Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wiki Weapon Project Test-Fires a (Partly) 3D-Printed Rifle

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the pilgrims'-progress dept.

Open Source 289

MrSeb writes "In its continuing mission to build a 'Wiki Weapon,' Defense Distributed has 3D printed the lower receiver of an AR-15 and tested it to failure. The printed part only survives the firing of six shots, but for a first attempt that's quite impressive. And hey, it's a plastic gun. Slashdot first covered 3D-printed guns back in July. The Defense Distributed group sprung up soon after, with the purpose of creating an open-source gun — a Wiki Weapon — that can be downloaded from the internet and printed out. The Defense Distributed manifesto mainly quotes a bunch of historical figures who supported the right to bear arms. DefDist (its nickname) is seeking a gun manufacturing license from the ATF, but so far the feds haven't responded. Unperturbed, DefDist started down the road by renting an advanced 3D printing machine from Stratasys — but when the company found out what its machine was being used for, it was repossessed. DefDist has now obtained a 3D printer from Objet, which seemingly has a more libertarian mindset. The group then downloaded HaveBlue's original AR-15 lower receiver from Thingiverse, printed it out on the Objet printer using ABS-like Digital Material, screwed it into an AR-57 upper receiver, loaded up some FN 5.7x28mm ammo, and headed to the range. The DefDist team will now make various modifications to HaveBlue's design, such as making it more rugged and improving the trigger guard, and then upload the new design to Thingiverse." Sensible ammo choice; 5.7x28mm produces less recoil than the AR-15's conventional 5.56mm. I wonder how many of the upper's components, too, can one day be readily replaced with home-printable parts — for AR-15 style rifles, the upper assembly is where the gun's barrel lives, while the lower assembly (the part printed and tested here) is the legally controlled part of the firearm.

cancel ×

289 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#42180709)

And hey, it's a plastic gun.

No, it's not. It's not even close to that. It's a plastic lower receiver with the rest of the gun being not plastic.

As someone who's taken gun safety, I'm shocked he put himself at risk to test this. Making a shooting bench is fairly trivial. Automating a trigger pulling mechanism is a little more difficult but would require very basic knowledge. I'm surprised someone with access to a 3D printer would be stupid enough to pull a plastic lower receiver up to his face, put his hand on it and pull the trigger until it failed. In gun safety they show you what even an obstructed barrel can result in when firing a gun. That action mechanism would basically become shrapnel for your right hand, left forearm and face.

If these guys want to be taken seriously, they probably should 3D print something that will prevent them from winning a Darwin award.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#42180797)

In gun safety they show you what even an obstructed barrel can result in when firing a gun.

Yes, but I'm having a harder time imagining what a defect in the lower receiver would cause that would be equivalent to firing a bullet into an obstructed barrel.

That's the car equivalent of 3D printing a new hood and then saying man that's crazy risky -- just look at the damage that can happen when the brakes fail.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180875)

In gun safety they show you what even an obstructed barrel can result in when firing a gun.

Yes, but I'm having a harder time imagining what a defect in the lower receiver would cause that would be equivalent to firing a bullet into an obstructed barrel.

That's the car equivalent of 3D printing a new hood and then saying man that's crazy risky -- just look at the damage that can happen when the brakes fail.

The obstruction example was not meant to be an example of what could go wrong here, just how easily guns can become tiny explosions in your face. For your car example, the hood can fly up into your field of view when you take it out on the highway and you could crash into anything. The lower receiver could crumble apart and cause any number of issues for the person holding it including loss of control of the direction of the bullet.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180883)

But, see, they're both parts of a gun so the whole thing could explode and take out a school bus and a nursery and ten police officers at a moment's notice!

Guns Are Hilarious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180977)

But, see, they're both parts of a gun so the whole thing could explode and take out a school bus and a nursery and ten police officers at a moment's notice!

Yep, guns are a joke and a laughing matter. Be sure to build your own at home and just try to eyeball the caliber of the pipe you use for the barrel. If the shell goes in, it'll probably work. Those 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotguns have interchangeable ammunition. Don't worry, it's not like they'll take out a school bus and a nursery and ten police officers at a moment's notice if it doesn't work.

