about long range accuracy, they’re going to be using them to protect themselves.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          For close range, yes.  There are several standard pipes that will handle .22, .25, 9mm cartridges.

          Meantime, criminals will continue using weapons stolen from 3rd world military arsenals.

          • Phil Fot

            Yeah. And the federal government knows all too well, yet they continue to make gun control laws that overlap and only make it harder for regular people to purchase and own weapons rather than actually getting off their asses and enforcing the existing laws. That’s too much work for them.

          • ProPhotog01

             And for your information, something your Preachers, Limbaugh
            and Hannity forget to mention is that this Administration has
            been as kind to the Gun industry as any!! Look it up yourself
            instead of what other folks are trying to shove into your brain.

          • John Dee

            I looked it up.

            I agree that he had been kind to the industry in terms of defense spending, but he has not been kind to the second amendment.
            Got facts?

          • ProPhotog01

             One of very few who actually “look” stuff up…Kudos!!
            Fact: Which Administration made it easier for Americans to protect themselves in National and State parks?
            That means if you are in the wilderness doing some serious hiking or what-have-you, you can “pack”! This one! Most Conservative Americans have no clue that the Obama Admin helped pass this law. But True non-the-less. So you see my point about all this completely unwarranted fear. While Rush and Co. always criticize Obama for fear mongering and conspiracy theorizing, they are doing all the time and few Cons are questioning it!!! Go figure.

          • Phil Fot

             Government in general enacts new legislation tyhat overlaps existing legislation simply to appear busy.

            Go look that up…

          • John Dee

            The truth behind that statement is a little more nuanced.
            BTW, Rush and Hannity are nothing more than false opposition to me.

            We are screwed no matter who gets in.
            Pick your puppet in November.

          • James O Donnell

            Obama didn’t “make it easier” to carry weapons in the parks, and he most certainly did NOT “help pass” this law.

            It passed over the attempts of the Obama administration to block concealed carry in the National Parks by Executive Order, and was opposed by Obama’s liberal Democrat allies in Congres.  Obama signed the bill containing carry reform IN SPUITE of

          • Phil Fot

             I do not listen to talking heads. I can read and form my opinions, thank you.

        • Jason

          I’m afraid ur very misinformed on the subject. There are many printers coming out right now (many home made). The industrial ones functioning right now not only make some of the strongest metal around but have insane accuracy. They are also avlb for market. They could easily print the entire gun already. People seem to still be very confused when the 3d printer subject comes up; because its almost like magic to many.

          • Phil Fot

             I’m unfamiliar with any metal 3D printers. All I was concerned with was a reliable source of lower receivers. The rest can be run up and stamped or formed sheet metal. I’m looking at supply for the average person, which will undoubtedly be repraps or some variant.

          • eddieVroom

             As I recall, the NanoTech wet dream is to be able to spray atoms onto some sort of jig or substrate, possibly on a scale that plays more like icy chunks just ready to cool into a solid crystalline metal. We’re talking manipulation and refinement of metals directly into form in this instance. Alternatively, be it plastics or other material, the ability to manufacture the material more or less on the spot, and impose form in the process is in the works.

          • VirtualMark

             My guess is that it’s just a matter of time before this happens!

          • VirtualMark

            Its always been the way, people seem to lack imagination and faith in technological advancements.

            3d printing is in its infancy – i’m sure it’ll make some serious advancements in the next few years.

        • ProPhotog01

           To protect themselves???? Oh yeah that’s right form OBAMA the Terrible and all of “his” tanks and weapons!!! You are the kind of guy I fear more than anything. A Brainwashed, Conspiracy laden Lunatic!!!

          • Phil Fot

             Read some history.

          • James O Donnell

            Project your phobias much?

          • Yooser

             ProPhotog, up until that last outburst, I had been giving you the benefit of the doubt. As someone who stated recently that few people bother to look up the facts, your credibility has now been severely compromised. I am ashamed for you.

      • Donald

        Chamber pressure of a 22 LR round is around 20,000 PSI.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          Yes, I was speaking of bigger cartridges.  You can’t expect this not to eventually be used for receivers for heavier guns.  I expect it to replace MIM for some applications.

          • James O Donnell

            I would think it would be used for lost-wax casting in the very near future.  LWC is already in widespread use in the firearms manufacturing world — most of Ruger’s products, for example — and 3D printing using a wax would be ideal for prototyping and small production runs.

      • rickcain2320

        Well you may not be able to make a GREAT gun but you can make a functional one.   I’ve seen pictures of Dominican militia holding pistols made of bent tin out of local materials.  I’m amazed those things even work.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          Yeah, but they ain’t using 3D printers.  And anyone here who wants one can make one easily enough in a machine shop or a garage.

        • Phil Fot

          If you look, you can find the plans for a Sten gun. My late employer helped build them in Palestine in 1947. About the hardest part to make are the springs. The most time consuming is all of the filing if you don’t have access to a milling machine.

      • James O Donnell

        An unrifled barrel made out of off-the-shelf seamless steel tubing, with a chamber cut by an off-the-shelf drill bit, is certainly feasible for basement or garage workshop builders.  There are drills that are nearly perfect matches for the .22 LR and .38 Special cartridges.

        Wouldn’t be very accurate, but good enough for 50m or less.

    • james szewczyk

      The problem people seem to want to gloss over is that guns don’t kill people. People use tools such as guns to kill other people. a gun is an ethically neutral thing. It can be used for good: gathering food for your family, protecting yourself of others from serious harm etc, Or it can be used for evil things, such as the tragedy in CO. It is no different from Fuel oil and fertilizer. both have good uses (heating a home, and crop yield separately, mining when combined) and can also be used for evil things, such as the Oklahoma City bombing.  

      • JamieStanton

        In every article I’ve read on 3D printed weapons, nobody seems to aknowledge there is a world outside the United States that is not saturated by firearms. I don’t want local nutters in Edinburgh or Glasgow to be able to print an entire arsenal, thanks very much.

        • VirtualMark

          Well said. I’m glad guns are illegal here – i’d hate to think how it would be if the average person owned one.

          • Scottlowther

            > I’m glad guns are illegal here – i’d hate to think how it would be if the average person owned one.

            The US has very “libertarian” views on crime: we murder each other on an individual basis. Europe, on the other hand, has long had a more “collectivist” view on crime. And at least in this case, the collectivist approach is by far the more efficient system. American criminals, for instance, never set up camps with incinerators and train cars full of victims.

