Defense Distributed, recently unveiled a new 3D printed gun magazine and named it "Cuomo". Their video uploaded to Youtube was pulled off as "a violation of YouTube's policy against spams, scams, and commercially deceptive content." But it is restored later in the afternoon.
Defense Distributed wrote an response on its own site, saying "Yes, YouTube removed this video because permissive liberals flagged it as inappropriate. Please steal this and put it everywhere before it is again taken down." YouTube didn't respond to a request for comment.
Defense Distributed isn't the only one working on 3D printed magazine. Threexten Rounder uploaded a video on Feb.11, 2013, a prototype of full-auto 3D-printed 30-round magazine dump, and they call it the FS-30.
However the problem of making homemade guns with 3D printers has become a matter of public concern.
Laws mean little if a determined criminal or a hobbyist teen wants to make plastic guns or extra-high capacity magazines, says Hod Lipson, Cornell University professor of engineering and a pioneer in 3D printing.
"With a homemade 3D printer, you can print a gun using ABS plastic, the same material that LEGOS are made out of. You can even use nylon, and that's pretty tough," he says. "You won't be able to make a sniper rifle with a 3-D printer and it won't shoot 10 rounds a second, but the gun you can make could be dangerous. And a high-capacity magazine is nothing more than a strong plastic box with a spring. It's trivial to print."
Lipson and co-author Melba Kurman just published a new book, "Fabricated: The promise and peril of a machine that can make (almost) anything." The book includes a chapter on "3D printing and the law," which addresses the legal and ethical challenges raised by 3D printed firearms. The book also explores 3D printing's impact on consumer safety, intellectual property, and ethics.
As Lipson and Kurman detail, three-dimensional printers are intended to do the world good. In industry, 3-D printers can make hard-to-find spare parts and complex new devices. Researchers are developing techniques to 3-D print tailored and personalized body parts like heart valves. 3-D printers can even make food.
Lipson explains that on the Internet, there are blueprints and designs available to 3-D print guns. As an engineer, he's seen dubious rogue designs online. "Some designs are not safe," he says. "More than criminals, I am worried about innocent kids making guns and injuring themselves. What happens if the design is faulty or if the plastic was printed at the wrong temperature, rendering the gun weak? When fired, it could blow up in its user's face. All kinds of parameters go into making 3-D objects and when you introduce an explosive such as gunpowder, that's when things can go wrong," Lipson says. The small footprint of new personal-scale manufacturing systems also makes it easier to fabricate firearms more discreetly than before.
Lipson agrees that a more effective gun control solution worth exploring might impose legal limitations on gunpowder rather than gun parts and accessories such as magazines.
Says Lipson: "If I were talking to lawmakers, I would encourage them to address the most basic part of a firearm – the energy source. You must have gunpowder to fire a weapon. The law could regulate the explosives. To fire a bullet, you need high-energy propellant like gunpowder. After all, 3-D printed and arbitrarily shaped plastic firearms are going to be increasingly hard to detect using traditional screening techniques. A high-capacity magazine might look like something else. It may be more effective to control the gunpowder."
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Vidarr wrote at 2/18/2013 10:43:57 PM:
Modern gunpowder is NOT an explosive. The only explosive in a modern cartridge is the primer. Modern gunpowder (also known as smokeless powder) simply burns and generates sufficient pressure to force the bullet out of the cartridge, down the barrel, an out the end of the muzzle. The author may want to actually research something before writing his article.
Bri wrote at 2/15/2013 2:50:42 PM:
Clearly Lipson is a complete idiot as he's never heard of a rail gun, which fires a projectile and does not use gunpowder. And yes, people have built them at home. Bottom line, no matter what you try to legislate in terms of banning access to anything firearm related will not help!!!! The root cause of the problem can be found within our government and society, not within the tools, or weapons, people wield.
Bill wrote at 2/14/2013 10:27:36 PM:
Where is personal accountability? Someone can 3D print calipers for their mini van and load up their family a head down the highway to the inevitable crash. Should 3D printers be outlawed because that person is criminally stupid? Its a crime to shoot people and criminals will always have access to lost cost illegal firearms or ammunition. The only thing that makes sense in the whole article is for airport security to focus on detecting gunpowder instead of strip searching granny.
Amoril wrote at 2/14/2013 9:55:01 PM:
Jake~ I don't think it a better reply could be made. Well said.
flink wrote at 2/14/2013 1:54:19 PM:
Loads and loads of hogwash. Will they also attempt to remove the various black powder formulas from the thousands of sources throughout the world? This is yet another example of a legislator trying to appear useful and vital to the interests of the people he conned into voting for him.
Jeff wrote at 2/13/2013 12:39:13 PM:
Actually it is immaterial if you can 3d print a firearm out of current materials (you can, just not a good one). You can make one out of $10 of spare parts from a home improvement store also. You can make one out of fired clay composites, PVC piping, or wood too. All of them, 3d printed ones as well (if made from the wrong materials), have in common that they will be less safe (in some cases catastrophically so) and less durable than a properly made metal firearm. There was a time when we taught our kids that some things are dangerous and you shouldn’t try them unless you know what you are doing. Now, apparently, it’s more politically correct to limit adult’s ability to do things because kids might hurt themselves.
Jake wrote at 2/12/2013 8:22:43 PM:
This article reads like it is from someone without a lot of firearm experience. You can not "print a gun using ABS plastic". What has been printed are AR-15 spec 'lowers'. The lower is the part of the firearm (a single piece of metal or plastic) that contains the serial number. You still need the plastic hand grip and stock, but more importantly, you need the metal trigger group, internal springs, hammer, bolt carrier group, barrel, upper receiver, charging handle, and sights. There is no way with the current materials you could print a fully functional 100% plastic gun. It would not be able to withstand the forces, temperature, or tension. The ATF deems a firearm legal if it is made by and individual and retained by that individual. With machine tools, you can build your own 'lower' and it is no different if you print your own. A 30 round magazines is not "high-capacity magazine". This is the standard capacity for any AR-15 or its variants. With an average shooter capable of a magazine change in under a second, and the average law enforcement response time of 6 minutes, the impact of a 7 to 10 to 30 rounds in a single magazine is obviously negligible. "I am worried about innocent kids making guns and injuring themselves" Really? You are worried about kids ordering a $1300 printer, $200 worth of printing materials, $600 worth of traditional firearm metal parts and constructing an unsafe gun? Where are the parents in your scenario? Where did the kid get the money? How is he smart enough to do the research, find the parts, and have the mechanical aptitude to put it together, but not smart enough to test it in a safe environment? How did he purchase the ammunition? This is a fanciful proclamation without roots in any level of trust of the youths, and without knowledge of firearms.