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Old May 8, 2013, 11:23 PM   #51
Justice06RR
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Sure this technology seems like a "breakthrough", but I'd really just prefer a standard gun made by a reputable company like S&W or Glock.

When this 3D plastic gun becomes 100% reliable and repeatable, let me know..
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:05 AM   #52
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my Platoon Sergeant told me, that as a 17 year old PFC in Gulf War I, he was issued an M-3 Grease Gun as a Bradley IFV crewman.

Delta Force founder, Colonel Charlie Beckwith, showing his Georgia depression era roots, never threw anything away, and as a result, Delta Force had a large collection both suppressed and un-suppressed M-3s up until the mid-80s. I always thought that was a neat tidbit, because to me the gun looks exactly like something a commando would use.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:57 AM   #53
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I think people are missing the point of why this is such a big deal. People keep talking about how the gun isn't practical, or that they'll never own one, or 3D printers are so expensive that they're not worth buying just to make guns.

First of all, let me comment on the printers being expensive, issue. Back in 2000, when I was going to school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, they had a brand new 3D printer. The technology was at it's serious infancy. The entire setup (if my memory serves me) costed around $250,000. It was painfully slow to print. I got some time on it for a class I was in, and had created a Utah Teapot (for those in computers, and computer modelling, this makes sense). I have it somewhere, but I don't know where. It's about 1.5" x 1.5" x 1.5", and it took about 20 minutes to print.

Fast forward to today. Printers that cost $20,000 in 2010 are selling in the $2,000 range today. You can buy 3D printers that have more capability than the one I used 13 years ago for $500. That's well within the range of some higher end photo printers, and something that most people can afford.

So what am I getting at? This tech will get cheaper and cheaper. Almost anyone can afford one of these printers today. The materials will get stronger and stronger. The models (for building the parts) will get better and better. These guns aren't for an EDC. They're not meant to be something that lasts. But when you're looking at $10 worth of material to make a working gun...that's absolutely amazing. Anyone with a $500 printer, a model of a gun, and some ABS printer material can make guns.

Yes, these are the lowest quality guns you've ever seen. They won't last long. You're probably not going to shoot much at the range. But that's not the point. The fact that anyone can build a gun with little training or experience is absolutely fascinating. Nothing will replace metal for high wear parts in a gun, but if you need a gun, soon you'll just be able to print on.
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Old May 9, 2013, 01:03 PM   #54
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I just ran across an article by Forbes about this gun. There have been over 100,000 downloads of the file with the plans for the gun. Granted, most probably don't own a 3D printer, they've probably been downloaded due to the threat of possible future legislation banning this kind of thing. Given what I mentioned above about how inexpensive these printers are becoming...and we have something pretty amazing here.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygree...om-kim-dotcom/

Here's a quote from the article, that sums up why this is such a big deal, and is so important, regardless if any gun on the shelf of a gun store is actually better.

Quote:
But Defense Distributed’s real goal hasn’t been to create an undetectable gun so much as an uncensorable, digital one. As the group’s founder radical libertarian founder Cody Wilson sees it, firearms can be made into a printable file that blurs the line between gun control and information censorship, blending the First Amendent and the Second and demonstrating how technology can render the government irrelevant.
Now that's intriguing.
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Old May 9, 2013, 01:07 PM   #55
pnac
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I'm listening to Cody Wilson being interviewed right now. The gov has "requested" that he remove printable weapons from his website citing the Export
Act. The program has been downloaded over 100,000 times.
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Old May 9, 2013, 02:44 PM   #56
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But when you're looking at $10 worth of material to make a working gun...that's absolutely amazing....Yes, these are the lowest quality guns you've ever seen. They won't last long. You're probably not going to shoot much at the range. But that's not the point. The fact that anyone can build a gun with little training or experience is absolutely fascinating.
Zip guns - anyone can build one with $10 worth of materials. You don't need a fancy printer to make one. And, a decent zip gun will last for a long time.

I have several pen flares made in the '60's. Very similar to pen guns (now classified as aow). There's nothing to them, but at least these are made of steel and won't blow up if you fire them several times.

People with little or no training have been building rudimentary forms of guns for decades.
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Old May 9, 2013, 02:58 PM   #57
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Zip guns - anyone can build one with $10 worth of materials. You don't need a fancy printer to make one. And, a decent zip gun will last for a long time.
Zip guns have evolved to their limitations. basically materials and tools to build them.

