Nov 23, 2016 | By Benedict

A 3D printing facility for fabricating machine guns has been discovered during a series of drug-related raids across Australia’s Gold Coast. Police found a secret lab where computers, a 3D printer, and drill presses were being used to make automatic submachine guns.

Authorities have been warning us for some time that the threat of 3D printed weaponry is real. Using custom-made or downloaded CAD files, potential criminals now have the opportunity to fabricate their own weaponry with a 3D printer, with police unable to track the creation or distribution of firearms made in this manner. But while the warnings have been loud and clear, much of the talk around 3D printed weaponry has been speculation, with law enforcers unable to demonstrate the extent to which additive manufacturing is being exploited to create 3D printed guns. In Australia, however, fresh evidence has shed new light on the murky underground world of 3D printed weaponry.

Last Friday, a series of successful drug raids in Queensland’s Gold Coast showed that the 3D printed arms trade is very much alive in Eastern Australia, with police discovering four homemade weapons, described as Uzi-like submachine guns, at a secret 3D printing facility. During the series of raids, the search team also discovered narcotics production equipment and drugs, including cannabis, GHB, and steroids. Two men, aged 30 and 33, are assisting police with their investigations into the 3D printing facility.

While a discovery of four 3D printed weapons may not sound hugely significant, reports suggest that the 3D printing facility, located in the Nerang suburb of the Gold Coast, was of a “highly sophisticated” nature. According to police, the production facility itself was comprised of computers, a 3D printer, and drill presses, while other items to be found at the site included the four 3D printed automatic submachine guns, silencers, ammunition, a replica handgun, a .45 calibre pistol, other weapon-making equipment, and a pill press.

Although it is not yet clear whether the 3D printed submachine guns are as effective as traditionally built weapons of a similar type, the discovery of the secret 3D printing facility has given authorities some cause for alarm. “The weapons seized are yet to be tested,” Det Supt Jon Wacker reported. “However, weapons of this type have the capacity to fire hundreds of rounds of ammunition a minute. In the wrong hands they present a significant threat to the public.”

Perhaps most alarmingly, first appearances suggest that the 3D printed submachine guns have already been fired. "These firearms still have to undergo ballistic examination by our Queensland Ballistic Unit,” Wacker said. "However, on site there is evidence to suggest these firearms have been discharged.”

Reassuringly, Queensland police believe that the raids will now signal the end of a complex drugs and weapons trafficking network spanning the Gold Coast. According to Wacker, carrying out the raids on Friday may also have helped to prevent the widespread distribution of narcotics to young students in the city, who are currently celebrating the end of the school year.

Five people have been charged with drug offenses and two others arrested.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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3DGunsAreBS wrote at 8/5/2018 6:07:26 PM:

There is no such thing as a 3D printed gun. Some gun parts can be made this way but only those seeing the least stress, and then even those are subject to sudden failures. 3D printed gun parts are also more expensive than real gun parts, inferior in every way. No one has managed to make a complete firearm out of 3D printed gun parts. They can make non working models and replicas, essentially toys. But all the critical parts must be made of steel, never plastic. It is far easier for criminals to follow traditional routes to getting guns than it is for them to waste loads of money and time on this 3D Gun hoax.

boyd the destroyer wrote at 12/1/2016 3:05:25 AM:

look up boyds advanced weapons technology e book on indigogo for bad ass 3d printed ar15

Steve C. wrote at 11/29/2016 5:55:38 PM:

If these were 3d printed where is your expert? Where is the proof. Just cause you found a 3d printer there does not mean it was used to make a complete gun. Laser centering is the only way to make metal parts and its super expensive. Get a clue and report correctly and stop trying to scare the public!

Matt Chadsey wrote at 11/24/2016 9:52:14 PM:

Picture clearly shows a sheet metal and rivet construction sub gun with the only possible 3d printed parts shown being the magazine well and the pistol grip! The pistol is clearly machined steel as evidenced by the worn areas of the finish showing metal underneath. What gives? I know this is a summary of a news article, I would hope that the editors could engage in some more analysis and critical thinking!

John Browning wrote at 11/24/2016 1:03:00 PM:

The submachine guns pictured are from a DIY book titled 'Expedient Homemade Firearms' written by British pro gun activist PA Luty in 1997. Many of these designs, made from steel box section tubing have been seized in Australia over the past few years. They need almost no tools to construct and are designed to be made by anyone with a drill and a hacksaw.

yru wrote at 11/24/2016 12:44:28 AM:

Ban the drill presses and 3D printers! And common sense.

Shrubbery Gump wrote at 11/23/2016 8:38:03 PM:

More gun BS, the machine gun isn't printed !!! Doh, lets see, metal barrel, metal receiver, metal trigger parts. Yeah ALL 3D printed. I suppose if a nuclear lab has a 3D printer, then by token the whole facility is 3D printed. Will you STOP this idiot gun fantasy reporting. A lathe and drill are easier to obtain and operate than a 3D printer, but guess they are only used to make ice creams...... Piss poor journalism again......

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