Re:Guns Are Hilarious! (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42181027)

What the fuck are you talking about?

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181051)

I feel as though I need to correct this...

It's not a school bus and ten police officers. It's ten school buses and one police officer.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#42180967)

The hood is part of the structural strength of the vehicle.

What if you printed a hood from plastic that shattered? And you had a crash, and sharp plastic shards penetrated the windscreen and impaled you, "Omen" style?

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

Afty0r (263037) | about 2 years ago | (#42181091)

The hood is part of the structural strength of the vehicle.

This may be true of some automobiles, but it's certainly not true of them all - many auto hoods now are the equivalent of tin-foil with more thickness of paint on them than metal in them... On my car (Honda S2000) you can make a significant shallow depression in the hood, depressing it only with the strength in your smallest finger...

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42181297)

When I was your age, we took the hoods off our cars and drove them around like that.

Now get off my lawn, kid!

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (3, Funny)

cffrost (885375) | about 2 years ago | (#42181439)

When I was your age, we took the hoods off our cars and drove them around like that.

Now get off my lawn, kid!

Any chance you drove a Gran Torino?

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (4, Informative)

need4mospd (1146215) | about 2 years ago | (#42181355)

The only purpose of a hood is to keep stuff from getting in the engine bay and improve aerodynamics. If you think it adds structural integrity to the vehicle, I suggest you spend a little more time under the hood. Most hoods are attached at two points by weak hinges, real structural there. Not to mention, a common hood material is fiberglass which breaks up into shards fairly easy.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180831)

Seriously? What's the worst that's going to happen from a lower receiver breaking? It doesn't even approach the situation, in terms of danger, caused by a squib.

As someone who's been shooting, dismantling and repairing firearms for over 20 years, I'm inclined to think maybe you should stick to things you learned in your little gun safety class and not speculate too far beyond that.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Informative)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#42180843)

Well, there's some risk, but it's pretty minimal. The upper receiver is likely metal, and the upper receiver holds the bolt and the barrel and chamber.

It's hard to see what kind of problem you would have if the lower failed -- feed problem with a dropped magazine? Broken trigger guard, or just some larger mechanical failure if the lower itself cracked or split?

None of these would result in a gun blowing up in your face as the cartridge is fired in the chamber which is an integral part of the barrel and connected mechanically to the upper receiver.

It seems like a good machinist's face shield and a pair of gloves would be more than adequate protection for the risks involved.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42181253)

It's hard to see what kind of problem you would have if the lower failed

Worst case scenario is some improbable failure of the sear leading to full auto operation while being filmed. Whoops. Then the jackboots nuke everyone involved from orbit, just to be sure.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181361)

Well...
As a person who actually builds ARs as a hobby let me follow up. The lower receiver is also where the buffer tube is attached. The buffer and buffer spring are absorbing the blow back of the bolt carrier group and is responsible for returning it to battery position. The point at which the buffer tube meets the lower receiver is a potential point of failure since the receiver is not aluminum. This also happens to be right about where your face is. If it breaks loose chances are the rifle will simply fail to cycle at all. Although if it breaks loose and you fire a second round you may end up with a BCG slamming into a broken buffer tube and having part of it lodged into the side of your face. Even if the potential for failure is small it does exist. Maybe it is just me but until you work out the kinks placing your face next to it is in fact extremely unsafe, face shield or not. One solution to this point of failure is to embed a threaded aluminum collar into the printed piece so the buffer tube had solid threads to anchor to.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181391)

Well, there's some risk, but it's pretty minimal. The upper receiver is likely metal, and the upper receiver holds the bolt and the barrel and chamber.

It's hard to see what kind of problem you would have if the lower failed -- feed problem with a dropped magazine? Broken trigger guard, or just some larger mechanical failure if the lower itself cracked or split?

None of these would result in a gun blowing up in your face as the cartridge is fired in the chamber which is an integral part of the barrel and connected mechanically to the upper receiver.

