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Should We Print Guns? Cody R. Wilson Says "Yes" (Video)

Roblimo posted more than 2 years ago | from the freedom-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.

Hardware Hacking 444

The Wiki Weapon Project and its idea of making guns with 3D printers has already been mentioned on Slashdot. It has also been written up on Forbes.com and a lot of other geek and non-geek sites. Note that when some Wiki Weapon proponents talk about making "guns" with 3D printers, they may be talking only about lower receivers or other static parts, not barrels, firing pins or other parts that must be machined to close tolerances and are subjected to a lot of stress when the gun fires. But low-cost 3D printing and low-cost CNC machining technologies are both advancing at a rapid rate, so thinking about the intersection of firearm manufacturing and open source is both worthwhile and timely. There's been a strong debate about this topic on Eric S. Raymond's Armed and Dangerous blog that's worth reading. Also recommended: The Home Gunsmith.com and CNC Gunsmithing. Astute Slashdot readers will, no doubt, recommend many more. Meanwhile, this video is about licensing, distribution, and legal matters, not the actual manufacture of firearms. There's a transcript (we're finally doing transcripts of selected videos) below the video for those who prefer to read instead of watch.

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Criminal Investigation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235715)

Police are going to have a field day with printed guns, which by nature won't have/need serial numbers or registration (except possibly for conceal and carry)

Re:Criminal Investigation (5, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235789)

That's an interesting use of "field day" :)

It does raise lots of questions about the current registration / tracking regime, though. For people who want to home-build a (legal, personal) gun, the BATFE has provisions for applying for a serial number to then inscribe/afix to the result. The details are eluding my memory right now, though, perhaps someone with more recent steeping will be able to expand ...

Re:Criminal Investigation (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236059)

You don't have to put a serial on them unless you are selling them.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236081)

BATFE Form 1 - Application to Make and Register a Firearm. [atf.gov] It's mostly about paying the associated tax.

Re:Criminal Investigation (2)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236437)

That's because that's the form for Short Barreled Rifles, Any Other Weapons, &c. which require a $200 ``tax'' (which felons are exempt from paying).

``c. Firearm. The term “firearm” means: (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 5845 (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) a muffler or a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition; and (8) a destructive device.''

Re:Criminal Investigation (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236105)

No tracking system is going to deal with the question of home made / under the counter gun sales or construction.

It has ALWAYS been possible (and fairly easy) to make a lower receiver in the comfort and privacy of your own machine shop. Making it on a 3D printer doesn't change a thing except for requiring a different skill set.

In fact, if you wanted to create a race-to-the-finish between aficionados of 3D gun printing and the old boring machine shop way, I'm going to bet that the folks with the 3 axis Bridgeports are going to win hands down. You can teach anyone with an IQ of about 110 to use a milling machine / lathe well enough to make a simple gun in about a month. High school shops do it all the time.

By the time that the 3D folks have figured out the plans, figured out the materials and debugged the system to make a .22 popgun that won't literally melt after the third round, I'm well on my way to fabricating a raft of AK-47 clones [weaponscombat.com] .

Re:Criminal Investigation (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236239)

As best I can tell, the enthusiasm over 'zOMG 3d printing!!!' is a combination of (optimistic) speculation about what they'll be capable of in the future, genuine enthusiasm for certain quite handy functions right now, and the fact that a lot of the people buzzing about them(especially, though not exclusively, the people who write about the subject but aren't too deeply immersed in it) really have no idea what sorts of fabrication techniques are on the table...

In a way, I suppose it really shouldn't be too surprising. With the dramatic gutting(not total extermination; but the relative decline has been massive) of the skilled-blue-collar/manufacturing sector, there are a lot fewer people out there who have a parent, friend, etc. who is a machinist or works with machinists. Anybody who doesn't go full-vocational-track-at-regional-school-for-that-purpose probably won't encounter much shop class in high school, either.

I don't wish to suggest that 3d printing isn't a genuinely interesting and novel class of techniques: the serious kit can achieve some geometry that you'd be hard pressed to get in other ways, or put out parts that are very similar to injection moulded; but in quantity one and less than a day; but part of its perceived novelty really seems to have to do with the fact that hobbyist 3d printing exists largely outside an environment where knowledge of machine tools really doesn't exist in a serious way.