            So… I’ll stick with the inefficient American approach to crime, thanks. It’s vastly less bloody.

          • VirtualMark

             You’re an idiot.

          • Scottlowther

            Thank you for your helpful comment. I hope you didn’t overtax yourself coming up with that.

          • VirtualMark

             If someone shoots you, who gives a shit if its “libertarian” or “collectivist”? Is that the last thought you’ll have as the bullet gets lodged into your skull?

            I think i’ll just stick to technology discussions – i get bored with these unsubstantiated opinions.

          • Scottlowther

            >  If someone shoots you, who gives a shit if its “libertarian” or “collectivist”?

            The point being that you are safer from a violent death where crime is not collectivised.

        • paco

          Yeah, that whole unarmed thing worked out well for most of Europe during WW2… and this:

          “SCOTLAND has some of the highest levels of violent crime in the developed world, but sends fewer people to jail than many developed countries, according to newly released figures.
          The analysis of United Nations figures by think-tank Civitas shows Scotland’s murder rate is the fifth-highest of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, behind Mexico, the United States, Turkey and South Korea.Scotland also has the sixth-highest rate of serious assaults, with 127.5 per 100,000 people, almost four times the rate of 32.2 in England and Wales.”

          • VirtualMark

            Just think how much that’d improve if we gave everyone a gun…

          • rickcain2320

            Do bar fights really count?   Just take away the alcohol….oh wait, Scotland, never mind.

          • JamieStanton

            So your solution is; just let everyone have more guns, and the deep rooted cultural problems will solve themselves? You are dangerously ignorant.

          • John Dee

             That isn’t the solution in its entirety.  However, keeping the ability of self defense out of the hands of the law-abiding is always a step in the wrong direction.

        • MichaelZWilliamson

          I mean, it’s not like anyone has ever killed a bunch of people with a boxcutter.

          I’m thoroughly glad I moved from the UK to where I can own guns.  Though I’d be hard pressed to use more than two at once, despite what some ladies may claim.

        • mfa

          The world has weapons too, but they don’t have a culture of nut cases roaming the streets arming themselves. They is something called responsibility and accountability where weapons permits are given not only by caution but with training.

          Sweden has 1.9 million private guns and firearms (not including “home guard”) with a population of 9 million. Switzerland has 2.5 million guns (and military assault rifles at home) with a population of 7.5 million. There are no yearly incidents of maniacs blowing cinemas, universities, schools and workplaces away.

          • rickcain2320

            Its all about culture.  Japan has the most restrictive laws in the world concerning guns, and it also has the lowest murder rate in the world too.

            On the flip side, guns are illegal in Mexico, and well you know how the crime is there…

          • Kaeto1

            Japan also has laws that allow a police officer to enter a home any time he wants and search for anything that might be out of the norm.  There’s a term for that, it’s called a police state.

            And in Mexico a lot of the criminals in the country are also the police and military.

        • Eric Knudstrup

          Bad people will get weapons no matter what.  The key is that there are more good people than bad people and we need to be able to defend ourselves.

          • JamieStanton

            I wish I lived in a world as childishly simple a yours.

          • J

             Actually, you do.  The world really is the schoolyard, writ large.

          • JamieStanton

            “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

          • James O Donnell

            You live in a nanny-state that imposes more controls on its people every year, yet sees its streets grow ever less safe.

            You tolerate intrusive surveillance cameras, speed cameras, face-recognition software that tracks people from the moment they step out their front door…

            You have given up centuries old civil rights in the name of safety, only to experience more crime than ever before. 

            And we’re the “childishly simple” ones?

        • james szewczyk

          last stats i saw on the UK had an increase in gun violence since the ownership laws became more restrictive. Not that there is any reason to believe there is ANY correlation there. 

           Yes there is a world outside the US. Not that my post had anything to do with being inside or outside the US. Guns are used by repressors of freedom, and people fighting against them. They are not evil they have evil uses. blaming guns on violence is the same as blaming cars for laziness, or sugar for making us fat.

          So you can manage to sleep tonight, they can’t print an arsenal of AR’s. the lower receiver is the least stressed part of that entire system short of the front handguard. you cant print most of the parts, and probably wouldn’t. They are highly complex tight tolerance machines. The maximum pressure in the system is 33000 psi good luck containing that. This thing was a milestone because it was the first tested printed “gun” by US definition (the lower receiver is the registered serialized part of the AR 15/m16 platform) Plans have existed for years to mill your own either from a single piece of metal, with a CNC mill or from multiple pieces bolted together which can be fabricated on a normal mill. This isn’t the first home made gun by a long shot, and isn’t even the first home made AR. It also isn’t the first plastic receiver, that was one that was CNC machined. 

           If you want to worry about someone making an arsenal restrict information on the British sten gun. That fully automatic smg’s largest part is often said to be an old bed spring. they served the British well durring WW2 if i am remembering my history well, and could be made by almost any metal or wood working shop. 

        • BrianHatesYou

           Uh oh. Stop the technology train guys. Jamie doesn’t want your 3D printed weapons in Scotland.
          Sorry Jamie. The train has left the station. If it can be done it will be done. The question is by whom.
          How about this: If Scotland doesn’t want this tech, ban it. If you can ban prop guns and require permits for BB guns, putting a lid on this should be no problem. Do not fear. Your nanny state will protect you.

          • JamieStanton

            I didn’t say stop the technology, I said we need to think twice about how we use it, and the ethics of allowing unlicensed guns to proliferate our society without thinking through the 
            consequences. Nuclear fission can be used to power cities or destroy them. 

            As I argued in the blog, there is not technological way to stop file sharing, and the government is not up to the task of regulating. We need to think, collectively, as a global society, the ethics of lowering the barrier to access to guns. Currently, the debate is framed by pro-gun advocates in a society already swamped with firearms, and people so enthused with the technology that they don’t see how it is clouding their judgement. 

            I am not advocating “banning” but I am advocating individual responsibility to think about the consequences of our actions. 

          • BrianHatesYou

             I’m not sure you can count on “local nutters” to exercise individual responsibility and think about consequences. If they have access to this technology, they will use it. If they use it, you will wish you had too. This only bolsters the gun rights argument.
            The only way to stop this is to ban it. File-sharing is going to happen, regardless of my stance on the issue. If there is an internet, people will share files on it. People with access to this technology will, at some point, have the ability to manufacture their own guns. You may want to consider arming yourself.

