First 3D-printed gun fired

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First 3D-printed gun test fired

News: the world's first 3D-printed plastic gun has been successfully fired in Texas, USA.

The handgun, named The Liberator, was assembled from separate printed components made from ABS plastic, with the exception of a metal nail used as a firing pin.

The makers of the gun, who belong to Austin-based libertarian activist group Defense Distributed, now plan to publish the blueprints for the gun on the group's Pirate Bay-style file-sharing site Defcad.

First 3D-printed gun test fired

A video published online initially showed the gun being fired remotely by pulling a string attached to its trigger.

The BBC later filmed the gun being fired by Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed's 25-year-old leader, who said that gun control laws had become outdated in the face of new technology.

"I'm seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much have whatever you want. It's not up to the political players any more," he said.

First 3D-printed gun test fired

The successful test firing came after a year of development by Defense Distributed, which a few months ago launched Defcad to host 3D printing blueprints for illicit items including weapons, drugs and medical equipment.

In other 3D printing news this week, US office supplies retailer Staples is to become the first major US chain to sell 3D printers, with the $1300 Cube 3D Printer arriving in its stores by the end of June.

First 3D-printed gun test fired

Last year designer Ronen Kadushin, a pioneer of the open design movement that calls for designs to be shared freely without copyright, warned that advances in 3D printing could allow people to "print ammunition for an army".

In our earlier report on Defense Distributed, the founder of collaborative design practice Superflux, Anab Jain, suggested that democratised access to blueprints is "about making sure there is a possibility to debate these things instead of just becoming passive consumers and saying, ‘tomorrow I can order a 3D-printed gun if I want’."

We report on the rise of 3D-printed weaponry in our recently launched print-on-demand publication Print Shift, which also looks at how the technology is being adapted to architecture, design, food, fashion and other fields.

Read more about 3D printing on Dezeen, including the race to 3D-print a house and a proposal for a moon base that would be 3D-printed by spider robots using lunar dust.

Photographs are by Defense Distributed.

  • mmmhhh

    Please tell me this is not happening.

  • Gregor

    3D printing weapons. This isn’t good…

  • Erik

    The fact that the subject of 3D printing is a gun should have been enough to not publish this article! This is the last thing you want to use a 3D printer for. Unbelievable!

    • Gugenheim is next

      Get over it. Almost all innovation starts with weapons and the military. Don’t like it? Better throw all your gadgets away.

      • fraperic

        I agree, and actually this is probably the second most relevant use for 3D printing technologies. I’d much rather hear about this than see some recent graduate’s models for a moon house that takes its inspiration from the nests of a rare species of dung beetle. I have long been against advocating the technology as something revolutionary to the design industry. It’s merely a tool, and as Defense Distributed say, some tools are designed to cause harm.

        If you were wondering what the number one relevant use for 3D printing technology will be; that’s right, dildos.

        • chinaimport

          Hopefully he WON’T get shot by one of his own plastic guns!

  • Nathan

    Ah, a very good and useful development. Putting energy in designing where it is most useful. Praise the lord and arms for everybody!

  • midow

    The greatest thing ever! You guys are so dead.

  • rohtmuz

    Shame on Dezeen for publishing this in a way that makes the plans more accessible for all to copy and reproduce! Responsible journalism was called for in this instance!

    • jos

      I also think this has nothing to do with design. It seems enough to have “3D-printed” in the title to get published on Dezeen.

      • Wadi

        That’s very naive. Design has to do with technology, usablity and much more. Design is the bridge between engineering and our society. It would be very sad if Dezeen didn’t let us know about things like this, or do you just want to see another styled chair?

        We always have to face new technologies and how they are used. The government and industry has to react to this novelty and come up with new ideas to keep the planet safe. Get your pen out and help to find a way to keep us safe instead of moaning. Responsible journalism? Walk through a city and count the weapons on the billboards, advertising for films and games. This is the problem and not Dezeen, which in your eyes should hide the real facts.

        • rohtmuz

          It’s not naive at all. I think it’s a balanced piece of journalism, highlighting both the dangers and positives of this would-be better.

          You are correct to say that weapons are portrayed in society regularly, but does this make it right, should it be continued or be even more widespread than currently? Do you think the world would be safer if everyone had access to a gun?

      • rohtmuz

        It has more to do with the second amendment than design. I can’t believe my comment has received a negative rating – there must be a lot of people who wish to own a gun out there!

    • Gugenheim is next

      You are getting negative comments and rating because you are calling for censorship. I give you a negative comment for your naive judgement about those who gave you a negative rating.

  • gdane

    A gun you can get through metal detectors – now available for your 3D printers!
    Just what society needs.. All I can do is shake my head and wonder what in god’s name these people are thinking.

  • Mark

    The whole wonder of 3D printing is that it can create any shape for any product.
    If you’re upset that humans make weapons, get a reality check and buy a history book.

    The possible revolution of 3D printing is that it decentralises the power to produce weapons. It might even take away some power from weapon-manufacturers who now hold the monopoly on the industry. Being able to print your own weapon takes away the need for mass production and overstocking – when you need a gun you print one yourself.

    • Antônio

      And you really think that fact will reduce production? Don’t be naive.

  • Gavin

    I hate the idea that this makes guns available to every Tom, Dick and Harry as much as the next man, but if anything is certain to advance technologies such as 3D printing, then it’s finding military uses. It did wonders for the internet, satellite phones, jet engines, etc.

    I think people should look past the less desirable connotations of this and see it for what it is, which is rather impressive.

    Plus, you can’t 3D print the contents of a bullet.

  • Grant

    This is not the sort of article I expect Dezeen to be publishing. You should stay away from publishing articles on weaponry.

    • Gugenheim is next

      Well go to Architctural Digest then. Only boring houses in the Hamptons for you.