Re:Criminal Investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236277)

I'm not sure why they call this "low cost 3d printing" or "low cost machining". It's definately not something an individual would find afordable. 3d Printers are not cheap, well over 10k. The materials used in the process are expensive too. You need to have a very precise CAD model to use it, and reverse engineering for gun parts is risky. To buy or rent a scanner, or hire an engineer to make the solid model would not be cheap. It would be important to have the highest level of accuracy in the design. Are we really at a stage where there is not a need to hire experts that can ensure safty?

There are few machine shops with experience making gun parts. When I worked for a CAD software company, we got calls from gun manufacturers to have parts made for obsolite guns. They had trouble finding shops that could handle the machining, let alone reverse engineeering. Also you are not likely to find accurate 3d models of gun parts floating around the internet.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235913)

So will the rest of us. Let them try to restrict us from using the same tech for our defense against them. As per the very first statement in the link. Defense distributed indeed.

Re:Criminal Investigation (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235937)

Police are going to have a field day with printed guns, which by nature won't have/need serial numbers or registration (except possibly for conceal and carry)

*re-reads the Second Amendment*

Hmm, don't see the clause where it requires all my firearms to be registered with the government...

Re:Criminal Investigation (1, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236007)

Doesn't say they don't have to be either. It'll be another one of those things they didn't foresee back then; no serial numbers on muskets in part because mass production hadn't been invented yet.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236087)

Doesn't say they don't have to be either. It'll be another one of those things they didn't foresee back then; no serial numbers on muskets in part because mass production hadn't been invented yet.

Well, considering that the registration process is intended to keep certain guns out of the People's hands, AKA "infringe" on our right to keep and bear them...


Not that I think everyone should have access to automatic rifles - crazy folks and government agents have a long history of irresponsibility when it comes to firearm ownership, so I do think there should be some restrictions for those types of cases.

Re:Criminal Investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236111)

Not that I think everyone should have access to automatic rifles - crazy folks and government agents have a long history of irresponsibility when it comes to firearm ownership, so I do think there should be some restrictions for those types of cases.

Then shouldn't there be a new amendment?

Re:Criminal Investigation (1, Troll)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236433)

The definition of "arms" has changed greatly in the last 200+ years. I don't think the government even today has any restrictions (no background check, no license, no registration) on possession of breech-loading muskets for those people who haven't lost their rights through due process (i.e. conviction).

So this comes down to whether you think the Constitution is a static document, written exactly how the authors pictured things in their time, or if it's designed to change and adapt as culture and language change around it.

After all, if you think the Constitution should be interpreted literally, but substituting the modern definitions for its terms, then I propose we start a movement to refer to bong parties as "well regulated militias", and to call marijuana "arms". Keep it up for 100 years and some conservative dudes out there will start to argue that the framers fully intended the second amendment to protect the possession of pot.

Re:Criminal Investigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236255)

It most certainly had been, or do you think those 100,000+ combatant battles were armed by 10 expert metalworkers fashioning them piece by piece. And what makes you think they didn't have armory and production identifiers?

Re:Criminal Investigation (1, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236133)

*re-reads the Second Amendment*: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Wonders where your "well regulated militia" is. Wonders why military weapons aren't all legal. Bazookas? Anti-Aircraft weapons? Tanks? Hmm. They call count as "bearing arms".

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236247)

Oh Yeah, I want a military-grade armored hummer with dual front and rear mounted rocket launchers, a machine gun turret, and 10,000 round of ammo...Bring it!

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236199)

In the USA, we create laws that are ostentiably within the bounds of the Constitution, despite not being explicitly stated in the document.
In the rest of the world, they amend and rewrite their Constitution (on average) once a generation.

The USA has an odd Constitutional fetishism that does not exist anywhere else in the world.
Without that fetishism, we wouldn't have idiots pointing at every law about guns or seatbelts and saying "that's not in the Constitution!!11!1"

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236429)

In the rest of the world, they amend and rewrite their Constitution (on average) once a generation.

Right. Amend it. Sadly, the US government would rather flagrantly disobey it and use whatever interpretation method that will benefit them at the moment.

Without that fetishism, we wouldn't have idiots pointing at every law about guns or seatbelts and saying "that's not in the Constitution!!11!1"

I wish these people would do that in regards to things such as the TSA or the Patriot Act. That would be nice.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236215)

Considering the Colonial government required people to register their firearms, it's a good bet the Constitution they were using is the same one we're using (with minor adjustments). After all, if you're going to call up the militia, you need to know who has a gun and who doesn't so those who don't have a gun can be supplied with one.