It seems like a good machinist's face shield and a pair of gloves would be more than adequate protection for the risks involved.

This is no excuse, and not the proper way to test experimental weapon modifications.
More mundane modifications than this ought to be bench tested.

Stop defending this please. Failure after cycling _six_ rounds is way past any reasonable thresholds to be firing this thing by hand. If the pistol grip or stock failed after six damn rounds, it should be back in as test rig!

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (3, Insightful)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about 2 years ago | (#42180845)

Yeah, But...

All of the high-stress areas are also in the UPPER receiver. If the upper receiver, chamber, barrel, bolt-face, cam-lock, and main spring are all from "typically manufactured" steel and aluminum parts, then using this weapon is not any more dangerous than firing a mass-produced AR. - Just less reliable.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#42181127)

To be honest I think they should be looking at different designs entirely to compensate for the poor quality materials, maybe even completely new designs.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

eyegor (148503) | about 2 years ago | (#42181225)

There's a fair amount of stress where the buffer tube screws into the lower. Both from torque forces caused by the user pulling the gun in tight to their body while they shoot and stress caused as the buffer spring compresses when the gun shoots. The stress is nothing like what's seen on the upper, but obviously you don't want the gun breaking just because you've pulled in too hard while shooting.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 2 years ago | (#42181227)

If the high-stress areas are all in the upper receiver, then why did this lower receiver fail after 6 shots?

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (5, Insightful)

CasualFriday (1804992) | about 2 years ago | (#42180993)

And hey, it's a plastic gun.

No, it's not. It's not even close to that. It's a plastic lower receiver with the rest of the gun being not plastic.

As far as the ATF is concerned, an AR-15 lower receiver is a gun because it is the part of the gun that is serialized. Of course, your statement is true if you're arguing above the legal authority of the ATF, an organization that considers shoelaces to be machine guns. [everydaynodaysoff.com]

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42181119)

That's OK. Their sister organization the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) thinks Marijuana is a Schedule I drug(drugs you can't have anywhere, anytime), right up there with heroin , while the purified form of the active substance in Marijuana, THC (marinol [wikipedia.org] ) is a Schedule III drug (drugs with much less of an addictive or medical issue, you can call prescriptions in by phone or fax, get refills of them).

Dumb and Dumber!

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

spitzak (4019) | about 2 years ago | (#42181387)

As far as the ATF is concerned, an AR-15 lower receiver is a gun because it is the part of the gun that is serialized.

Why is this? It seems like the serial number should be attached to some more important part of the gun, like the barrel? Especially since the barrel leaves rifling marks that are used to identify weapons. I would also suspect the barrel is going to be the last part to be 3D printed (not because of materials but because of the need to make it have a very straight hole and the ease of doing this with traditional machining). Or put a serial number on all the major parts?

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#42181045)

I have never taken a gun safety class but this was the first thing that came to mind for me as well.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42181077)

If these guys want to be taken seriously

Seems more like they want attention / drama, which they're getting (from people who operate from fear, mostly). A good 3D printer is more expensive than a Smithy combo mill and the mill can actually make a full working gun. Do the attack tree analysis...

If I was going to spend time making a gun for fun, it would be Jamie's 'pop gun' that shoots soda cans with compressed air from a fire extinguisher tank. That one 'killed' Buster and most people who can change the oil in their car could put one together.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181247)

A good 3D printer is more expensive than a Smithy combo mill and the mill can actually make a full working gun.

An AR lower receiver is only about $150 anyways. But this isn't about money. It's a political troll.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#42181121)

I'm surprised someone with access to a 3D printer would be stupid enough to pull a plastic lower receiver up to his face, put his hand on it and pull the trigger until it failed.