          • John Dee

            So enthused that they have had their judgement clouded, eh?
            What about those who are hysterically afraid of firearms? 

            I’m sure their sense of judgement is crystal clear.

        • James O Donnell

          Yawn.  Scotland has plenty of criminals who have no problems at present getting their hands on guns or knives illegally.

          Maybe you should try focusing on the individuals who are using weapons to commit illegal acts that cause actual harm to innocent people.

          Or have you turned all your steak knives in to the police because you might run amok and start stabbing people?

      • VirtualMark

        What are guns made for? ONE thing – to kill. End of story. 

        • Donald

          Initially, yes.  But now you have a whole target shooting industry.

          • rickcain2320

            Because if we don’t shoot those targets, who will???

        • rickcain2320

          In Hollywood, guns are plot devices.

        • James O Donnell

          So what?

          Some things — and people — NEED killing.

          And many others NEED to be threatened with death to restrain their behaviors.

      • rickcain2320

        This will be more of a copyright problem, as license holders will do their best to punish those who replicate licensed hardware via computer.

        • james szewczyk

          Depends, I cannot speak for the entire world, but things like this in the US fall into patent territory, 20 years max protection against copying. not to mention that since the firearm in question is US military it is in the public domain. only copyright issues are if you stamp the part with someone else’s logo. 

          • James O Donnell

            The AR in particular is long out of patent protection and is being made by dozens of companies, large and small.

            Colt still owns the “AR-15″ trademark, so if you want a “real” AR-15 it will come from Colt, but you can get a physically and functionally identical lower with a different name and no little pony stamped on the side.

    • Whistle in the Dell

      It is still a heckuva lot easier for me to pick up a rock and knock your head in than go through the trouble of 3-D printing a gun using technology that does not exist yet.  Additionally, WTF does file-sharing have to do with this at all?  Lastly, your blog sucks.

      • JamieStanton

        Okay, three points. 

        1. The technology does exist – that was the point of the article. After that is is a question of ubiquity. How long until everyone has one? I suspect sooner than you think. Then, what is the *future* of this technology? What will it mature into? 

        2. It killing someone with a rock adequate why did we invent guns at all? The technology opens the possibility of localised arms races of unlicensed weapons, greater in scale that anything that yet exists. 

        3. If you’d read my blog – which you must have of course to know it sucks – you’d have seen that the Pirate Bay have a section for downloading models used in 3D printing. They call them “Physibles”. If you read the above article, you’d know people can share model files on Thingverse. The two issues are intimately related, and if you had stopped to think about it for even a moment. 

        • VirtualMark

          You’re one of the few people in this discussion who has the intelligence to understand this fully. I appreciated your blog, as its based upon current research and progress.
          The first thing i do when i find out about a new tech, is think about the future possibilities it brings – it seems that a lot of people lack the foresight to do this and just dismiss the ideas as wacky or state the obvious that the future doesn’t exist yet.
          I think Michio Kaku has discussed this subject in the past, i can’t remember which program as i’ve watched a ton of his stuff.

          • James O Donnell

            One statist tool blowing another statist tool.

    • Brian Kern

      I took a look, but I was already morally and ethically comfortable with my position on filesharing. Knowledge from an anatomy text can be used for evil just as surely as the plans for a lower reciever could.

  • Dick Fardos

    This is absolutely awesome.   The ability for any person to be able to print their own lower is excellent.   

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    It’s perfectly legal to make your own gun as long as you’re not a prohibited person.  AR receivers have been made of wood, plastic, bolted metal plates, etc.  Or you can just buy one for $60.

    • Mister_Jim

      If you know where to buy some at $60.00 each I’ll take all they have and give you $10.00 each for a finder’s fee.

  • Korgoth

    Look at the bright side now crazy anarchists will be printing gun parts in the future instead of building bombs.

    • J

      Given the choice between the two, I’d agree.  We might ask some of our British members here how many times the IRA used  guns instead of explosives to commit their atrocities on the British mainland.  You’ll find guns didn’t figure much.  You can best defend against a gun attack with your own gun.  But there’s no defense against a bomb.  Facing a gun gives you a chance, especially when you can project that same force back.

  • Phil Fot

    Thankfully, these models have been widely distributed and archived against future need.

  • john

    Gun licenses? What are those?

  • CalinB

    Ooh, ooh…so scary!  Just think how scared the author would be to learn that, with that pesky Second Amendment and all, people don’t need licenses to lawfully bear arms in most places in the United States of America.  They don’t need a license to make them either.   Millions and millions of guns are everywhere, though the timid and fearful half of the population is rarely aware of them and only become aware of them via the dramas that are spun on TV after a mass shooting is committed by the very rare psycho killer.   

    Laws cannot possibly keep someone (even a psycho) from acquiring a gun (or other deadly weapon), if they really want one.  Laws only change who possesses guns lawfully and who possesses guns unlawfully.   When guns are confiscated, only law-breakers will have guns, but there will still be millions and millions of them in the hands of “We The People”, just like there are now.It’s fairly easy (and lawful) to build a gun for personal use, even without 3-D printing.  A person who cannot lawfully own a firearm would most likely still find it easier and more practical to acquire a  gun than to print one.

    • rickcain2320

      Gun laws are actually meaningless in an oppressive government situation.   Look at Syria for example.

      • Fredo Lives

        I assume you actually mean civilian gun possession is meaningless with a oppressive government situation.

        Of course, Syrian civilians had 3.9 guns/100 people while the US has 88 guns/100 people, so I don’t think your example actually works – it actually shows that a disarmed populous is easy to control/kill.  An AK-47 won’t help you against a tank or a fighter jet, but it sure can make life difficult for the infantry. 

        Try reading about the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt during WW2 and how much the Jewish inhabitants were able to accomplish with so few firearms.  Then consider what it would be like trying to do the same thing in the US.

        • James O Donnell

          An AK-47 is quite effective against a tank or fighter jet.

          It can’t shoot through armor or shoot down a jet moving at 700+ miles per hour.  But it can certainly kill the crew when they’re out of their steel cocoon, or the pilot while he’s being driven to the airfield.  Not to mention kill the crew of the fuel trucks that keep the tanks and jets in action, and kill the maintenance troops who keep them running, the ammo crew who provides the ammunition to the flight line, the supply truck drivers who bring the ammo, spare parts, fuel and food to the base…

          If tanks and jets could control a country, we wouldn’t have spent 8 years in Iraq and be in our 11th year in Afghanistan.  And I would not have attended as many memorial services and funerals for fallen brothers as I have since 2003.

