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Partially 3D-Printed Rifle Manages to Fire 6 Shots

By - Source: WikiWep DevBlog | B 36 comments

There has been quite some controversy about Cody Wilson's idea to simply download some files from the Internet, print them via a 3D printer and assemble them into a rifle.

The concern has led to the point where Wilson had to return his 3D printer to the manufacturer who feared that something illegal was going on.

So far, only parts of guns and rifles can be printed and even those parts may not become serious weaponry anytime soon. In a review posted on the WikiWep DevBlog, a group of testers downloaded only the lower receiver of an AR-15 automatic rifle, and showed that the printed part was strong enough to endure a total of six shots, which was shorter than the expected ability to last for about 20 shots. The forces created by the shots apparently exceeded the plastic's capability by a significant margin: "It seems like the off-axis force generated by recoil simply "popped" the whole ring area off the receiver in the area of the receiver tube anti-rotation plate," the blog entry reads.

Of course, some may argue that the rifle lasted for six fired shots is six shots too many for gun that can be printed from files that are freely available on the Internet. Wilson himself claims that the Wiki Weapon could go into testing by the end of this year.

Thingiverse Reinforced AR Lower Test

 

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    adrhellb , December 5, 2012 10:47 AM
    Files from the Internet?

    'Mam, we belive your car is an illegal download.'
  • 22 Hide
    tiret , December 5, 2012 10:39 AM
    I'd think twice about picking on geeks with this kind of tech.
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , December 5, 2012 10:42 AM
    The reason gun control laws are pointless. In an age where several tv shows showcase individuals capable of assembling cars, motorcycles, and punkin shooters from scratch does anyone believe if guns were banned people would not assemble devices that make a pistol look like a toy.
Other Comments
    Display all 36 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    tiret , December 5, 2012 10:39 AM
    I'd think twice about picking on geeks with this kind of tech.
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , December 5, 2012 10:42 AM
    The reason gun control laws are pointless. In an age where several tv shows showcase individuals capable of assembling cars, motorcycles, and punkin shooters from scratch does anyone believe if guns were banned people would not assemble devices that make a pistol look like a toy.
  • 17 Hide
    ehanger , December 5, 2012 10:44 AM
    The only part of that rifle that was made from the printer is the thing you see in green (the lower receiver)... all of the internal parts + upper receiver have to be metal. Although in the U.S. the only part of an AR15 which is legally considered a firearm is the lower, so you could make that yourself and buy everything else online w/out a background check.
  • 29 Hide
    adrhellb , December 5, 2012 10:47 AM
    Files from the Internet?

    'Mam, we belive your car is an illegal download.'
  • 7 Hide
    sirmorluk , December 5, 2012 11:21 AM
    I see that upper is actually a Ar-Five Seven and not a Ar-15. It fires the 5.7x28 mm round and not the 5.56/.223.
    I seriously doubt it would have lasted more than one round of 5.56.

    Still cool though.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , December 5, 2012 11:26 AM
    It is PERFECTLY LEGAL under US Law for ANYONE who is legally able to own a firearm to build their own firearm. There is nothing illegal about using a 3D printer to do this.

    The point that this becomes illegal is when the firearm is sold, or even given away. The law allows for you to build it for your own use. To sell it you must file paperwork with the ATF and pay their fees and taxes.
  • 15 Hide
    memadmax , December 5, 2012 11:51 AM
    You can build ur own gun... It's actually very easy...

    We've been doing it since the 12th century....

    It's people that think it's taboo to have anything to do with a gun is the problem... >_>
  • 8 Hide
    happyballz , December 5, 2012 11:52 AM
    flyer4096It is PERFECTLY LEGAL under US Law for ANYONE who is legally able to own a firearm to build their own firearm. There is nothing illegal about using a 3D printer to do this.The point that this becomes illegal is when the firearm is sold, or even given away. The law allows for you to build it for your own use. To sell it you must file paperwork with the ATF and pay their fees and taxes.

    flyer4096It is PERFECTLY LEGAL under US Law for ANYONE who is legally able to own a firearm to build their own firearm. There is nothing illegal about using a 3D printer to do this.The point that this becomes illegal is when the firearm is sold, or even given away. The law allows for you to build it for your own use. To sell it you must file paperwork with the ATF and pay their fees and taxes.


    Yeah on the federal level. But one should always check state laws since there are restrictions from them. Like for example in Cali you cannot make a gun that is of your own design without a manufacturer's license. It would be considered a "zip gun" and thus illegal; only deisgns "based on xyz" are allowed.

    Always check with an agency or better yet an attorney or two before going around manufacturing parts even for your personal use.
  • -2 Hide
    alidan , December 5, 2012 12:06 PM
    ok so what did they make exactly, because i dont get it.
  • 5 Hide
    EDVINASM , December 5, 2012 12:18 PM
    The whole article is misleading. Especially the title. Any uneducated tree huger (no offence) will start screaming that this guy should be jailed and 3D printing heavily regulated. I mean.. really? Though we just started whole Internet 3D printing ordering and already got some jackass showing off.
    I can't wait to print my first 3D items that I have made on PC. I jJust hope that there will be lack of idiots trying to print some lethal stuff.
  • -3 Hide
    CaedenV , December 5, 2012 12:21 PM
    adrhellbFiles from the Internet?'Mam, we belive your car is an illegal download.'