Which is exactly what happened when militia drills were held.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236407)

Care to cite that one? Post revolution, it was soon made law (second congress) that every male of an age appropriate to serving in the militia should have his own firearm and associated accessories (Militia Acts of 1792, signed by George Washington himself)

So, for a time, it was basically assumed that everyone had an appropriate firearm. It would make better sense to keep track of the men who did not.

Pre-revolutionary war? I could understand why the vested powers would want to register firearms in the colonies. That's what they did in Britain after all, and look at what it did for them.

Re:Criminal Investigation (2)

jd.schmidt (919212) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236253)

"*re-reads the Second Amendment*

Hmm, don't see the clause where it requires all my firearms to be registered with the government..."

You should start reading it from the beginning rather than the end. Your actions as part of our militia are to be "well regulated", part of regulating "well" can easily be tracking weapons. You DO know you are likely part of the militia as defined by laws right? That same regulation is why you can't have NBC weapons, if you read closely you should note the word GUN never appears.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236395)

One has to consider it in the context of the usage of the language at the time: ``well regulated'' in this context, in the vernacular of the day meant well drilled and trained.

``Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.'' --- Thomas Jefferson

William

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236379)

I also don't see the part where the Second Amendment says you can own whatever sort of weapon you want free from any regulations whatsoever.

Re:Criminal Investigation (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236451)

What I always found amusing is that a well regulated militia is limited to personal firearms. What battle in the late 18th century was won with personal side arms, though reading through gun nuts blogs shows a lack of knowledge of this. I mean one could even hardly storm a castle with just a automatic rifle. You would be taken down by the well protected archers on the walls, not to mention the hot oil. My issue with the organizations like the NRA is that they tend to promote the toys, but not the well regulated malitia that would stand between the populous and foreign or domestic raiding force. Where is the support of rocketry clubs that could actually provide a real defense against helicopters that would place boots on the ground? Clustering a few E engines in a simple shell could deliver enough reactant to be seriously annoying. But all they talk about is how a few pop guns are going to fend off the tanks and hummers.

Re:Criminal Investigation (1)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235953)

True, but they can't legally sell it or transfer it to another owner without first inscribing a serial number, makers name and makers location on it. And that's just for firearms the maker manufactures for his or her own personal use. If they actually want to manufacture firearms for sale, they need to be licensed to do so.

Re:Criminal Investigation (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236131)

Because we have to have some means of tracking all those guns out there committing crimes. Do you know where your guns is when you are asleep at night? Perhaps it sneaks out and holds up a few all night markets on its own.

I don't give a damn about fully automatic weapons. The primary issue that printing (or CNC manufacturing) guns is the impact that has on registering and controlling guns. Not the people holding the guns, but the guns themselves.

Lets worry more about who is carrying a gun, some guns, many guns rather than what shape or quantity is involved. A nut case with one pistol can do more damage than a sane person who likes to plink with an AK-47.

except possibly for conceal and carry

I have no idea what this means. I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. But I don't have to identify (by serial number or anything else) which weapon I am permitted to carry.

nonsense (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236147)

people already change the stocks and receivers of their guns, you can buy them legally. there is a serial number on the barrel. by the way, people also change barrels legally, and so the serial number changes.

do you imagine that forensics retrieves a bullet from a body, and says "oh, we need to find gun with serial number xxxxxx?" no, they don't. they look for a barrel that produces "matching" lands and grooves on bullet if from a rifled barrel firearm.

Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235725)

Life also gets interesting when we can print keys. To your house, your car, your safe deposit box....

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235839)

Why? Entry level lockpicking sets are cheap, and to actually print a key, you still need to need the original to copy.

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236015)

Why is lockpicking so popular with neckbeard geeks?

Because there's no way in hell a woman would willingly let any of you sex-starved voyeuristic creeps within miles of her underwear, drawered or otherwise.

You'll never be like those guys she likes. You'll never win the approval of her friends with your hackneyed, uninspired haiku and your awkward kindergarten-level game. You're stinky, unbathed, wretched losers with zits and glasses; and you smell like chlorine and onions from constantly jacking off because you can't find willing animals to rape.