          • Josh Dirtyjax Kimerling

            “And I would not have attended as many memorial services and funerals for fallen brothers as I have since 2003.” damn.. that last sentence says it all.

          • madsatyrist

            We had control of Iraq, we gave it to a government that wasn’t worth spit so they lost control and we had to take it back, which is always harder the second time, especially when you are trying to make a bunch of circus clowns look like a government coequal to the US. Afghanistan is much the same, trying to get the circus to act sensible for a few weeks, long enough to distance ourselves from the inevitable massacre that will follow us actually pulling out. Not really much different from Vietnam in the end, if you think about it. WE didn’t fail, the locals failed at governing and protecting themselves. This notion that we just sail in an back out in a few years flat out doesn’t work. Anyhow, guns weren’t the weapon of choice for the jihadists, it’s suicide bombers and car bombs and truck bombs along with whatever rockets Iran will send over. And it’s not fun when you’ve seen them zip by your face so close you can separate the smoke trails. 30 or 40 yards is WAY too close.

          • Jeremiah Nunes Johnson

            thats right kill the pogs that make the logistical beast move.

        • Jason Dotson

          I think you need to actually learn the definition of what a civilian is and then what a citizen is, finally contrasting and comparing.

    • aebe

       Hello.Yes you can build your own gun,or put one together from storebought parts.You do need to register it’s serial number with the BATF,though.Laws do change,and I do believe that they are different for black powder guns.

                      Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.

      • James O Donnell

        There is no federal requirement to “register” a home-made gun, so long as it is an ordinary Title I firearm such as an AR15 copy with a barrel at least 16″ long.

        You don’t even need to put a serial number on it.

      • Strelock

        The only time you would need to register it or even put a serial number on it is if you were to sell it to someone else.

        • Anon

          I think Commiefornia has its own state level registration, even for homemade guns that aren’t transferred. But in a free state, there’s no federal registration for guns made for personal use and not to be sold or transferred.

        • Anon

          I think Commiefornia has its own state level registration, even for homemade guns that aren’t transferred. But in a free state, there’s no federal registration for guns made for personal use and not to be sold or transferred.

  • james szewczyk

    Assault Rifle is normally defined as something that would be classed a Machine gun in the USA. This is not an Assault Rifle. It lacks the needed hole to accept the Auto sear necessary for full, or semi auto fire. It is what lawmakers in 1994 decided to call an “Assault weapon”. AKA something that was semi auto, but the look scared them. That is why the misguided law they passed in 1994 was titled the Assault Weapons Ban. Assault Rifles were already heavily controlled since 1937, and no new ones have been available for civilian ownership since 1986. Assault Weapon was developed as a scare tactic, and Assault rifle is an inappropriate moniker to begin with, for several reasons, including that the pictured is a pistol.  

    • Sebastian Anthony

      Thanks for the info — and thanks for commenting :)

    • rickcain2320

      Not all military battle rifles deployed have full auto capability, such as the M-14 and the FN-FAL.  Its really an option thats specified in the contract, not many armies actually want a full auto assault rifle.

      • james szewczyk

        The M14 hasn’t been deployed to general troops since Vietnam in the US, and I don’t know of any other military that adopted it from my knowledge (if i am wrong would be nice to learn) It has been deployed as a designated marksman rifle, with it’s original selective fire mechanism removed. As originally Fielded it was selective fire, semi and full auto. the FN FAL was also at least at the beginning selective fire: full and semi auto. Most battle rifles i know of have gone to three round burst, in place of full auto for the main infantry rifle. Conserves ammo and is still effective at suppressing an enemy. By US law burst fire capable devices are still considered machineguns as the definition is partially: “Capable of firing more that one round… with a single pull of the trigger”  

      • Justin Kinser

        FN FALs and M14s are both select fire rifles with full-auto capability.

      • Anon

        Just because the FN-FAL on Call of Duty is semi-auto only, doesn’t mean that all FN-FALs are semi-auto only…..

        • Mojave Green

          I’ve never seen an FAL that wasn’t select fire and I’ve seen more than a few, but the full NATO 7.62 x 51 (.308 cal.) round is a handful on full auto but effective x 2 on semi-auto. The .223 caliber FMJ round the M4 and AR type carbines fire is actually a very juiced up .22 if you want to be technical and it is designed to wound, which it unfortunately does extremely well. From the sick military standpoint (call it what you will but sick is as close as I can come) the ‘logic’ being that one wounded man is as good as ten dead ones, owing to the effect it has on whoever you’re shooting at. Wounded people require manpower to tend to where a dead one can just be left behind. In fact this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a semi only FAL outside of civilian market ones and from experience most that use them in battle conditions choose semi-auto because it’s what works best. ‘Call of Duty’ I take it is a game of some sort? I’ve seen short vid bits of some realistic looking war games with the emphasis on ‘looking’. When real lead fills the air it’s nothing like any ‘game’ you’re ever thought replicated reality. Not even close. To the posters who apparently have been in either Iraq of Afghanistan who thought you had ‘control’ of said countries, take the view from outside and your control was only temporary, ending as soon as you left the scene. Occupation is a crime on so many levels that, if you actually think you had long term ‘control’ of anything, you are sadly mistaken or else seeing the situation from only the sight picture on your rifle/tank/attack chopper or whatever. I oughta just shut up, huh? Probably but I have this thing about killing people for ‘control’ of what’s not yours to control. I’m not of a minority in my view of current situations either.

      • Anon

        Just because the FN-FAL on Call of Duty is semi-auto only, doesn’t mean that all FN-FALs are semi-auto only…..

  • Rahul Gupta

    I wanna print me a Ferrari some day :D

    • rickcain2320

      Think bigger….Anne Hathaway

  • casperi

    ok let me correct you and then give you
    1) The AR-15 isn’t an assault rifle. That classification
    goes to a gun that fires more than one round per trigger pull. Say the M16 is an assault rifle. The AR-15 most differently is not.

    2) Anyone who prints a real weapon without doing the ATF paperwork and background checks first has just created a unregistered firearm which is a felony
    punishable up to 10 years in federal prison and 250.grand fine. There’s no parole for federal crimes.

    3) There is no such thing as a “gun license” in the US for the individual in the manner you are thinking There are for dealer’s There are concealed permits but that’s is something total different.