There's a reason D&D has separate stats for Intelligence and Wisdom, y'know.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42181141)

As a kid we used to take a board with a hole drilled into it, put a rifle round in it and smack it with a hammer to set it off. Got good enough that we were actually hitting targets at 20 yards with it. No one was killed surprisingly. Where you have to worry about with bullets is A. being in front of it when it goes off... and B. having the gas trapped due to a poorly made bullet or a barrel obstruction. There's not really a way for what he made to fail in such a way that the gun would blow up. I'd be sure to check the barrel after every shot though.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#42181257)

On and AR-15/M-16/M4 platform the Lower reciever simply holds the trigger mechanism thats it. There is no safety issue. IF the trigger mechanism malfunctions then the gun just wont fire thats all. Its the upper reciever that you have to worry about on these platforms.

Re:Did He Really Just Pull That Up To His Face? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#42181283)

Plastic lowers are really nothing new, you can get them dirt cheap. The only thing new here is that it's being made with a 3d printer rather than manufactured and sold. The only reason that's even interesting is that the lower is the part of the gun that's regulated so potentially anyone could create their own lower and order all the other parts.

I agree their test method was foolish; but if not for guys like this we wouldn't get to enjoy the darwin awards each year as you pointed out!

Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180773)

Since the lower receiver is the "regulated" part of the AR-15 (the part that the ATF considers to be the actual gun), isn't think rather illegal?

Re:Legality? (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#42180917)

Since the lower receiver is the "regulated" part of the AR-15 (the part that the ATF considers to be the actual gun), isn't think rather illegal?

Home-made rifles are completely legal, you just can't sell or otherwise distribute them. The plans for them, on the other hand, you can distribute, hence the project.

Re:Legality? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 years ago | (#42180947)

You can build guns for private use, you don't even need to stamp a registration number on it. Until you transfer the gun to some other party you are in the clear, and even then there are some exceptions I believe.

Re:Legality? (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#42181067)

In the past, one could buy raw frames and receivers, put the parts on, and have a fully functioning firearm except sans a serial number.

These days, the frames have to be 80% finishes (the customer has to do the last part) to be legal with BATF.

What I'm waiting for is the changes in NFA/BATF policy to deal with the printed lower receivers. I doubt they would require barrels or other parts to be serialized, but who knows.

Re:Legality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181237)

building a title 1 gun (e.g. a semi-automatic or bolt action rifle or handgun, i.e. not a machine gun, short barrel rifle/shotgun, destructive device, any other weapon or other firearm with restrictions on their possession or transfer) is perfectly legal without a manufacturing license as long as it is for personal use only and not built with the intention of transfering it. in fact, you can even sell it down the line if you want to as long as it wasn't built with that intention.

Counterintuitive (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | about 2 years ago | (#42180779)

I wonder what having techie types with superior firepower as the societal norm will do to the prevalent stereotype.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180813)

Nothing since you'll still be in mommy's basement with cheetos-stained fingers.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

Tangential (266113) | about 2 years ago | (#42180913)

Nothing since you'll still be in mommy's basement with cheetos-stained fingers.

As long as they are the Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeno CHEETOS® I can live with that.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

Thiez (1281866) | about 2 years ago | (#42180899)

Seems to me the military has superior firepower. And the techies aren't allowed to go around shooting people (just like the non-techies), so it doesn't even make a difference even if you ignore the military.

It's likely that most techies could already have superior firepower today even without this technology, as they tend to have above-average income and having more Benjamins presumably buys you bigger guns.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180915)

What makes you think that's not already the case?

Re:Counterintuitive (2)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about 2 years ago | (#42180919)

If this is anything new for you... you might not have been paying enough attention.

My IT industry friends are the most well armed guys I know.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42180943)

I wonder what having techie types with superior firepower as the societal norm will do to the prevalent stereotype.

Instead of a bunch of smelly, hairy, alcohol fueled crazies running around with guns, you will have a bunch of smell, hairy, meth-addict level Mountain Dew infused crazies (with yellow / orange greasy fingers) running around with guns.

I, for one, welcome our new Mountain Dew swilling overlords.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181029)

I'm not smelly, you insensitive clod.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | about 2 years ago | (#42181323)

I'm not smelly, you insensitive clod.

You should consider a second opinion. You have become used to the smell. Others around you have not.

Or do you still imagine people run from you shrieking because Godzilla is standing behind you?