3D printing is growing so limitations are getting surpassed every month. It is still a baby and has a long ways to evolve.
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Old May 9, 2013, 03:14 PM   #58
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Zip guns - anyone can build one with $10 worth of materials. You don't need a fancy printer to make one. And, a decent zip gun will last for a long time.
Here's the problem with that line of thinking. A zip gun made today will look basically the same way as one made 100 years ago. To make the zip gun more complicated (such as giving it a magazine of some kind, or making it repeating or even autoloading) requires a milling machine and drill press, and knowledge of how to use them properly. Simply said, there's no such thing as an easy to build semiauto zipgun.

On the other hand, we have the first fully functional firearm made with this process. This gun is essentially a proof of concept. It sucessfully fired a round without self destructing, proving that an almost 100% plastic and 3D printed gun can fire. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to the type of designs that can be made with it. You can already 3D print AK/AR mags (the springs too). There has been a 3D printed AR lower. It's only a matter of time until a more complex design will emerge.

And to build a fully functional firearm will require absolutely no gunsmithing knowledge whatsoever. I'm going to bet that within a year, the first functional repeating 3D printed gun will be designed. And that gun will be able to be built with nothing more than a $500 3D printer, $10 worth of ABS, and 5MB worth of data. This is what sets this apart from a zip gun.

Let me put it another way. This pistol would be the equivalent of say a flintlock pistol. With a little engineering, you'll have something that functionally (maybe not in reliability) matches the performance of a modern handgun. All without ANY gunsmithing knowledge. I really can't believe people can't understand how revolutionary this is, and what the implications of this are.
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Old May 9, 2013, 04:29 PM   #59
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The thing that was made out of plastic appears to be nothing more than a single-shot pistol.
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Old May 9, 2013, 07:00 PM   #60
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The thing that was made out of plastic appears to be nothing more than a single-shot pistol.
You're completely missing the point. Yes, it's single shot. It's a prototype, and a proof of concept. They made something that can be built by anyone, very cheaply, made completely of plastic, that can actually fire.

Now that they completed that milestone, just watch and see what's next. Now that they know the plastic can contain the pressures of firing, they can work on other designs. Maybe a revolver? Maybe some kind of simple semiauto? I don't know, the sky is the limit. No one is saying that they're going to build something that everyone is going to want. Buying a name brand off the shelf is going to be better. But that's not the point.

So what is the point? Consider the political climate. Consider what many elected officials already want to do, that is, remove all guns. Basically, this breakthrough means that a ban won't work, confiscation won't work. Guns can still get into the hands of the people, no matter what the government wants to do. Why do you think they are already (even before this gun was test fired) trying to pass legislation restricting or banning this?

The anti's understand the implications of this. It appears that many pro-gun people simply do not, because it's not as good as what they can buy. Because it's only a single shot novelty. Because it's no better than a zipgun. In the future, this may be the only way we will be able to have guns. That's the point.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:46 PM   #61
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The thing that was made out of plastic appears to be nothing more than a single-shot pistol.
That's like saying Sputnik was pointless because it had no people in it

I'm an engineer, and I plan on getting a CNC of my own, so if I wanted to make a firearm, I could very easily do it now with modeling software.

What THIS does allows you to grab your flash drive, run to Staples, then hit the gun shop for some ammo. It's proof saying that you *cannot!* regulate the progression of technology.

I bet a printed .22 revolver is easily attainable. Heck, I can't wait to get a printer and the software of my own! Gonna make a Mini GP100!
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:55 AM   #62
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Ok, so many think this is the beginning of a new way to make guns. I don't. At a minimum, the gun that was printed needed to be assembled - none of that was shown or discussed. It's a plastic zip gun instead of a metal zip gun - just doesn't impress me all that much.....I'll just revisit this thread in a year or two and see where things are at.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:01 AM   #63
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I saw on the news last night that the plans have been taken down at either request (or order) of the Department of Defense.

The owner of the website is considering his legal options.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:46 AM   #64
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The next one will probably be along shortly. We'll see some creativity in the distribution methods.
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Old May 10, 2013, 08:57 AM   #65
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It's the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), not the Department of Defense, that has taken control of the plans.