    4) This is a .22 cal round. Think 10 year-olds round.
    in fact it’s the exact round I learned to shoot from
    when I was 8. It’s almost everyone’s first gun is a

    5) So go, feel free if your not a manufacturer or dont have your ATF paperwork approved print your new plastic AR then enjoy the prison life. word gets around very fast in our community. And no I don’t accept toll calls from your jail at 4 dollars a min.

    • Bill Tobey

      #2 is incorrect. Anyone can make their own firearm without paperwork or registration. You only need a license to manufacture firearms if you are going to sell or distribute them.

      • casperi

        I would disagree it’s the same form you use for.a SBR. Form-1
        doc # 5320.1 , application to make and register a firearm.
        Applies to individual, Corp, Gov entry. this is right off my form 1.

        • paco

          You are wrong.  Stop arguing and do some research.  It is perfectly legal, under federal law, to build your own firearm with no ATF paperwork as long as it is not an NFA item.

        • Crazdmadman

           That only applies to Title II firearms, ie things controlled by the NFA of ’34.

          Title I firearms are not covered by that.

        • Tom Dalton

           You missed the definitions further down the form The definition of “firearm” as it relates to a form-1 :
          c. Firearm. The term “firearm” means: (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 5845(e); (6) a machinegun; (7) a muffler or a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition; and (8) a destructive device.

          To manufacture a title-1 firearm you do not need to file anything to the feds. You may need to for your state of residence, but not the feds.

          From the BATFE website:

          9. May I lawfully make a firearm for my own personal use, provided it is not being made for resale?
          Firearms may be lawfully made by persons who do not hold a manufacturer’s license under the GCA provided they are not for sale or distribution and the maker is not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as set forth in regulations in 27 C.F.R. 478.39. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF. An application to make a machinegun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for the official use of a Federal, State, or local government agency (18 U.S.C. § 922(o),(r); 26 U.S.C. § 5822; 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.39, 479.62, and 479.105).

          • casperi

            That’s what got me was the.the non sporting since .223/556 isn’t
            considered a hunting round but going further down it’s talking about akm’ fals and such. I’m wrong you guys are right, learn something every day. One wonders though since this is just a .22 why did he put a gas tube on it? .22 run off of blow back, kinda puzzling.

          • paco

            yup… no need for a gas tube…

          • Chris

             .223 is quite popular among some small game/predator hunters.

          • rickcain2320

            Why bother, Wal-Mart sells guns.

          • Jeremy Cates

            walmart also sells shit paper……whats your point?

        • James O Donnell

          Wrong. The “firearm” on the Form 1 is a Title II firearm: an SBR, machinegun, sound suppressor, etc.

          No paperwork is required at the federal level for the manufacture of a Title I firearm — ordinary garden-variety rifle, shotgun or handgun — for personal use.

    • Chris

       Illinois does require a gun license for individuals.  Massachusetts might as well, I don’t live close to them so I don’t know for sure.

  • Brent

    Not sure what’s “chilling” about this. Anyone could mill their own lower; it’s still just a matter of effort and access to the required machinery – exactly the same as this gunsmith printed his own. The barrier to entry has been lowered, that’s all.
    I think the “chilling” part for the author is that he just realized that the government’s efforts to control people are being broken by technology, as it always has.

    • J

       You would think he’d support putting power into people’s hands.

    • Todd Junker

      I have a full set of dimensioned blueprints (including GDT) that I made myself with calipers and micrometers from the AR-15 lower I bought years ago. Maybe I should start selling the blueprints. Any interest out there? Drop me an email with “blueprints” in the subject line.

  • Brian

    I just read that an Al Qaeda purchased a 10% stake of Stratasys. ( Looks like they got fed up with the difficulty of procuring stolen weapons from military arsenals.)  I expect they’ll modify the printer to extrude a polymerized gunpowder on one of the heads and make metal-less designs. 

  • Bart Burroughs

    Funnily isn’t a word….

  • rickcain2320

    Considering how many hundreds of thousands of AR-15s are already in private hands, its not that frightening.

    • J

       From what I’ve heard, there’s several million now.  There’d have to be to support all the Black Rifle magazines I see on the newsstand.

  • Joel Detrow

    3D printing of metal in home printers is just around the corner, actually – all it takes is using a light bonding agent (water, for example) to keep a fine metal powder held together long enough to get it into a kiln and baked solid. Not quite as strong as solid metal, but I bet it would be strong enough to make the necessary parts for guns.

    • James O Donnell

      “Lost wax” would be simpler and produce a better end result.

      Print using a meltable wax and then coat with one of the hobbyist-grade castable ceramics on the market.  Melt out the wax and cast aluminum.  Not quite as good as forged aluminum, but more than good enough.

  • Laptop Repair Data

    Excellent Review 

  • Chris

    Afghan goatherds have been building AK-47s over charcoal fired forges for 30 years now.   A Sears hardware department has enough machine tools to enable just about anyone to start making weapons.  This just makes it a little easier.

  • calimenti1212

    interesting.however for the individual wondering about fighting against gov. jet fighters and troops with fully automated weapons stop worrying.i believe this government has weaponry far more advanced than conventional lead bullet firing guns and regular missile and bomb carrying aircraft.unfortunately these highly advanced arms may be used against us in the event of another “civil war” here in the states.this i believe is a reality we actually do live with weather any of us want to admit it or just pretend it is just fantasy.even compounding things worse are “mercenary” forces that may have some of this kind of weaponry and are probably and or could be living right under any of our noses next door or closeby in any given community MAYBE YOUR OWN. i may be way off base but consider the possibility if i”m not.these are for sure different times compared to just 70-100 years ago.a guy (the name escapes me at the moment)said about a couple hundred years back that “TO BE FORE WARNED IS TO BE FORE ARMED”. I believe( this is the future) and this technology is a reality.i/we can only hope to be right with our maker if we see this stuff in the present while still living.

    • we throw pie

      Why do all you sheep believe the armed forces will all turn against the regular joe? Having been a military brat I can tell you this is far from the truth.

  • Matthew Gagliano

    Holy fuck.

  • GatzLoc

    Chilling? What are you, a muppet. A sovereign doesn’t need a license a slave does. Go get a license slave.