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181103)

I wonder what having techie types with superior firepower as the societal norm will do to the prevalent stereotype.

Instead of a bunch of smelly, hairy, alcohol fueled crazies running around with guns, you will have a bunch of smell, hairy, meth-addict level Mountain Dew infused crazies (with yellow / orange greasy fingers) running around with guns.

I, for one, welcome our new Mountain Dew swilling overlords.

You forgot the over-developed sense of righteousness and self-worth, plus the terrifying lack of concern for any thing or any concept outside of their narrow set of interests.

For both sides.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#42180963)

I wonder what having techie types with superior firepower as the societal norm will do to the prevalent stereotype.

The real question is why do we need more firepower? How do highly evolved highly intelligent people benefit from this?

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180991)

It's actually quite difficult to simply think yourself out of potentially dangerous confrontation.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181221)

Just hang on a while, it should only take an hour or two to print this out and assemble it.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181007)

It makes dudes with penile inferiority feel bigger.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42181075)

That didn't take long.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181151)

That's what she said.

Re:Counterintuitive (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42181291)

The real question is why do we need more firepower? How do highly evolved highly intelligent people benefit from this?

You would know, if you were one :P

j/k

Excuse to ban or lciense up the ass . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181035)

This is going to bite the maker community in the ass.

Polictian looking for votes on the Fear platform: "Hey Look at THIS! These 3-D printing machines are being used to make plastic GUNS! Guns that can go through a security scanner!! Terrorists will use this to kill your children!!"

John Q. Public will not go and investigate this on their own. They will not see that the barrel needs to be metal. Or that the ammunition is metal. Nooooo. They'll jump on board and give the politician the backing to ban 3-D printing or license it to the point where it's too expensive to Joe inventor or hacker.

Couldn't he have used the 3-D printing for a custom case or something?

A gun?!

Fucking A.

Re:Counterintuitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181125)

Make small crossbows and bolts. With today's technology and materials, one of those things will be a lot deadlier than whatever toys these guys make.(deadlier for the targets, not the users)

"Plastic Gun" (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#42180785)

Well, hell, if this qualfies as a plastic gun, then so is my Sig SP2022, and it survives a lot more than 6 rounds. A plastic lower is just a frame; just like my Sig, or Glocks, or numerous other firearms, the actual firing mechanisms(trigger assembly for lower; barrel, firing pin, chamber, and numerous other parts for the upper) are still made of metal.

Re:"Plastic Gun" (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#42181023)

Except those plastics were specifically designed for this purpose (IIRC that's the whole deal with Glocks - 'cheap' simple plastic guns). Not the whatever thermoplastic ribbon you get in a 3 D printer.

Real question: How many different kinds of plastic are available for these things? One of the interesting things about plastics chemistry is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types available with different properties. Picking the right plastic for the job is a very important thing.

Re:"Plastic Gun" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181131)

You are kind of getting it wrong, though. All the poly wonder pistols will have steel frame rails that the slide travels on, which is embedded into the plastic frame. The unique challenge to printing an AR15 receiver is that you won't have a steel skeleton to reinforce/embed in the polymer.

Re:"Plastic Gun" (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | about 2 years ago | (#42181373)

You are kind of getting it wrong too. Glocks, XDs, and other polymer pistols are also made of reinforced plastic. It is not the same as the printed plastic.

You are correct that stress points of the plastic frames as well as many of the internals are metal.

Just to point out Glocks are plastic (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#42180803)

The recievers on Glock handguns are plastic, just to point out. Obviously, its possible to make plastic guns, just not by replacing plastic with metal

Barrels, springs and working parts are the only thing that needs to be made out of metal.

also 5.7x28 is a terrible calibre. Its pistol ammo, that at best has the knockdown and kick of 9mm, and at worst is an expensive non-standard cartridge. Its far overhyped, and far overrated.

Re:Just to point out Glocks are plastic (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42181043)

also 5.7x28 is a terrible calibre. Its pistol ammo

Strictly speaking, it's PDW ammo, not pistol ammo. Or in other words: coincidentally, there's a pistol for it - one, as far as I know. Does that really make it "pistol ammo"?