  • Gavin

    Roll on print your own hip replacements.

  • http://www.bizzarya.com bizzarya

    Progress?!

  • Desk

    We should ban 3D printing. Only governments should have it. Please ban knives, swords, any blades, screwdrivers, and while you’re at it, nails. Ban all thorns from plants. Sharp objects must be banned. Libeskind, your designs must be banned. Gehry, you have no right to design pointy objects. Slingshots are illegal. All glass bottles in pubs should be banned. Anybody that is politically incorrect should be banned!

    • jos

      Can we ban you too?

  • http://maurigomes.com mauri

    Bad news!

  • Manuel

    This is absolutely disgusting news! Since I read an article about the US army printing bullets and stuff, I saw this coming.

    • Henk

      Wow – so why didn’t you warn us then?

  • future architect

    I hope this guy will be held liable when someone eventually gets hurt because of his tool of an idea.

  • young designer

    Come on guys, I thought we were designers. We need to trust our governments to protect us, feed us, and fund our next ironic lamp projects. No need to stir things up like this.

  • Yuppy

    What’s ridiculous is that had the gun been designed by some trendy designer or better yet dipped in gold and encrusted with diamonds then it would’ve been the most amazing technological advancement. Hypocrites.

  • hellofosta

    “Is a right wing crypto-anarchist distributing weapons data any more dangerous than unregulated, uncertified printed plastic parts finding their way into our offices, homes, cars and kitchens?”
    http://hellofosta.com/2013/04/19/a-short-essay-on

  • http://www.studiouuu.com LOW

    It had to be in Texas….

  • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

    Did he hit the target, though?

    • Fridom-faiter

      I guess he did. I skimmed the news and read that 200 shots had been fired from one of these…. can either be 0.5% or 100% or in between.

  • on the fence

    Next week on dezeen – “First person killed with a 3d printed gun!”

    • djayaputra

      Actually I’ll be expecting the first casualty will be the shooter, since a defect in the printed object is inevitable.

  • Daniel

    Wow… lots of people here hate the 2nd amendment. Also, hate to say this, but this isn’t the first 3D printed gun to be fired. A few months ago there was a fully automatic 3D printed rifle that fired a half dozen rounds before it broke.

    There’s still a long way to go before we get the reliability needed to make 3D printed weapons practical.

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      Lots of people here don't live in the United States, vato :P

    • Chris

      You’re right, I do hate the second amendment. In fact I hate all laws that are set in stone.

      Fact of the matter is that the second amendment is out of date and has been for some time. There is no need to form a militia, the red coats aren’t coming for you. The only purpose of the second amendment is to maintain the NRA’s dominance in Congress and the US’s fetish for war and violence.

      One day, hopefully, enough Americans will see that to abolish it. Although I’m sure it’ll take a few more hundred school shootings and a million more murders for that to happen.

      • Daniel

        The second amendment is not just about forming a militia. The second amendment was in response to a war for independence that had just been won over an oppressive government. The purpose of the second amendment is to ensure that the people have the right to defend themselves from the government should it ever become oppressive again.

        And to rebut your statement that school shootings and gun related murders are a good argument for abolishing the people’s right to bear arms has little merit, both logically and statistically. In states where more people own guns, gun related crime goes down. The risk for criminals is decreased when they feel confident that law abiding citizens can be overpowered. This is especially true when they have a gun and you don’t.

  • Gripz

    Most of all gun crime at least in the US is committed by non-white, non-conservative minorities so the whole right wing blame game does not apply. Please do your research before you put out obviously racist ideological garbage that makes absolutely no sense.

  • Hila

    This is great news my fellow countrymen; pursuit of my constitutional rights while advancing technology. Absolutely stupendous!

  • bob

    The funny thing is that people don’t realize they could have been making their own firearms much quicker by using plastic tubing, a rubber band, and a metal bead.

    Otherwise headlines would read “plenty of existing old and available technologies are capable of hurting people,” but that isn’t sensationalist.

  • mik

    COOL. Now I know where to get a gun if I need one.

  • Dan Leno

    Honestly I thought this already existed. Perhaps this is a good reminder for all surprised readers and those who seek safety through regulations, that the only possible way to have a liveable world tomorrow is through great quality education.

    Which is not exactly what we are investing our energy and money in right now.

  • mmm

    “The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.”

  • charliechalk

    You silly silly Americans.

  • Yoo

    Not good!

    Only in America.

  • Really?

    LOL @ “the weapon was initially fired remotely by pulling a string attached to its trigger”.

    New meaning to the phrase “shoe string budget”.

  • william

    Anyone considered this from a material composition DESIGN standpoint? The designer of this particular weapon has made some gross generalisations and assumptions about the available material most will use to print this weapon. If the ABS mixture even varies in the slightest degree, the material will have a much different spring rate/hardness/elasticity. This will no doubt effect the coil spring which seems to be at the centre of this design. A variable that could easily make this a major flop.

    This doesn’t even take into consideration environmental and economical interference.

    Maybe a startling idea, but implementing this past a concept is a far stretch.

  • beatrice

    It will be so funny the first time this is used to kill someone. I’m sure this dude will be talking about internet freedom with great pride then. Sure someone was going to do it, but you’ll always be a w*nker for being that person.

  • Peter

    If you’re going to kill someone, why waste all that time and money and headache perfecting a 3D-printed gun at home when you could just buy a knife and stab the person?

    Besides, the heat from the bullet friction leaving these 3D guns (assuming multiple rounds) will make any 3D gun pretty inaccurate and useless fairly quickly.

    That’s like saying the instructions for assembling a bomb are out there and getting all paranoid. Still takes someone really intelligent to understand the diagrams and construction with a background in engineering to do it.