Printing Your Own Handgun, Ctd

Feb 28 2013 @ 12:59pm

Kelsey Atherton explains the significance of the above video:

The agents provocateur at Defense Distributed welcomed Congress back from recess by releasing a video of a brand new 3-D printed AR-15 receiver being used to fire multiple 100-round magazines. … The last time we saw Defense Distributed test a 3-D printed lower receiver, it broke after 6 shots. The latest video shows that it can survive a whopping 600 shots. This suggests that Defense Distributed has made significant progress toward its goal of building a working 3-D printed gun.

Defense Distributed is the group behind the Wiki Weapon Project, the goal of which is to produce an open-source 3-D printed gun that anyone could make with a 3-D printing machine. Last week, Robert Beckhusen identified one way to control guns once 3-D printed guns become a real possibility:

“Perhaps the only way forward, if we choose to try and control this, is to control the gunpowder — the explosives — and not the actual device,” Hod Lipson, a Cornell University professor of engineering and an early pioneer of 3-D printing, tells Danger Room. The reason, Lipson says, is that it would be the remaining “controlled substance” in a field that’s otherwise uncontrollable, regardless of the shape or size of the firearm that you’re using — or printing. It is the “unifying material everybody would need, and it would be a good target for regulation if people choose to regulate it.”

Beckhusen also wonders about the safety of the hobbyists:

It’s a question whether freely shared blueprints, modified with anonymity — and with zero oversight and regulation — can be truly made safe for the user. Sharing faulty blueprints could also make for a dangerous kind of trolling.

Previous Dish on printed guns here.