Here's an article from Forbes that has an good explanation of how this export control stuff works. The author isn't surprised that this has happened. One of the things he explains is that, while exporting such technology isn't illegal, if the party responsible (in this case, Cory Wilson) is required to have an export license, he, not his company, would be personally liable for what is done with that technology:
Maybe a license is required under ITAR, maybe it isn’t. Maybe the design itself, the simple CAD file, is covered, maybe it isn’t. But if it is, here’s the problem. He’s now, personally (no, you cannot hide this responsibility in a company), responsible for what people do with that design over in foreign countries. If people use it to make guns where it’s entirely legal, under US law, for people to make guns then he’s fine. But he’s also responsible for people using the design to make guns that breach some or other US law. Say, some group of nutters allied with AQ make up some guns and use them in some terrorist activity.
Poop. Another perfectly good conspiracy theory shot down. This is a good reminder that blogs are not reliable sources of news...

And Defense Distributed's website, defcad.org, is now showing a "503: Service Temporarily Unavailable" error message...
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:41 AM   #66
Gaerek
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Ok, so many think this is the beginning of a new way to make guns.
This is where I can tell you're missing the point. First of all, yes, it is actually a new way to make guns. However, no one is expecting it to overtake traditional methods of making guns. That Glock, S&W, Sig, whatever you get off the shelf will be far better than anything you can print. But that's simply not the point. I'll put this in one sentence to make it clear what the point is:

This technology will make government regulation of firearms moot because anyone with a tiny bit of computer know how, a 3D printer (which keep coming down in price by the day), some ABS printer materal, and a nail can manufacture guns in their home.

Quote:
I don't.
As I said, technically it is a new way to make guns. Whether it's better than the guns in your safe is moot.

Quote:
At a minimum, the gun that was printed needed to be assembled - none of that was shown or discussed.
It's 15 pieces. Anyone who's ever detail stripped a handgun will have all the knowledge needed to put it together. The hard part of building a gun has always been machining the parts. That requires gunsmithing knowledge and knowledge of how to use machine tools (lathe, milling machine, drill press, etc) which relatively few people possess. I know I couldn't do it. Building this particular gun is closer to putting together legos than it is to actually building a gun.

Quote:
It's a plastic zip gun instead of a metal zip gun
While this particular gun may be nothing more than a zip gun, functionally (I'd disagree since a zip gun is basically just a hollow tube with a nail and a spring) this is the proof of concept. A proof of concept is rarely very functional, and most definitely not commercially viable. However, it proves that something can be done. For years (probably since polymer striker guns became popular) the prevailing wisdom has been that an all plastic gun simply won't work. This gun proves that statement 100%, completely wrong. Now that he knows it's possible to create a nearly 100% plastic gun, he can work up other designs. I'm going to guess he's working on it right now. I'm guessing there's a lot of people working on it right now.

Let me give you an example. When the Kindle first came out several years ago, it kinda sucked. There was a lot of page turn lag, the screen had low contrast, the memory couldn't hold that much. In essence, it wasn't very impressive. A book is better in almost every conceivable way. Today, all of the flaws of the original Kindle are gone. There's almost 0 page turn lag, the screens are very high contrast and can be read in the dark, and the memories are large enough to hold literally 1000's of books (about 5-10x what a normal home library will contain). The original Kindle proved that it could be done. The new ones are the results of that proof. This Liberator pistol is basically the same way. It's like the original Kindle. It's not that impressive compared to what we currently have. But now that we know it can be done, the design can be refined to add features found on current guns.

Quote:
just doesn't impress me all that much.....I'll just revisit this thread in a year or two and see where things are at.
I agree with you, that all things being equal, the gun isn't that impressive. I wouldn't want one, and I certainly wouldn't use it. All the guns in my safe are far better, functionally, to this gun. But that's not the point. It's a starting point. The tech will get better and better.

Will 3D printed guns rival current guns in reliability, accuracy, firepower, etc? Probably not, but imagine a world where you can't get a gun. Imagine being able to download a file off the Internet, set your printer up, and in an hour having all the parts needed to make a gun. Then 10 minutes later having a fully functional firearm. That's what's really amazing. There's no way for the government to regulate this. The designer is playing nice with the government, but he didn't have to, and I imagine in a scenario above, he wouldn't have.

And I ask you. If this isn't such a big deal, or all that impressive, why do you think the Anti's are doing everything they can to shut it down? Legislation is being worked up to prevent this from being something that can actually done. It's because the see the implications of this technology that you simply do not.
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:58 AM   #67
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And I ask you. If this isn't such a big deal, or all that impressive, why do you think the Anti's are doing everything they can to shut it down? Legislation is being worked up to prevent this from being something that can actually done. It's because the see the implications of this technology that you simply do not.
The Antis are idiots, really. The would leach onto anything that keeps them flush with cash, or politically powerful by raising more money for their stupid cause.