Print yourself a gun and kill yourself with it now.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (4, Funny)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236401)

The thing about being social skills is that they're extraordinarily easy to learn. Go work in a coffee shop for a year and boom, you have all the skills you'll ever need. On the other hand, all that hackneyed, uninspiring haiku stuff that goes hand in hand with programming, tinkering, writing music and so on is actually much harder to learn. And will make you a bunch of money.

So while you're off fucking chicks in high school / college and enjoying the 5 or so years of your life where you mean a damn, the geeks are busy toiling away in their caves creating something cool. At about the post University level they emerge, get gym memberships, get jobs that require social contact and end up with the *really* good looking girls who were also socially awkward in school that would never have banged you in a million years.

So while you're rotting at the local pub, do spare a thought for those sex starved voyeuristic creeps, and their nice cars, big houses and sexy, intelligent wives.

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236055)

Because a copy can be created from a photograph [msn.com] taken from a distance.

Copying keys with a camera (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236071)

to actually print a key, you still need to need the original to copy.

For typical residential-grade locks, does one need an original key for any length of time or just a photo of an original?

Re:Copying keys with a camera (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236231)

No, you drug your target at a party and when he passes out you make an imprint of the key in a spoon full of hot wax. Later, back at your lair, you have your trustworthy sidekick file a copy of the key out by hand.

Dont you watch movies??

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236309)

Oh, this is already a thing. Standard residential grade lock quality keys have already been printed, and fully working printable padlocks are already a thing. However, making purely mechanical keys is already pretty common tech.

Re:Guns are an extreme case, but not the only case (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236375)

Life also gets interesting when we can print keys. To your house, your car, your safe deposit box....

It isn't polite to mention it, and people have set up a degree of obfuscation by using blind codes with proprietary conversion books or software; but you can reproduce (basic) keys with just the bitting codes and an appropriate blank. If you want EZ-while-U-wait, you'll need a key cutting machine; but a set of files and some calipers will work, if you don't mind building some character in the process.

If you have physical access to the original(rather than just a photo or set of bitting codes) various seriously cheesy casting techniques should also suffice to produce a working copy(plaster and any low or moderate temperature metal strong enough to take it, silicone and classier thermoplastics, probably a bar of soap and some JB Weld, if you are feeling improvisational...)

Machine vision algorithms that can infer bitting codes just from adequate photos of the rentacop's big bundle 'o keys are a new and exciting trick; but reproducing low cost keys is not the world's biggest news.

If you outlaw printing guns (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235727)

Then only outlaws will have printed guns.

Technology (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235743)

The Chinese were so ignorant they thought gunpowder was useful for making delightful colors in the sky to amuse people. It took a genius to see the killer app, making round metal balls that fly through people. I guess that's literally a killer app. Go technology.

Re:Technology (5, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235923)

The Chinese were so ignorant they thought gunpowder was useful for making delightful colors in the sky to amuse people.

You call that ignorant. I call that bliss. They used the technology for centuries to delight and entertain people...and nothing more. Call my cynical, but I wish more technologies followed that pattern.

Re:Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236343)

Whoosh

Re:Technology (1)

puddingebola (2036796) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236415)

I was just being sarcastic. Any new techonolgy comes into existence and people look for ways to put it to destructive use. See atomic power. It powers a city, it exterminates one.

Re:Technology (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236127)

The Chinese were so ignorant they thought gunpowder was useful for making delightful colors in the sky to amuse people.

On the contrary, they started making weapons out of it in fairly short order.

It took a genius to see the killer app, making round metal balls that fly through people. I guess that's literally a killer app. Go technology.

This, on the other hand, is true. Guns and cannon were not an obvious application. The Chinese used it for flamethrowers, rockets and bombs. The first guns *were* produced by Chinese, about three or four centuries after gunpowder was invented.

No you shouldn't. (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235745)

Which isn't to say you shouldn't be able to, but that you shouldn't do it because it will be misused and serves no practical purpose. Also, why is it we ask "how can we shoot things or blow things up with this" every time a new technology comes to the market?

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235825)

>serves no practical purpose
Explain what you mean by this.
Being able to acquire a means of defense without need for a larger industry seems useful to me.

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235875)

The problem lies right there, the fact that you feel that you need to defend yourself implies that the system has an underlying issue that should be solved. And it's solved by education and control, not by doing an arms race with your next door neighbor.

Violence simply leads to more violence.

PS: I love guns.

