Tag Archives: weapons

NPR Discusses 3D Printed Guns on Morning Edition

3D Printing Automatic Weapons Guns

As we have covered before, the national gun debate is raising alarms about how 3D printing can be used to create guns. It is not actually possible to 3D print a whole gun, but you can print parts of a gun, including the part regulated by the government called the lower receiver

During Morning Edition on NPR today, Reporter Eric Molinsky provided an update on the controversy.

You may have heard about 3D printing, a technological phenomenon that uses a robotic arm to build objects one layer at a time. As people get imaginative and create items in a one-stop-shop fashion, one more creation has been added to the printing line: gun parts.

It would be easy to conceive the idea that 3D printers are churning out cheap handguns, but there’s a kink in the process. If you were to print an entire gun out of plastic, it wouldn’t work. The bullet should shatter the plastic.


Via NPR.


Top 10 Countdown: Most Popular 3D Printing Stories in October 2012

Bill Gates Enough RAM

Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in October 2012.

10. New Plan for Manufacturing Jobs in EU: Invest Heavily in 3D Printing

9. Will Amazon Adopt 3D Printing to Improve Manufacturing?

8. Video: Broad Horizons for 3D Printing – RepRap, MakerBot, and Beyond

7. 3D Printed Bioscope: New Design Reinvents the Old Film Camera

6. Oops-Ed: TechCrunch Writer Says Consumers Don’t Need 3D Printers

5. MakerBot Presents Groundbreaking 3D Masterpieces at the 3D Print Show

4. Physical DRM: New Patent Issued to Protect Piracy in 3D Printing

3. Objet Showcases Exquisite 3D Printing Applications at the 3D Print Show

2. Video: See All of the Exhibits at the 3D Print Show in London!

1. 3D Printing Gun Debate Heats Up Again: Wiki Weapon and ATF


Thanks for reading in October!

Bill Gates photo by MATEUS_27:24&25 used under Creative Commons license.

Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Weapons, Disney, Patents, Europe

Disney Printed Optics 3D Printing

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from October 6 to October 13.

Saturday, October 6
Monday, October 8
Tuesday, October 9

3D Printing Gun Debate Heats Up Again: Wiki Weapon and ATF

Cody Wilson Wiki Weapon 3D Printing

Can 3D printers be used to create guns? We first discussed a hobbyist who was 3D printing automatic weapon parts in July and again covered the topic of using 3D printing for dangerous goods in August.

Now, the New York Times’ Bits Blog is adding to the controversy with its own feature about “building a gun with the push of a button.”

Cody Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas, is in the process of building a completely functional printed gun. “We hope to have this fully tested and put the files online in the next couple of months,” said Mr. Wilson, who runs a Web site called Defense Distributed.

He calls the gun the Wiki Weapon. In a video explaining the project’s goals, he describes the Wiki Weapon as the world’s first “3-D printable personal defense system.”

Below is a video of Cody Wilson promoting his Wiki Weapon.

Will this really make an impact given that there are so many guns in circulation each year via loopholes or illegal transfer? Perhaps not.

“Forty percent of guns are sold through a loophole at gun shows, where people are already able to buy a firearm without having to go through a background check,” said Daniel Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “There’s already a permanent ‘gun show’ on the Internet.”

One interesting angle not raised before is the role of law enforcement and regulation in this overall debate.

Under most circumstances, it is not illegal to build your own gun, but it has been pretty difficult. Ginger Colbrun, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said people had made firearms out of pens, books and belt buckles. But those contraptions and conventional firearms require a certain amount of knowledge and skill.

Ms. Colbrun said the agency was keeping a close watch on 3-D printers. “A.T.F. always tries to stay ahead of the illegal activity and the novel firearms trafficking schemes, without impinging on individuals’ rights,” she said.

In the case of Wiki Weapon, the 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys stepped in before law enforcement needed to and seized the 3D printer back before Wilson could print his first gun, saying “It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.” (via Guardian)


Top 3D Printing Headlines Last Week: Guns, Germs, and ABS Plastic

MakerBot MixTape

A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from July 23 to July 29.

Monday, July 23

Friday, July 27