A shot reverberates across the plains of central Texas as the first test firing of a fully 3D-printed gun goes off. Cody Wilson is the founder of Defense Distributed, a company leading the way in 3D-printed firearm technology. The company even has a free blueprint which it plans to release on its website in August so that anyone can 3D print the gun.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qbKJYmTJkEU" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
But what does this gun feel like to shoot and could it explode? Wilson's first fully 3D-printed handgun fires a .380 caliber bullet. Wilson and his partner John created the gun and are calling it "the Liberator". The name is a homage to the cheap, one-shot pistols designed to be air-dropped by allies over France during its Nazi occupation during World War II. This Liberator isn't like its steel predecessor, Wilson's weapon is almost entirely made of plastic.
In fact, the Liberator is made from 16 pieces, 15 of which are plastic and created inside an $8,000 Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer which he bought used. This 3D printer lays down threads of melted polymer that add up to precisely-shaped solid objects as it cools. Just like a traditional computer prints ink on a flat surface, a 3D printer virtually slices the object it will print into paper-thin sections inside its computer and then prints out those slices one at a time until they create a 3D object.
Related coverage: <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/21340-Gun-Enthusiasts-Are-Uploading-To-Pornhub-To-Escape-YouTube-s-Conservative-Crackdown">Gun Enthusiasts Are Uploading To Pornhub To Escape YouTube's Conservative Crackdown</a>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/drPz6n6UXQY" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Wilson created Defense Distributed to provide a firearm that anyone could make using a 3D printer. "You can print a lethal device. It’s kind of scary, but that’s what we’re aiming to show," Wilson said. "Anywhere there's a computer and an Internet connection, there would be the promise of a gun."
Since it is made of a plastic polymer, the Liberator is lighter than a normal handgun its size made of metal. Although, there are a few parts made of metal such as the firing pin that strikes the bullet and ignites the powder which in this case happens to be a nail. Because of a legal issue, there is a requirement for a steel block inside but it provides no purpose. Those two are the only metal parts in the entire gun yet it is safe to fire, effective, and above all else, cheap. To see more about how the Liberator works here is an animation that breaks down each part and how it works.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DoPVe7MiY1w" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Tips? Info? Send me a message!