If you’re not familiar with the concept of a 3d printer then listen up, it will be the wave of the future.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.
If someone makes a 3D design, anybody would be able to print the designed object from their personal 3D printer.
Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, says he is just two weeks away from 3D printing an entire handgun, out of ABS plastic. Once Wilson has printed the gun and ensured that it works, the weapon’s 3D model files will be uploaded to the internet and open sourced — so that you and I can print an almost-undetectable firearm.
Creating a 3D-printed gun, and contributing the model files to the public domain, is the culmination of DefDist’s Wiki Weapon project. The Wiki Weapon project was created in mid-2012 by Cody Wilson, with the lofty but perhaps slightly misguided goal of fulfilling every American citizen’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. Back in July 2012, DefDist produced a 3D-printed a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle, in January of this year it 3D-printed a 30-round AR-15 magazine, and then in March DefDist finally received its federal firearms license, which is required to legally make and sell guns. Now, it seems, according to an interview with Mashable, Wilson is almost ready to release an entirely 3D-printed handgun.
As you can imagine, a gun made entirely out of plastic, except for the very tip of the firing pin, would be almost undetectable by security scanners — which is a problem, because there’s the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988. The Act prevents DefDist from making or selling undetectable guns. ”We’re gonna be flirting with the edge of detectability,” Wilson says. ”It’s possible that there is no good way for us to comply [with the Act] and that would open up a line of prosecution.” While it seems almost certain that Wilson himself will break the law by making a 3D-printed weapon, it’ll be interesting to see if the law also prevents him from uploading the design to the internet.