    • Obammy_the_Marxist

       Thank you for spiting out exactly what I was thinking. The author has obviously never touched a real gun in his life. Probably didn’t get the little plastic ones as a kid either.  Ooooo too dangerous for little Sebastian to play with. Right. If the shit hits the fan, Sebastian will be one of the first to get popped by the gov’t right off the bat. Twit.
      And for the Scotland twerp, you have guns in your country and you’re too stupid to realize it. They’re everywhere. If you really wanted to get one, go to a pub and ask. Someone will know someone who knows someone…the only chilling part is the ignorance of people thinking the gov’t will “protect” 

      • chase

        “Popped off by the govt” !? Go get a new tinfoil hat. your brains are leaking out.

  • we throw pie

    They hammer out guns BY HAND in the damn hills of Pakistan. This is stupid to worry about.

  • hatori10

    Most of this discussion is moot.  When’s the last time you ran into a geek printing guns?  If a bad guy wants a gun, he’s not going to buy a 3d-frickin-printer and download a recipe.. he’s gonna make a call, head to some bar and BUY the damn thing from his criminal friend/acquiantance.
    Simple and quick AND about 150 bucks.

  • Rob R

    Also, this is only a puny .22 version. There was a guy who built the real version with nothing but hand tools and a Dremel.
    Listen, I’m only saying this to try and dissuade those who read this and suddenly think we need to outlaw anything. Hold your horses. Just remember that anything is possible before you go suggesting we outlaw anything and limiting our freedoms even more.I say this because I want to someday print my own TV.

  • Satariel

    can it print cucumber shaped things?

    • Justin Kinser

      It can print anything you can draw on a computer and convert to an STL file.

    • Josh Dirtyjax Kimerling


  • Farmer Brown

    From the Article:
    “In short, this means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked — could print their own lower receiver and build a complete, off-the-books gun”

    Yeah, I suppose if they wanted to go to ten times the expense and ten times the trouble of just buying one illegally.  I guess really rich super villains could use this method, if the did not just buy directly from the manufacturers using an offshore subsidiary.  In short, no one who wanted to obtain an illegal gun would do this.

  • Luke Bogash

    I’d be really impressed it they could print me a “datable inflatable”.

  • Tom Gibson

    It is perfectly legal to build a firearm at home.  You don’t need to inform any government agency of your intentions or upon completion.  You are required to engrave your name, city/state and a serial number on the firearm before you sell it.

  • Scott Willson

    Misleading at best. If you have no upper, it’s not a gun either.  You can print all the lowers you want, but the upper is still solid metal, and that is where the breech and firing pin are.  Therefore, the best someone could do with only the lower is throw it.  Not very effective, especially when made of plastic!

    • James O Donnell

      Uppers have been made from plastic, steel tubing and aluminum tubing.  One could be easily made from wood.  They are not a highly-stressed part.

      More importantly, they are not a legally restricted part in the US.  Anyone can buy an AR upper receiver without doing any paperwork.

  • brendan hulley

    The lower receiver is the easiest part of an AR-15 to make. It can be done from sheetmetal… the difficult part is the barrel and bolt… the parts that withstand pressure… those have to be heat treated metal or the thing would explode in your hands.. this is pure sensationalism…

    In any case – you can buy similar receivers made in better composite material for $40 now anyway – which is about the cost of your plastic from a 3D printer..

  • Paul

     When 3d printers are outlawed only outlaws will have 3d printers. article is crap. 

  • SgtCedar

    “Without a lower receiver, the gun would not work; thus, the receiver is the actual legally-controlled part.”Fine but without the rest of the parts the gun would not work either. As someone who served in Vietnam and carried a M-16 rifle I know what a disaster making the bolt out of aluminum was. The Army and Colt had to go back to steel.

    Is the law making the receiver the legally controlled part of a weapon obsolete? Obviously because it was passed (whenever that way) before 3D printers were available.

    • usernameorsomething

      The bolt was never made out of aluminum…

  • Kamalu Charlot

    War is a moneymaker and guys running around playing terrorist freedom fighter are exactly what the elite goons want.  Control the money and you control the country.  Shoot all the cops you want the government will just have to borrow from the banks to hire more.  WTF do you think our mercenaries are doing overseas anyway.  Making the world safe for money traders/lenders.  War is a racket.  

  • Steven Davis

    It is a part of a gun 3d printed I hate that this title is being used on multiple sites and WTF people you all really think your making a point having political debates about war on a stupid, silly little blog splerb. GTFO go talk with people in the real world especial you people dam near writing books about it you are the biggest losers of them all you should 3d print a gun to shoot yourselves in the head with!

  • Austin Range

    In many states it’s completely legal to manufacture your own weapons as  long as it is not a registered item under federal law (short barrel shotgun, short barrel rifle, destructive device, “any other weapon”).  If you start to make multiple you better have a serialization system as well otherwise this is completely legal, people have been making “off-the-books” AR’s from partially completed lower recievers with hand tools, under federal law there is no requirement to possess a license to manufacture a non-restricted firearm but state, county, and city laws can restrict it, the only federal restriction come into to play if you ever try selling the gun then you are manufacturing for sale which requires you pay certain taxes.

  • I_Drink_LiberTea

    If everyone could print guns, there will probably be less home invasions.  

    • sarah

      a gun used for “home protect” is more than 20x likely to kill or injury a family member.

      • I_Drink_LiberTea

        I love blanket statistics.

      • John Dee

        Hmmm…how’d you get those figures?

        I could tell you that a car that hasn’t been put into storage is considerably more likely to be used in a vehicular homicide, but that would be disingenuous, wouldn’t it?

      • rapidfx

         Sarah is spreading misinformation. Typical lying uneducated left wing loon.

      • James O Donnell

        Sarah is (mis)quoting Arthur Kellermann’s discredited study, which counted only killing a criminal as a “successful self-defense” use and which included suicides — which made up all but one of the “family member” deaths when arriving at his conclusion.

        In reality, there are hundreds of successful incidents of self-defense with a gun every year.  As many as 2.5 million according to one survey. 

        Very rarely is it necessary to actually kill a criminal attacker, or even fire a shot.  Most criminals are cowards who chose victims they think they can overpower or intimidate.  When a chosen victim resists with a gun, their chance of being harmed drops sharply, and the chance of the crime being completed drops as well.

        Arthur Kellermann was asked what he would do in his own home if a rapist broke in.  “If that were my wife, would I want her to have a .38 Special in her hand?  Yeah.”

      • Yooser

         The statistic you’re referring to is actually 2.7 (two point seven) times.

        It was also proven to be intrinsically flawed. The survey in question compiled in-home fatalities over a three-county area and separated them according to which homes contained firearms and which did not, but made no distinction as to whether those fatalities involved firearms in any way.