Re:No you shouldn't. (1)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235945)

And it's solved by education and control

Whose control? I suspect this is part of what the parent was getting at. BTW, I'll bet the British would have loved to have such education and control.

Re:No you shouldn't. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235981)

The problem lies right there, the fact that you feel that you need to defend yourself

Your problem lies right there, in that you think someone must "feel a need to defend themselves" when looking for a firearm.

What if you feel no such need, you just want to be prepared? It's a precaution like having bottled water on hand, or jumper cables in a car. There is no fear of anything, no imminent threat - it's simply a matter of taking sensible precautions.

And a last through for you. In a world where anyone can print a weapon, why is is not sensible to also have a weapon yourself? When you can assume every criminal will be armed how can you justify letting yourself go unarmed? That is what really makes no sense.

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236303)

It's a precaution like having bottled water on hand, or jumper cables in a car.

What if carrying bottled water made you statistically more likely to die of dehydration? Or carrying jumper cables made your car more likely to not start? Would you still carry them knowing that, while they may make you 'feel' more secure, they are in fact probably making you less so?

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236409)

Pretty much what I read from this is that you believe the zombies are coming, with the whole being prepared deal. And not every criminal will be able to print a gun, the people that do print a gun with the intent to commit a crime won't be a petty criminal, since they have to own the printer, the materials and know how to use it. And every criminal can be armed without having to print it because they can just buy it legally or illegally, guns should be outlawed, we've evolved enough as to not have to kill each other.

Re:No you shouldn't. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236001)

The problem lies right there, the fact that you feel that you need to defend yourself implies that the system has an underlying issue that should be solved. And it's solved by education and control, not by doing an arms race with your next door neighbor.

Violence simply leads to more violence.

Being prepared for violence to be committed against you != committing violence against another.

Besides, read your Constitution - we are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms so we can defend ourselves against the government, not our neighbors.

That's just the gravy.

Re:No you shouldn't. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236281)

we are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms so we can defend ourselves against the government

Let me know how well that works out for you. I reckon you'll be on the receiving end of something way bigger than you're allowed to own, pretty damn smartish.

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236363)

So, you're saying that you live in a constant state of paranoia, and you will be fighting against your neighbors as well, because the government will remain in power as long as it has supporters that will be armed just as you.

It simply a matter of preferring to live in a world where we don't have the need to kill each other, the cases where someone has stopped an incident by having a concealed carry weapon is minimal vs the times a lot of people have gotten killed or injured by a crazy person that is armed. Besides your going from the fact that simply because you have the gun you will use it, without hesitation or remorse, and it doesn't just work that way in the real world.

Re:No you shouldn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235873)

but that you shouldn't do it because it will be misused

?

You're talking about specific individuals here. Wouldn't it depend on the individual's intent? That would determine whether or not it'll be misused.

Re:No you shouldn't. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235907)

Because gun-nuts always find a way to perverse something.

Queue the 100 post gun-nut vs EVERYONE SANE argument.

Re:No you shouldn't. (2)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236103)

I'm not sure that it actually will be misused. Printing a gun requires notable access to a 3d printer, a certain degree of cost, patience, and a certain degree of skill with the system. Anyone with that sort of patience certainly isn't committing an impulse crime, and if he's got that skillset, he's probably not likely to be a career violent criminal. I suspect this whole thing is more of media fodder than anything else.

"/." literacy. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235753)

There's a transcript (we're finally doing transcripts of selected videos) below the video for those who prefer to read instead of watch.

What is this reading you're talking about?

Wont be long ... (1)

emho24 (2531820) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235781)

... before this is illegal in the US. The BATF is pretty strict on any manufacturing or modifications to firearms that converts them to full auto, I'm sure they'll be all over this too soon if they aren't already (I'm too lazy to look it up).

Re:Wont be long ... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235989)

I'll admit that I know very little of the gun side of the CFR, but I suspect that these guys will find their downfall in the sale of these items. It's one thing to play around with 3D printing, but the temptation (especially for the young entrepreneur) is to start selling to friends. Once those personal hobby items go commercial, that's when you can plan on a ton of bricks for a hat.

and Cody R. Wilson is.....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235793)

is this dude someone famous that I've never heard of before? I'm just wondering why I should care what he thinks about printing guns at home. TFS doesn't even mention him other than in the title...