Having said that, I have been known to be wrong on things like this. Real wrong! As an old friend of mine likes to remind me, in 1992 I declared:

Dude, the internet is just the CB radio of the '90's!
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:08 AM   #68
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I saw on the news last night that the plans have been taken down at either request (or order) of the Department of Defense.
The DoD obviously has no idea how the internet works.
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:57 AM   #69
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First, it wasn't the Dept. of Defense that took it down, it was the Dept. of State. I think, in any case, the DoD has a pretty good idea of how the internet works, since its original incarnation was a DoD project.

Read the Forbes article in the link I posted above, and then you might have a better idea about what's going on here. As several people have pointed out, the current plans don't produce a gun that's very useful, but they establish that it can be done.

If the DDTC rules that these designs are subject to ITAR, they will need an export license -- the fact that they're in the public domain doesn't change that. And in that case, if Defense Distributed produces another design for a more effective gun, Mr. Wilson will be personally liable for its misuse.

Libertarian fantasies about cheap, homemade guns for everyone are appealing, but this is the real world, and the government has a legitimate interest in how these guns might be used in foreign countries: for example, against US personnel.

I'm sure they're also concerned about the potential of this technology to make it easy for US citizens to bypass gun laws, but in terms of regulation, that's down the road a piece.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:24 PM   #70
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Libertarian fantasies about cheap, homemade guns for everyone are appealing, but this is the real world, and the government has a legitimate interest in how these guns might be used in foreign countries: for example, against US personnel.
I'm not sure that 3D printed single shot small caliber pistols that require a several thousand dollar 3D printer to create are truly a larger problem than AKs that are available anywhere and everywhere for just a few bucks.

The ITAR thing is nothing more than a knocked together excuse to try and put the genie back in the bottle. This may have come via the State Department, but I think it is a bit naive to think that it's concern for our troops is the driving factor instead of a rabidly anti-gun administration using every possible tool at its disposal to keep guns out of the hands of private parties.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:49 PM   #71
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FYI, http://defcad.org/ was working 45 seconds ago. I wish them the best of luck in encouraging the feds to back away from the second amendment infringements.

That said, my XD45 has about as much plastic as I want in a firearm.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:49 PM   #72
Skans
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I think their real concern is plastic guns, not printing them. Heck, I think it would be easy to make an all plastic zip gun. I bet a decent barrel could be made from delrin, and a receiver from PVC. A bolt and firing pin could probably be made using various hard plastics, probably even a spring. Using .32 caliber ammo this can't be hard at all.

Last edited by Skans; May 10, 2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:55 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangello
FYI, http://defcad.org/ was working 45 seconds ago. I wish them the best of luck in encouraging the feds to back away from the second amendment infringements.
So they are. And I see that on their news page they have this notice:
Quote:
DEFCAD is experiencing heavy traffic at the moment. Please bear with us.
I wonder why....

The State Dept. may come to wish that they hadn't done this....
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:04 PM   #74
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If its a smooth bore, which it is, then it would be an AOW and would be illegal to make without proper licensing and ATF approval.
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:26 AM   #75
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I'm not sure that 3D printed single shot small caliber pistols that require a several thousand dollar 3D printer to create are truly a larger problem than AKs that are available anywhere and everywhere for just a few bucks.
I think you might also be missing the point.

1) 3D printers are CHEAP compared to what they cost even 3 years ago. I mentioned in another post that I played with one back in 2000 that cost around $250,000 and wasn't nearly as good as the ones you can get for $2000 today. And the models that cost around $2000 today...they cost 10x that just three years ago. You can also buy entry level 3D printers for around $500 and they have all the capability you need to produce this pistol. In 5 years, we'll be looking at entry level printers in the $150 range, and better models (like the $2000 model) in the $300-500 range...or lower.

2)Yep, this gun is single shot. Yep, they only (well, all they've told us, anyway) fired a small caliber (.380) round. But this is a proof of concept. For decades, the idea of an all plastic gun has been ridiculed. It's been called impossible. Yet here we have an all plastic gun that fired a bullet. We know it can work; it's just a matter of time before new models are designed that have features more closely resembling modern guns.

3) The anti's are already afraid of this tech. They're introducing legislation to stop it. Why? Because their eventual goal is 100% confiscation eventually (regardless of what they tell us). This technology circumvents any kind of confiscation scheme. It blurs the lines between the 1st Amendment (it's just a blueprint, made of 1's and 0's...so restricting it would be censorship) and the 2nd Amendment (it's a gun).
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