Re:Just to point out Glocks are plastic (1)

CasualFriday (1804992) | about 2 years ago | (#42181081)

Barrels, springs and working parts are the only thing that needs to be made out of metal. also 5.7x28 is a terrible calibre. Its pistol ammo, that at best has the knockdown and kick of 9mm, and at worst is an expensive non-standard cartridge. Its far overhyped, and far overrated.

It should be noted that Glocks' slides are not made of polymer either. Additionally, 5.7x28 is terrible if you're looking for a large bullet. It has large capacity and is also armor-piercing, so it fills a niche that standard 9mm doesn't really satisfy. I do agree with you that it's overhyped and expensive, though.

Re:Just to point out Glocks are plastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181097)

its possible to make plastic guns, just not by replacing plastic with metal

Well duh, if you replaced the plastic with metal you'd have a metal gun.

So... (1, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42180807)

Is it too early to set up a kickstarter to pay for the finger reattachment that one of these plucky alpha testers is going to earn himself?

"So, um, guys, I'm working on a project that will involve briefly generating an overpressure of up to 50 thousand PSI accompanied by a release of heat, probably not more than a dozen cycles within a one minute period. It's handheld. What 3d-printable thermoplastic would be best?"

Try out on yourself (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180809)

Like all weapons manufacturers, they should try out their weapons on themselves.

Object and Stratasys have merged (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180909)

Object and Stratasys have completed their merger yesterday, so we'll see about that "libertarian mindset"...

Why is this considered a good thing? (0, Troll)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#42180953)

If we are going to use printers to make weapons why aren't we making non-lethal weapons at least?
Second of all why do we need to be making weapons at all? The government should have a monopoly on violence as it is the role of government to control weapons. Do we really want this?

Re:Why is this considered a good thing? (5, Funny)

logjon (1411219) | about 2 years ago | (#42181013)

Not sure if you're joking or European.

Re:Why is this considered a good thing? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#42181115)

The government should have a monopoly on violence

Oh, wow, not sure if you've intended it that way, but what a great way to sum up the government's goals.

Re:Why is this considered a good thing? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42181223)

If we are going to use printers to make weapons why aren't we making non-lethal weapons at least?

Um... because lethal one's are easier?

Seriously, what kind of non-lethal weapon could you even make with a 3D printer? a plastic stick?

I would not post one more comment on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180961)

STOP! Entrapment, Lists, Oath Breakers. Go ahead fuck your life up. IDIOTS

Re:I would not post one more comment on this (2)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#42181137)

Sounds like you should be posting in the 3D printed tinfoil hat thread.

STOP DOING THIS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180965)

All this 'gun printing' talk is what's going to be used to help get 3dprinters banned or require a license to even buy/own. it's going to have controls slapped on it somewhere.

Stop fucking telling people that doing this shit guys. Until they are everywhere they are way easy to regulate and control.

You're not helping. serious.

Re:STOP DOING THIS! (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#42181153)

It's not illegal to manufacture your own firearms in US.

Re:STOP DOING THIS! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42181273)

All this 'gun printing' talk is what's going to be used to help get 3dprinters banned or require a license to even buy/own. it's going to have controls slapped on it somewhere.

Stop fucking telling people that doing this shit guys. Until they are everywhere they are way easy to regulate and control.

You're not helping. serious.

Dear AC who cannot form a cogent sentence:
We refer you to the response given in Arkell v. Pressdram.

The right to bare arms shall not be infringed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42180973)

But once you paint that gun, it's no longer nekked!

Just Bend an AK Out of a Shovel (1)

ilikenwf (1139495) | about 2 years ago | (#42180987)

Of course, you'll still have to follow the retarded rule about having a certain percentage be American parts if in America, but hey...AK parts kits are cheap and not that hard to build.