Re:and Cody R. Wilson is.....? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236019)

is this dude someone famous that I've never heard of before? I'm just wondering why I should care what he thinks about printing guns at home. TFS doesn't even mention him other than in the title...

He's running Defense Distributed's "3D Printed Gun Contest" the article is about, so yea, probably bears mentioning.

Re:and Cody R. Wilson is.....? (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236223)

Which is basically a nothing organization...so its a fair question.

At last. (3, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235803)

Transcripts!

Like photocopying currency (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235809)

I predict that there will be laws (actually, already are) for this, but that as the industry becomes more mature there are going to be soft-safeguards in the commercial printers which actively discourage the fabrication of the most critical gun-like parts (ex: printers will not print cylindroidal parts with inner diameter ranges that match common ammunition).

Re:Like photocopying currency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235965)

Try breaking your sentence up some...

Re:Like photocopying currency (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236009)

That's what commas are for. :-P

Re:Like photocopying currency (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236021)

Only if they want to significantly reduce the utility of the printers. Tube shapes are used for more than bullets.

Re:Like photocopying currency (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236115)

That sounds ridiculously limiting. Hollow components are a pretty common 3d printer thing. In addition to the utility aspect of this, it's really common to make hollow innards simply to reduce plastic use.

Re:Like photocopying currency (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236275)

While they are doing initial design on a higher grade printer, they are actually targeting a printer model that is 100% capable of duplicating itself (I can't recall the name and am too lazy to look it up, go read the weaponwiki site for full details.) Thus commercial safeguards will fail because the controls can't work. When I can print a printer for each of my friends and they in turn can print one for each of their friends, and so on. And then we can print the firearm model of our choice. It's a limited version of the Star Trek Replicator concept, if I can replicate anything (including the parts to build more replicators) the need for commerce or the ability to regulate it is limited at best.

Further as long as these firearms are only printed for the person's own use, they do not enter into interstate commerce and are thus outside the federal regulatory powers. Thus no need for serial number, no registration with ATF, nada. People will get in trouble when they try to sell or even share these guns, but as long as thy only share the printer components and the data files, no federal regulation is currently applicable.

Re:Like photocopying currency (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236337)

No such printer exists yet, and there are notable obstacles to such a thing ever existing. Reprap, etc can print a substantial fraction of their pieces, which is great for availability and cost, but at least a trip to a well stocked hardware store will be in order. And frankly, you can just build a gun with a trip to a well stocked hardware store.

There are already ample laws available... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235813)

...regulating this behavior. The rules of what you can create and can't are pleasantly explicit in the US. There may be a few new edge cases, but on the whole this won't be anything new to the ATF. Simply, with modern tools, zip guns are no longer hard to make.

Where these people will run into trouble is the attitude ~5:30 minutes into the video, the statement "Fuck your laws." Does not show the kind of safe-and-sane experimenter spirit to which the courts are often forgiving. It's more of a "make an example of me" invitation.

I hope everyone inspired to experiment with these toys takes the opposite approach. Last I read about them, the jail sentences that come with full-auto weapons manufacture were 10 years per gun.

The ATF has no problem with good amateur gunsmithing, nor experimenting with new technologies to make better guns. Kel-Tec is a great example. My first Kel-Tec (the Grendel) was painful to shoot, but cheap and reliable, and now they are a thriving business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kel-Tec [wikipedia.org]

Re:There are already ample laws available... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236117)

Last I read about them, the jail sentences that come with full-auto weapons manufacture were 10 years per gun.

Fully automatic weapons are useful only on a battlefield for suppression to move troops around other than that they are ineffective for actually hitting something - contrary to the BS you see in Hollywood. (My biggest pet peeve in the movies is the disregard for Newton's law of motion: for every action there's a reaction. Shooting someone with a little recoil and they go flying back?!? Plah-ease!)

Anyone who makes or wants a fully automatic (aka: machine gun) is just someone who wants a machine gun for the sake of having a machine gun.

At the shooting range you have a small group of people who like to shoot targets as a sport. They're the ones with the target pistols - usually .22.

Then there is a group of hunters who are there with their bolt, lever, pump, or any other single action rifle or shotgun honing their skills so that they can make a clean shot and kill the animal fast and humanely. We need more of them considering how out of control the deer populations around the country are getting - especially in the North East.