  • tv_gadget

    drugs you say? hmm

  • Sabre Ghost

    It’s pretty funny how many people are trying to take this in a different direction.  A guy figured out how to create a lower receiver that works with 3D printing.  That’s great.  People need to grow up and realize it’s not technology or tools themselves that are a problem around the world, it’s the little children that think that firearms are the only solution to be had.

    As far as people having access to create these, is that the most serious issue?  I mean, last I checked the US Gov’t did just hand a stockpile of unregistered and untraceable weapons to Mexican cartels who are known for their nice and polite manners when dealing with people.

    Some people need to get a clue.  Weapons are smuggled across the world all the time.  They’re sold and given away by governments.  In the US we’re (for the most part) limited to semi-automatic weapons which are subjected to so much insane legislation simply because bureaucrats get all of their firearm knowledge from the movies that Hollywood pumps out.

    You guys should be far more worried about what’s going on with automatic weapons being transferred from our Government to known psychopaths responsible for numerous attrocities along the US/Mexico border than whether or not I can step into the next room and print an AR lower receiver for cheaper than the market cost.

    Lastly, if you want to bring in conversations about mass shootings places – well then I think you need to reassess your priorities.  Every time one of these stories hits the news, the first and only response is “that’s horrible, we need more gun control.”  Criminals don’t follow the law.  Control guns more, they go to the black market.  They can’t get a gun… well if they have any intelligence at all they can still build a bomb or grenades.  Hell, a nailgun could be used as a weapon.

    If you want to prevent shootings from taking place, perhaps people should be analyzing and addressing the underlying social issues that set the stage for it.  Not saying that every one is the same, but a lot of them have a lot of startling similarities and yet nobody seems to want to address them.  You can treat symptoms of a disease all you want to, but ultimately when the disease itself is ignored it’s only going to get worse.

    • ssj12

       Gun control kills. Proof is in the pudding no matter if you look at what happened in Colorado, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, or Germany.

      Never blame the object, because if blaming inanimate objects was a logical thing to do, we should be blaming forks and knives for the obesity problems facing the populations many nations around the world instead of poor judgment

    • svartalf

      Your position is all hearts and flowers and presumes an ugly truth isn’t so. 

      Each and every human being is a highly intelligent apex predator built to run their prey to drop dead exhaustion.  There’s a lot of things that come from that.  Warfare and other types of violence, etc. being some of them because there’s not really any other bars on our own population growth other than ourselves- and birth control’s NOT going to be a better answer because it runs counter to even stronger biological impulses.

      Until you find a truly productive outlet for those impulses (and NONE have so far…) and get everyone on the same page (Good luck…) you’re going to have these issues.  And a firearm is merely a tool to protect or use to carry them out.  Banning the tools is a folly because someone will find other ways- we ARE highly intelligent (well, after a fashion…we keep having people delude themselves that we’re “better” and insist on stupid things that just won’t work…ever…).

      • Sabre Ghost

        You assume that I haven’t seen extreme violence up close and personal, and in doing so you are wrong.  The majority of human beings are the exact opposite of what you describe, and if you have ever had to fight in any sort of warfare you would realize this.  Although I’ve been around people who have sawn other’s heads off with a hacksaw simply because they were from another tribe, I stand by my point.  Very few human beings actually have it in them to kill another, and outside of those that are trained and conditioned to do it (such as soldiers), it is generally related to social issues.  Simple fact of the matter though is this, those that have had to kill others often develop PTSD from having to do so.  If you don’t believe me, try talking to war veterans.  I am one, and many of my friends are as well.  Good luck finding out anything differently.

        There are however exceptions, and people can also be desensitized, then convinced to perform certain actions.  That being said, I stand by my statement that people taking these actions is related to underlying social issues.  We wage war for money, for revenge, for control over others, for… [fill in the blank here]. 

        There are, additionally, productive outlets.  If you have the urge to take physical action against another things such as working out or even participating in MMA helps.

        Regardless, I think you both missed the point.  I was responding to all the crying on here about a guy manufacturing a weapon.  The issues that cause weapons to be misused have solutions, but stricter gun control isn’t going to do it.  Stricter gun control is only going to affect those that play by the rules, not those that are breaking them and starting shooting sprees.  The latter obviously doesn’t care about rules, and the simple fact of the matter is that you can obtain firearms outside of legal methods rather easily (case and point the cartels being handed guns as I mentioned).

        On a side note, if you think following through on the urge to shoot someone is a natural thing, then perhaps you should seek some help.  I haven’t had a single firefight since I returned home – and I’m completely fine, and thankful for that.  Being able and willing to do what’s needed is different than wanting to.

  • Honga

    It is currently possible to print with steel, whether it be moulding, deposition, SLS, or full formed solid grade laser processes.

  • John Dee

    This isn’t that scary.  A talented and well equipped machinist has been capable of this sort of thing for years.

    • rapidfx

       Except, this idea means any script kiddie can print firearms.. It doesn’t take any skill.

      • svartalf

        Heh…  The same could be said with a CNC milling machine- which has been around for a while.  One’s an additive printer, the other’s a subtractive one.

        • rapidfx

           Very true. Also, I am not against printers or firearms.

    • ThomasThePaine

      About 150 years. . .

  • newshutz
    • karmashock

      Yeah but I think it’s not really welded. I think it’s more  glued together. Which means it’s more like resin that LOOKS like metal but which can’t take the heat or stress of a cast part.

  • Jim Fath

    It’s very telling that people on this board are arguing about needing guns at home to defend themselves from some sort of government take over or home invasion. You understand that the people in power wish very much that you’ll continue to stay politically in this mindset. Keep worrying about being robbed at home. You hold on to your guns and stay at home. More importantly, stay out of wall street and Washington we’re you’re being robbed every single day of the week by both parties.  It’s sad that everyone is taking the bait.

    • James O Donnell

      It’s sad that you believe people can only do one thing or the other.

    • karmashock

       Jim, exactly how would it be fighting the man to give up our guns?

      How would I as an individual be empowered by accepting stronger gun control?

      Your argument about “that’s what they want you to think” is actually more applicable to the pro gun control lobby then the anti gun control lobby.

      Think about it.

  • James O Donnell

    People have already made functional AR lower receivers from wood and sheet metal.

    Gun control has always been a fantasy that relied on the delusions and wishful thinking of those who know nothing about either guns nor criminals.