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/179192-DIY-Shovel-AK-photo-tsunami-warning [northeastshooters.com]

not that interesting or new (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#42181003)

Because of the weapon's design, the receiver on an AR-15 is a notoriously easy part to produce, and has been possible to produce on low-end CNC mills for years. It's not in any way the most difficult part of the weapon to produce; it's just the outer housing within which the actual functional parts are located. Sort of like printing a computer case but not printing what goes inside the case.

Re:not that interesting or new (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | about 2 years ago | (#42181417)

Because of the weapon's design, the receiver on an AR-15 is a notoriously easy part to produce, and has been possible to produce on low-end CNC mills for years.

And before that it was designed to be stamped -- very low cost for very high production rates.

Why 5.7x28? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#42181033)

Why that round? It's not a rifle round (making the "printable rifle" really a "printable carbine") and it's not even a standard AR rifle round (which is traditionally 5.56x45, but the design is flexible..).

I would think for initial builds you'd want to at least target the baseline round for an AR, 5.56x45, or if they really want to work out the bugs, 7.62x51 NATO, which is a much more powerful cartridge and thus making the design guaranteed to be backwards compatible (from a strength perspective) with 5.56x45.

If they start with the really small cartridge like 5.7x28, their design won't scale up.

And the 5.7 is a weird round to choose anyway. Apocryphally, it was designed to be some super high velocity round designed to defeat bullet resistant vests when you used the right ammo, which they stopped selling to consumers. I think it really was part of a whole paramilitary/protection system of weapons designed to replace the use of 9mm handguns and MP5 submachine guns.

Re:Why 5.7x28? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181101)

actually, it is a rifle round used in both the FiveseveN and P90 (and the lesser non-fully automatic PS-90).

Re:Why 5.7x28? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#42181451)

It's probably technically a "hybrid" round, more resembling a cut-down 5.56 case designed to fit/feed in a grip-magazine automatic handgun.

Saying that it's a rifle round based on it's use in the bullpup carbine P90 is like saying the .44 Special is a rifle round because you can fire it in a lever action Winchester.

Re:Why 5.7x28? (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#42181201)

I think they are more concerned with proving the thing will fire than having a rugged design at this point. The goal is to fire something and have it less likely to have it blow up in your face (literally). For that reason, they probably don't want to start with 5.56mm and particularly not 7.62mm rifle rounds.

Of course, again, as has been pointed out, the lower receiver is probably not going to be challenged very much by what you fire.

this is a huge improvement (1)

HPHatecraft (2748003) | about 2 years ago | (#42181047)

over the previous version of the printer which only printed a 2D version of an AR-15.

One of the main problems with the earlier version is that, when trying to load the printed rifle, the bullets just seems to roll right off.

Also, paper cuts were a problem.

if there's anything we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181073)

it's more guns

I downloaded a car. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181079)

I'm posting from the future here, and I just wanted to say that printing an AR-15 is a total newb move. In 2043, if you've got 1337 skillz, you torrent and print your own aircraft carrier.

Re:I downloaded a car. (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42181129)

Agreed a computer generated AR-15 lower is a total newb move. A 1337 skillz print would be a full auto sear. Now THAT will piss everyone off and stir an anthill.

Re:I downloaded a car. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#42181243)

I'm posting from your future and I have to say aircraft are the noob move. What with the 4.2 GW laser pointers available at the 7-11 checkout aisle.

Re:I downloaded a car. (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#42181415)

I'm posting from the future here, and I just wanted to say that printing an AR-15 is a total newb move. In 2043, if you've got 1337 skillz, you torrent and print your own aircraft carrier.

So tempting to get that on Kickstarter just to see how much money could be raised before people clue in.

P. T. Barnum anyone?

Pretty brave (read: dumb) way to test a gun (1)

eyegor (148503) | about 2 years ago | (#42181083)

While the lower receiver doesn't see the kind of stresses that are present in the upper receiver and bolt carrier, the lower receiver failed exactly where it sees the most real stress. As the bolt carrier moves backwards during the ejection phase of the cycle, it compresses the buffer spring and that stress plus the stress caused by the stock attachment was more than the lower could handle.

