Dec 12, 2016 | By Tess

Not even a month ago, Australian authorities seized a number of submachine guns that were made using 3D printers during a drug raid in the Gold Coast. The headlines were shocking to most, and left us all wondering what the actual potentials of 3D printed arms are. In an even more recent raid, in which 13 homes in a Melbourne suburb were targeted, officials announced that they had discovered even more firearms which appeared to be made from 3D printed parts.

The raid, which took place on Sunday morning in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, was the culmination of a five-month long operation and resulted in the arrests of nine people and the seizure of many illegal weapons and substances. Among the items seized were prescription drugs, methamphetamines, MDMA, cash, silver ingots, and many firearms, some of which appear to be 3D printed.

Out of 14 firearms seized, three were reportedly made using 3D printing technologies. While it is not clear if the guns were entirely 3D printed, it is more likely that only parts of them were made using additive manufacturing technology, which is of course still a concern. According to officials, a linked arrest in Lyndhurst, Australia which took place a couple weeks ago, also resulted in the seizure of a 3D printer. It is unclear whether it was the 3D printer used to manufacture the confiscated firearms, though it seems likely.

"Some of those firearms were manufactured using the 3D printer and others were either modified firearms or different types of firearms in their original state," Superintendent Amy Gledden explained. "It's relatively new technology. It’s the one time that we have seized a 3D printer in Victoria.”

Overall, the raid will likely prove to be a serious blow to Melbourne’s organized crime scene, as a number of those arrested were key players in a crime syndicate known for trafficking drugs and weapons in the country’s south-eastern region. “Today’s operation has seen an organized crime syndicate, which has a significant influence in the distribution of methamphetamines in the southeastern suburbs, brought to a halt,” said Gledden after the successful operation. “This syndicate was able to access large quantities of drugs and was also responsible for the trafficking and the manufacture of firearms. They then armed themselves to carry out serious offences and presented a significant risk to our community.”

3D printed firearm seized in November's Gold Coast raids

Whether more details about the 3D printed weapons will come to light remains to be seen, though it does at least seem clear that certain worries about 3D printing lethal weapons are validated.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Chris wrote at 1/7/2017 2:35:50 PM:

you can print then cast if your smart enough

3dCanuck wrote at 12/15/2016 8:40:29 AM:

Who writes these non-funny jokes? After reading this piece of "sensationalist" news reporting, I'm still trying to determine exactly WHAT the point of the article is. What printed firearms? None shown. How can those worries about 3d printing weapons be validated? None shown. It's great that drugs and bad guys were taken off the streets, but since that wasn't the point of the article, WHAT was?

Richard wrote at 12/13/2016 6:55:22 AM:

They even recycled the picture of all metal guns from the last story. Do they think we’re stupid? Or are they the ones who are stupid? It’s reporting like this that makes Australian police look like a bunch of incompetent fools. Are they? Or is this a fake story designed to demonize 3D printers?

Barry wrote at 12/12/2016 7:25:42 PM:

Still waiting to see a 3d printed gun from these stories.

Bill wrote at 12/12/2016 3:51:20 PM:

"Whether more details about the 3D printed weapons will come to light remains to be seen, though it does at least seem clear that certain worries about 3D printing lethal weapons are validated." Validated in what way? The pictures clearly show guns that were not 3D printed... and no evidence contrary to that has been revealed, so nothing has been validated in any way. It's my guess, at this point, that they are using these raids to villainize 3D printers just so they can place restrictions on them.

Good3dPrint wrote at 12/12/2016 11:44:41 AM:

Those weapons in the bottom pic were not 3d printed at all. Make of that as you will.

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