  • psoreilly

    The chilling thought is that anyone still believes the fallacy that criminals can’t commit a crime because a law prohibits something.

    If people have a right to bear arms, then they have a right to make them.

  • Steve Smith

    What’s the difference in creating an illegal receiver on a 3D printer or creating an illegal receiver the old fashioned way on a mill?  Last I recall, illegal is illegal no matter what the means to get there.  There are plenty of schematics available via the Internet for whatever kind of illegal activity you’re pursuing.

  • kindredindust

    OOooooo … Do I smell “Replicator” somewhere?

  • Joe

    This article is a complete lie. This AR 15 pistol variant has been around for years, at least a decade or more and commercially sold by several gun manufactures. This is a complete bull shit article with no research having been done.  Must be a liberal who again is trying to scare people with a total lie. Bushtmaster, DPMS, Armalite and many others have this AR15 pistol on their websites and have sold them, like I said above for YEARS. All of these manufactures have been using plastic/composite upper and lower receivers, with many internal plastic parts. There are no plastic barrels, they would all melt when shot. MY GOD, again, complete bullshit, with no purpose.

  • Morten

    It’s not like any law stopped a determined person from having a gun before. Only peaceful law-abiding citizens care about them.

  • Yousuf Ali

    But will it blend?

  • christopher coulter

    just think you can email the plans and i can print the gun here and beat customs and the police    woo hoo power to the people

  • christopher coulter

    mind you it dose not look good fore those countries undercutting us with slave labour when you can print one off and not build a factory at all it looks like brains will win out over greed after all 

  • lmedow

    I can not believe how stupid the people at Extreme Tech are. Firstly, it is illegal to build a lower for an AR from ANYTHING unless you are a Federally licensed manufacturer(for whateve that is worth.  Plastic lowers are not made except for a rimfire 22 model.  If you wanted to start casting , just imagine the costs you would incur.  Never mind the polymer cost.  To provide the strength  for the part, it is commercially made from Aircraft grade aluminum.  And if you want just one or two, you’re better off milling the part. All of the other parts have to be made of steel.

  • herbsthewerd has complete kits to build one out of aluminum. They provide an 80% lower receiver and a jig to finish the machining. The ar15 is $200 and the .308 ar10 is $310. Just mail order all the parts and you’re done.

  • Mark

    Obvious anti-gun overtones in this article. For starters, an AR-15 lower and an M16 lower aren’t the same thing. The receiver pictured is that of a civilian legal AR-15. You can tell because it doesn’t have the pin hole drilled for the sear and the back half of the lower isn’t hollowed out enough for the sear to fit inside it.

    “In short, this means that people without gun licenses — or people who have had their licenses revoked”… because we all know that the people who are spending thousands of dollars on these 3D printers are obviously criminals. Not to mention, most states don’t require a license to own a gun. Concealed carry permits (which are statistically revoked very rarely for any wrong doing) are what is required to carry. This writer clearly doesn’t distinguish between the two and hasn’t done any research on how often concealed carry permits are revoked for law breaking.

    • Sebastian Anthony

      Thanks for taking the time to comment with some insightful info :)

  • Bebee

    Now you need some bullets and that is what the GOV wants to get control of.

  • John Blom

    Any decent machinist can make ANYTHING if you have access to a lathe and a mill. I’m quite sure I could turn out a working firearm machined to what ever ammunition was at hand, and could make the ammunition if I had too. 100 round 12ga. revolver anyone? Double barrel 50bmg?

  • ee mail

    I dunno how people believing in non-violence should react.
    I feel sad that technology is being used for spread of violence & $ex

    • ThomasThePaine

      Won’t be long before they start printing 3D pu$$y. . .

  • steve widdicombe

    Now watch it’s small gas recoil porting cause it to jam just as a brigade of Victors comes to harvest their claymore perimeter and minefield. Should of printed L1A1’s or FN FAL’s. The colt licensed armalites killed more yank grunts than the enemy by jamming; they were shockers. It was the first time in history the US miltitary industrial complex licensed to only one manufacturer influenced by payola and good old boy nepotism; the “conflict of interest conflict” it should have been called. Then we have all the lies Macnamara and LBJ fed us in a war for opium and profit only, while good trusting men bought their hogwash and tactics that would have made Clausawitz vomit. War is a geopoltical venture, you cant fly in kill then fly out; they dragged it out as long as possible intentionally. But when it gets down to it, they can print all the AR 15’s they like,
    the guns dont bug me as much as the bullets its spitting at me, its printing the .223 software that does the dirty work is more to the point, and a .308 will give you an extra 200 yard beat zone perimeter.

  • John D Lamb

    Comments please …..

  • Strelock

    You can already buy all the tooling and the block of aluminum needed to make a lower using your standard drill press at home. Granted printing makes it easier and cheaper to make a lower, but you still need to buy an upper, trigger group, barrel, and stock. Not to mention magazines and ammunition. All together, even looking at “$10″ to print the lower, you would still need to spend about $500-$600 to have a working AR-15.

  • GBSS

    One more tool against tyranny.

  • robthom

    That RULES!!!

    Let alone that he printed it,
    but an M16 pistol!

  • robthom

    That RULES!!!

    Let alone that he printed it,
    but an M16 pistol!

    • ThomasThePaine

      Since he made as a pistol, it’s perfectly legal; as long as he does not put a buttstock on it.

  • David Siepel

    LOL you know you can legally by a CNC machine right? And make the metal receivers Its completely legal as long as dont sell them. The only reason anyone is butthurt over this is that 3-D printers will be cheaper than CNC machines soon, and thats all this is about, we cant let people without vast amounts of money have things!!

    • ThomasThePaine

      Who needs a CNC machine? Any half competent machinist can make just about any part you can imagine on an ordinary Bridgeport. . .

  • Arsenal1Again

    I love getting me a dose of Americans arguing about guns. Absolute classic line -> ” If the shit hits the fan, Sebastian will be one of the first to get popped by the gov’t right off the bat. Twit.” There’s something refreshing about seeing people act like stereotypes. Though I know better because I once had an American friend who dispelled much of what I heard, I do wonder if people like Obammy_the_Marxist is a minority.

  • Alexander Bohl

    OUTDATED ALREADY: prototypes of the next 3d-printer generation are able to reproduce the bullets (or even more destructive objects) directly inside the person you want hurt.

  • BlackKrystal

    Oui enfin, une arme sans munitions, à par faire joujou dans le jardin, ca va pas aller bien loin :)