An amateur gunsmith has successfuly made a fully operational pistol and an assault rifle that fires from 3D printouts, with the help of plans posted on the net.
According to Australian Popular Science, the gunsmith using the name “HaveBlue,” has made a fully operational 0.22 caliber pistol and parts of an AR-15 assault rifle, the Courier Mail reported.
He announced in online forums that he had tested the pistol that was made from a chunk of plastic feedstock into a commercially-available 3D printer by successfully firing over 200 rounds.
He also posted video of the test firing of an AR-45 variant of an AR-15 assault rifle assembled largely from printed components on the Google videos.
He also posted a template for a major component of an AR-15 assault rifle to a 3D printing website.
However, despite the internal wrangling going over the legality of the post, his template for an assault rifle component was still recently linked on a Thingiverse profile page.
3D printers have exploded in popularity over the past year or two as the devices – once solely the domain of large commerical operations – entered the home domestic market.
In 2003, a 3D printer cost 40,000 dollars. Now, one can buy a home model for a little more than 1000 dollars.
The printers create solid plastic object in any shape you specify, and have previously been used to create plastic prototypes of commercial objects.
However, with the advent of the home printer, they are used to print everything from toy soldiers, lego pieces, bathroom hooks, furniture pieces … even replaceable parts for home electrical appliances.
And one doesn’t need to design the objects yourselves. Large databases already appear online.