Then there are the military wannbe meatheads. You can't miss them. They have the military styled assault rifles - many times AR-15s and some go way over the top and get the M-4 conversion kits. They are usually white guys with mustaches. I don't know what it is, but at the range if I see a guy with a mustache they are usually one of those "gun nuts" that the anti-gun crowd thinks of - and they're jerks. The sole purpose of the .223 is for military. It's useless for hunting - unless your hunting squirrels and rabbits and it's too expensive for target shooting. It's also useless for home defense because .223 is such a high velocity round, it's going through walls.

Re:There are already ample laws available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236203)

Yeah, let's forget about the people who like to practice for self defense.
 
.223 too expensive for target shooting? Get real. I've done target shooting with tons of stuff that's more expensive than .223. Either you have no idea what expensive really is or you're just being a troll.

Re:There are already ample laws available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236331)

.223 is no more expensive than .40 or .45, are those "gun nut" only calibers too? What about the Mil Surp. 7.62mm that's as cheap as 9mm? Is that too expensive for target shooting too?

Re:There are already ample laws available... (3, Insightful)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236153)

Agreed. This whole thing is really more political statement than it is practical development. If you look over defense distributed's site, the political aspects are pretty well filled out(including a "manifesto"), but technical document appear to be wildly lacking. Their wiki had three pages. A main page, a blank page with a title, and something popped in by a spambot when I checked it out about a week ago. It's almost as if they saw the media bits about printing guns, and decided to tag along with this for political gain, but have no idea what is actually involved.

Re:There are already ample laws available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236175)

At some point in the future it's going to be really easy to fabricate stuff in your house and if you think the copyright mayhem we see now with intangibles like music and film is devastating, well, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

I expect a very tightly controlled "internet experience" maybe 5 to 10 years from now. (and people will love it, because it is "safe")

Re:There are already ample laws available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236219)

When your laws include things like the 'war on drugs', prohibitions against prostitution and gambling, or allow unreasonable searches and seizure of person and property, "Fuck your laws" is perfectly appropriate, and we should support that very concept. "Fuck your laws" is every bit as valid as "Never again", and this time we mean NEVER AGAIN!. Maybe we can put Israel back behind the green line, and finish off the British Empire once and for all. All sorts of ways of containing and isolating the fascists become available

Re:There are already ample laws available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236289)

Where do you get full auto weapons manufacture from the building of a lower? Perhaps you should understand what does and doesn't make a full auto weapon before you comment on things.

Re:There are already ample laws available... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236341)

Exactly - it looks like the US already has laws about the manufacture of illegal weapons and weapon components. Whether you make it with a 3D printer or high-tech CNC mill, or if you make it with a Dremel and hand files, it's still an illegal part.

There are plenty of things in the world that are technically easy, but still illegal. It's incredibly easy for me to jump in my van and go for a blast up the high street at 90mph, but it's still illegal to do so.

eventually (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235855)

Eventually you'll be able to print the whole thing, and synthesize the charge/primer too. The same equipment will be able to make food and medicine. Who do you want controlling that?

Re:eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236099)

I don't know but I hope to god someone will.
I really don't want my neighbors to start printing sarin gas or dimethylmercury, or other deadly substances.

Re:eventually (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236187)

existing laws already cover that, already regulated. this 3d printing business adds nothing new

Re:eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236357)

yeah you're right in exactly the same way that existing laws in 1980 already covered everything about the internet.

Re:eventually (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236171)

people can already make firearms. it can be done legally. as for charge, you can legally buy many, many different powders and primers and cases and bullets, and legally hand load your own ammo. this doesn't raise any new questions that didn't exist for decades already.

Re:eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236347)

the difference is you won't need to know what you're doing, just download the recipe from the pirate bay and push a button...

eehmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235871)

This guy seems to have some kind of problem, givie me the creeps :/

Ugh. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235877)

Excuse me while I print out a 3D hand and a 3D head so I can facepalm without injury to myself.

Why is it ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235943)

Why is it that the stories posted by the people who work at Slashdot totally ignore whether or not I have icons disabled?

Why should stories posted by Roblimo and the other idiots at Slashdot not obey my settings? Trust me, you're not that special.

Oh good grief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235975)

Can we PLEASE stop this endless hyping of 3D printing like it's a Star Trek replicator? First of all, NO ONE has printed a 3D gun. Ever. Anywhere. The 3D fanboys stretch credulity by associating even the most tenuous link to 3D printing. There was 3D printer in the next room? 3D PRINTING OH MY GOD!

