The Washington Post has an interesting video and story up about how it is now possible to print a useable gun on a 3D printer.
The technology is still in its infancy – as one of the videos below shows, the guns don’t always work long – but they’re getting there. And they permit people to skirt anti-gun laws in the privacy of their own home. The Post video explains how, so long as you can 3D replicate one single part of an AR-15, the rest of the parts you can buy online and make your own assault rifle at home.
First, an excerpt from the Post story, then the Post video, and a few more interesting videos I found about 3D printing a real gun.
Feinstein’s proposed legislation, which would also ban AR-15s, restricts manufacturing of such items by anyone in the country, said a spokesman for the senator.
But 3D-printing experts say that logic is dated and misses the point of the technology. Making guns for personal use has been legal for decades, but doing so has required machining know-how and a variety of parts. With 3-D printers, users download blueprints from the Internet, feed them into the machine, wait several hours and voila.
“Restrictions are difficult to enforce in a world where anybody can make anything,” said Hod Lipson, a 3-D printing expert at Cornell University and co-author of the new book, “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.” “Talking about old-fashioned control will be very ineffective.”
It is unclear how many people are trying to print their own gun parts and magazines. But Cody Wilson, a University of Texas law student who is leading the ideological and technical campaign for 3-D printed guns through an organization called Defense Distributed, said blueprints have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times from his group’s Web site.
And the baseline printer isn’t that expensive – only $1,300 for a machine that prints with plastic.
First, I’m going to post this video from YouTube that does a great job explaining 3D printing – they show to 3D replicate a crescent wrench:
Here’s the Washington Post video:
In this video, the 3D-printed AR-15 assault rifle shot six times before breaking:
While I’m not a great fan of Russia Today (now called RT), as they tend to be Russia’s version of Fox News (the station seems to exist to bash the United States), this is a good broadcast they did about the 3D guns.