1 of 2
2 of 2
The Liberator: 3D Printed Gun
We’ve quoted Chris Anderson on Personalize a couple of times in regards to the 3D printed gun "3D printing is a terrible technology for the working components of a gun. There is no tensile strength. It would blow up in your face.” Defense Distributed have blown that argument in his face and certainly in ours as they demonstrated the 'Defense Distributed Liberator Pistol'.
The Liberator consists of fifteen 3D printed parts from an $8,000 second-hand Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer. The only non-printed piece is a common household nail used as its firing pin. And it works.
Cody Wilson is a certainly a man with conviction as he was the first person to demonstrate the weapon by hand, posting the results to the world, “Well, there are going to be some changes around here.” He exclaimed.
Alarms bells will be going off at governments throughout the world at this moment in time as Cody Wilson posted the CAD files online for anyone to download and then, theoretically, 3D print.
The reason we say “theoretically” is that Cody’s gun was printed on his industrial printer with a heated chamber to make the parts more reliable, if you were to print this on a consumer printer at home the parts you’re firing out of may be likely to fall apart or worse explode in your face.
Even bureaus are liable to shy away from printing the parts for you, a well-respected service told Personalize last week “I get asked a lot about 3D printing a gun but I turn them down, I don’t want to end up behind bars for being an illegal arms dealer”
Whereas Defense Distributed received a license in March to manufacture firearms, we doubt those with desktop 3D printers will have a similar license. Therefore the public must be aware of the consequences they potentially face before attempting to print the weapon.
Cody Wilson has strived to find loopholes and obey the law at every step of the process; to comply with The Undetectable Firearms Act he’s inserted a cube of non-functional steel into the body of the Liberator, which makes it detectable with a metal detector. His lawyer father has been with him from the start, including at the first firing of the 3D printed weapon, helping him avoid a possible sentence.
Whether those printing it at home decide to comply with The Undetectable Firearms Act by inserting the cube of steel is another question. New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced that he plans to introduce legislation banning the guns in their entirety.”We’re facing a situation where anyone -- a felon, a terrorist -- can open a gun factory in their garage and the weapons they make will be undetectable. It’s stomach-churning” he said.
The gun itself is based on the FP-45 Liberator which was planned to be dropped from the sky to the French Resistance by Allied forces, serving as a valuable asset in psychological warfare by demoralising occupying troops. Wilson says his 3D printed version will strike a symbolic chord with governments across the globe as he told Forbes “The enemy took notice that weapons were being dropped from the sky,” he says. “Our execution will be better. We have the Internet.”