Feb 3, 2016 | By Benedict

Some 3D printed creations make us laugh; others make us cry. But every now and again, a 3D print will cause us to furrow our collective brow and utter the words “Hmm… Too far?” One category of 3D print that frequently elicits that skeptical response is weaponry: Makers testing their own technical abilities is a wonderful thing, but the relatively new phenomenon of open-source, downloadable firearms seems to promise a greater deal of harm than good. Fortunately, a 47-year-old West Virginia carpenter, pseudonymously named “Derwood”, has vowed to keep a firm lid on the files for his 3D printed semi-automatic gun, the Shuty-MP1.

In a YouTube video uploaded on Sunday, January 31, Derwood can be seen firing a series of 9mm rounds from the 3D printed weapon, hitting a target with precision. This footage of the firearm has caused quite a stir in the weapons community, since 3D printed guns, particularly semi-automatic ones, have been invariably derided as ineffective and incapable of withstanding the force and temperatures required to fire real bullets.

The Shuty-MP1, contrary to these expectations, appeared to pass its firing test with flying colors. But just how “3D printed” is it? Not fully, its maker admits. Derwood used store-bought metal components for the barrel, hammer, firing pin, bolts, and springs, since these are the most common points of failure for 3D printed firearms. However, according to the 47-year-old, the remainder of the weapon was 3D printed with Atomic PLA filament on a Fusion3 F306 3D printer. “No one had ever tried to get a semi-automatic 3D printed gun working before…I’m just one of those types, I like to find new things that people say can’t be done,” preened the amateur gunsmith. “It’s simple, but it works. The gun shoots great.”

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Derwood’s 3D printed creation, besides its complete functionality, is its legality. By purchasing only the individuals components of a gun, the maker circumvented all gun control laws, creating a totally legal weapon without so much as an ID check. This invulnerability to regulation might have raised a few eyebrows, but Derwood has vowed to keep the 3D files for the Shuty-MP1 to himself. “Some people like to build things for themselves,” he explained to Wired. “It’s an off-the-grid type of attitude.”

Although Derwood will not be releasing the 3D files for his firearm, some of his YouTube videos roughly demonstrate how to build such a weapon at home. But the West Virginian is calm about the prospect of criminals copying his design, since the plastic around the gun’s barrel is likely to melt after around 18 shots. “If you keep shooting, it’s going to fail,” he says. “That makes it not such a desired weapon for a criminal.”

So is it sensible to put lethal weapons in the hands of all and sundry with an internet connection and 3D printer? Perhaps not, but it’s hard to deny that 3D printed firearms remain bang on trend. Great shooting, Derwood!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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wilwrk4tls wrote at 2/4/2016 6:51:01 PM:

He didn't circumvent the gun laws at all. The law allows for any individual to make, for their own use, any type of weapon that is legal to own. A semi-automatic weapon (that has been demonized as of late) is perfectly legal to own, and therefore legal to make for yourself. If he was printing the gun and selling it then he would be breaking the law if he didn't have the proper permits and didn't serialize the weapons to be properly registered.

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