Second of all, the people actually making guns themselves by using real machine tools like lathes and mills, do you see them acting like 8 year olds and asking themselves pseudo-profound questions like "should we mill gun barrels"?

FUCK OFF with the 3d printing shit already!

We JUST had a story on how they make ICs! Don't you see how ridiculously far away 3D printing is from any of that?

False statement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41235985)

Note that when some Wiki Weapon proponents talk about making "guns" with 3D printers, they may be talking only about lower receivers or other static parts, not barrels, firing pins or other parts that must be machined to close tolerances and are subjected to a lot of stress when the gun fires.
 
Lower receivers take a lot more stress than the firing pin ever does. Tolerance comes down to design and there are plenty of sloppy designs out there that work just fine in real world conditions.

copier analogy might be relevant (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235991)

I have heard that at least some copiers had built in block for reproduction of banknotes. If this is true, it is probably result of some regulation.

I wonder if something similar will be done for the 3D printers.

not an opinion (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#41235999)

In quite a few states, possibly all of them, you need some sort of certification or registration or permit to create a gun from scratch. So it's not really an opinion at this point. It was decided decades ago and is already law.

Re:not an opinion (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236233)

No you don't. So long as you stay within the federal law (i.e., make them for personal use only, and not make too many of them), and you don't build anything that isn't otherwise prohibited in that state or federally (e.g., Class 3 weapons without the appropriate paperwork, etc.), you're pretty much ok. In other words, if you can legally buy it and own it, you can make it.

The only states I could see that might have restrictions on manufacturing would be California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236069)

We can print squirt guns that can spray lots of goo and acids to jam their real ones. That, combined with portable EMP and directed microwaves can finally give us the edge. And less people will have to die. Weapons neutralization should be the goal.

Digital Sand Casting (4, Interesting)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236119)

3D printing technology is moving into realms that many of us would have overlooked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8MaVaqNr3U [youtube.com] documents using a "sand printer" to make very precise molds for sand casting. Precision castings reduce the amount of finish work required on the casting. Many of the parts used in a gun could be cast using such a technique, finished, tempered where necessary. (Ruger casts a lot of frames, At one time Springfield used cast bolts in the M1A until enough of them broke that they started forging bolts.) MIM is already widely used in the firearms industry for parts like hammers, triggers and grip safeties. The only parts I can think of that couldn't be made using 3D printing or the above technology are springs which can be bought in bulk, and the barrel, which has to be ordinance grade steel and rifled unless you're shooting a smoothbore with shot or a fin stabilized projectile.

So? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236183)

The only parts that are presently printable with home equipment would be the non-essential ones. Making a barrel to correct specs and rifling it requires specialized tooling. Firing pins and firing chambers also need fine machining. Despite this, your run-of-the-mill AK-47 can be made in a motor shop. What you CAN do right now is a cheap, disposable derringer-like smoothbore pistol. Load it with .410 shotgun shells and you will be able to spray hot leaded grief into someone's face. Or make John Malkovich's pistol from "In the Line of Fire". The only question is if we'll be able, by then, to still possess general purpose computer and not industry/government approved "safe for the children" equipment.

It's a moot point (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236185)

Outlaw what people _do_ with guns, which has plenty of room for some re-work. Simply making one, whether printing it, or otherwise, should be perfectly legal. Otherwise, you may as well outlaw making knives, screwdrivers, hammers, rope and anything else which could be used to do something illegal.

Design integrity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41236237)

So, how would one know if the design was even safe? How would you know that during a time of conflict, a govt agency wouldn't hack a site and place a file that includes a defect making the weapon self destruct when you pull the trigger.

I for one.... (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236321)

...appreciate the transcript posted on the bottom. I hope this will be a new standard feature!

not a good idea (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#41236367)

The guy mentions "armed men are free men"... it's a good sound bite, but it really doesn't mean anything. You can have a kitchen knife, and you will be considered armed... it's is not going to help defend you against someone with a gun.

Even the best fully automatic firearm you can print is nothing but a kitchen knife compared to the destructive power a modern military has at its disposal. You don't have tanks, planes, bombs, rockets, missiles, artillery, drones, gunships, submarines, helicopters, radars etc. In the grand scheme of things you might as well be considered unarmed even if you're holding an AK-47 in each arm.

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