Personally, whenever I test fire a gun, I put it in an appropriate test jig and make sure I'm clear from any likely failure. I don't think his gun would have blown up, but if the lower failed just as the bolt carrier began moving rearward, it's likely that the carrier and upper would have been damaged and things would have gotten interesting.

I shot an conventionally made AR-15 that suffered a catastrophic failure of the bolt lugs and in spite of the bolt carrier coming back much faster than normal, everything held together just fine. If such an event happened with a printed plastic lower, it's likely that the gun would have been damaged badly.

I've seen prices on 3d printing for metal and the prices to render a standard lower receiver would have greatly exceeded the cost of buying a conventionally manufactured one.

Re:Pretty brave (read: dumb) way to test a gun (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42181199)

I've seen prices on 3d printing for metal and the prices to render a standard lower receiver would have greatly exceeded the cost of buying a conventionally manufactured one.

The "fun" with 3-d printing seems to be mash up. Next up the "hello kitty" themed AR-15 lower. Yes I've seen pink 1022s, but I'm talking about full on copyright violation ar15 lowers. Or a lower with a goatse themed trigger guard.

zombies are coming, bar the doors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181085)

zombies are coming, bar the doors! we still need 8 hours to finish printing our single gun...

someone's bound to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181147)

ob: "everyone posting in this story has a tiny penis" post

oops.

Why not go all plastic and tone down the lethality (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | about 2 years ago | (#42181167)

Yeah, you can't make the other parts out of plastic because of the pressure from the round, but you could reduce the pressure and projectile speed making it a lot less lethal but still usable for targets and defense. There really isn't much between paintball/airsoft and lethal firearms. I wonder if there would be a market for people wanting something like that.

Re:Why not go all plastic and tone down the lethal (1)

sureshot007 (1406703) | about 2 years ago | (#42181313)

Even the pressure necessary for match grade air rifles would be too much for plastics. That is, if you want any real accuracy.

NEWS FLASH!! (2)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 2 years ago | (#42181193)

Area man uses CNC machine and metalsmithing lathe to build a gun! Complete with Barrel, upper and lower receiver!

Just what the world needed... (0)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#42181295)

... more cheap guns.

Common Carrier analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181317)

Telecoms were generally exempt from liability/responsibility for things said by callers under a "common carrier" theory - they didn't monitor or censor conversations, and so weren't responsible for what was said. (You could argue recent copy infringement actions by ISP's is breaking this theory and opening a whole world of potential liability for ISP's to what's on their networks, but that's an argument for another day).

I think Stratasys has really set themselves up for some potential liability here by repossessing their machine (by effectively rejecting any cover of a common-carrier-like theory.) By monitoring what their customers are doing and taking action, it seems like they're effectively accepting responsibility for knowing what their customers are printing, and the responsibility to take action against those who it deems are acting illegally.

That's a terribly precedent for them to set. What happens when one of their customers prints something that someone else holds a patent on? What happens when someone prints an unlicensed replica of a copyrighted cartoon carrier? IANAL, but it seems like Stratasys just put themselves on the hook for a bottomless bit of lawsuits...

Missing the point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181351)

Posit: You have the right to bear arms.
Correct

Posit: the word "Arms" can be understood to mean "Guns" among other things like knives, spears, bows & arrows.
Correct

Posit: You have the right to make a knife
Correct

Posit: A knife is an armament
Correct

Therefore you have the right to make armaments
False

While you, peon, can give as much money as you want to the Rich & Powerful (tm) to purchase a gun, you may not make anything more complex than a flintlock rifle. In other words, if you decide to buy $1,000,000 worth of guns you can. If you decide to make a single cartridge firing rifle you are screwed.

Welcome to America, citizen.

This is getting way more hype than it needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42181359)

Home CNC are getting more popular too, and you can make real guns in there entirety, a 3d printed AR-15 Lower receiver is pretty boring,

I've always thought the registered part should be the barrelled chamber and or upper receiver, thats the actual hard part to make.

More importantly people have been making home made guns for hundreds of years, now they have a tool to make it slightly more precisely this changes nothing just a bunch of pussy city folk all worked up over nothing

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>