    As cool as the Star Trek replicator idea is, this is the big deal that would have to be overcome. How do you regulate safety on a device where you could potentially make anything? You could make a scooter that will fall apart and kill you on the street. And forget about guns, how hard would it be to make a bomb with a 3D printer? It would be really really easy, and you could pack it in just about any type of housing.
    Will most people do this type of thing? Absolutely not. Cost of entry is too high, and the quality of the output is too low. But as things get better, it will be a bigger issue.
  • 4 Hide
    gtvr , December 5, 2012 12:29 PM
    alidanok so what did they make exactly, because i dont get it.

    It's the light grey part in the picture at top. An AR15 has an "upper receiver" that connects to the barrel, holds some other parts, and a "lower reciever" that houses the trigger assembly & pistol grip. It is actually considered the firearm for legal purposes.
  • 7 Hide
    gtvr , December 5, 2012 12:30 PM
    Also I expect it was a semi-automatic, not automatic, rifle.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , December 5, 2012 12:43 PM
    Just another failure for the M-16 class of rifles ;-P

    Seriously though, while I hate M-16/AR rifles, who would buy a rifle with a "plastic" receiver? Or even try to print and build one? For $350.00 (or less) Anyone can purchase a decent AK and not have a failure after 6 shots. Good materials for firearms: Steel and wood. Bad materials for firearms: Aluminum and plastic. Just saying.
  • 5 Hide
    ddpruitt , December 5, 2012 12:46 PM
    CaedenVAs cool as the Star Trek replicator idea is, this is the big deal that would have to be overcome. How do you regulate safety on a device where you could potentially make anything? You could make a scooter that will fall apart and kill you on the street. And forget about guns, how hard would it be to make a bomb with a 3D printer? It would be really really easy, and you could pack it in just about any type of housing.Will most people do this type of thing? Absolutely not. Cost of entry is too high, and the quality of the output is too low. But as things get better, it will be a bigger issue.


    Actually this is the type of issue people uneducated in firearms will scream foul about. I can easily manufacture several types of dangerous devices from stuff I have laying around. If I go to Home Depot the sky's the limit.

    To correctly create a firearm still requires considerable skill, regardless of whether or not your using a 3D printer. Someone with this level of skill could easily use a lathe or drill press to create a firearm, these are readily available. There isn't an issue with people using these to make firearms because people who can afford to do so and have the skill can easily obtain a firearm some other way.
  • -2 Hide
    warezme , December 5, 2012 12:55 PM
    I ordered a Replicator 2 a few weeks ago, not for making gun parts but I can see some bureaucrat start lobbying against 3-D printers because they can be used for making gun parts. There are a lot of good reasons for having a 3D printer but takes only a few idiots with to much money or too few brain cells to screw things up for a whole new industry.
  • 4 Hide
    oboelcke , December 5, 2012 12:56 PM
    JustPosting88Just another failure for the M-16 class of rifles ;-PSeriously though, while I hate M-16/AR rifles, who would buy a rifle with a "plastic" receiver? Or even try to print and build one? For $350.00 (or less) Anyone can purchase a decent AK and not have a failure after 6 shots. Good materials for firearms: Steel and wood. Bad materials for firearms: Aluminum and plastic. Just saying.

    What failures are you talking about? Where can you get an AK for $350 or less?
    FN, HK, and just about every other top tier manufacturers are incorporating polymers into their firearms. Some like the FN SCAR utilize Polymer lowers.
    A bunch of hooey I say.
  • -2 Hide
    JDFan , December 5, 2012 1:07 PM
    flyer4096It is PERFECTLY LEGAL under US Law for ANYONE who is legally able to own a firearm to build their own firearm. There is nothing illegal about using a 3D printer to do this.The point that this becomes illegal is when the firearm is sold, or even given away. The law allows for you to build it for your own use. To sell it you must file paperwork with the ATF and pay their fees and taxes.


    Actually In 1988 a small Florida company called Red Eye Arms claimed it was going to have a prototype plastic grenade launcher ready in 18 to 24 months. Congress got so spooked by the publicity about plastic weapons, even theoretical ones, that it banned their production in the U.S. -- so not sure if it is in fact Perfectly Legal as you claim !!
  • 5 Hide
    Stryter , December 5, 2012 1:18 PM
    JustPosting88Just another failure for the M-16 class of rifles ;-PSeriously though, while I hate M-16/AR rifles, who would buy a rifle with a "plastic" receiver? Or even try to print and build one? For $350.00 (or less) Anyone can purchase a decent AK and not have a failure after 6 shots. Good materials for firearms: Steel and wood. Bad materials for firearms: Aluminum and plastic. Just saying.


    Your prejudice against ARs seems to be unjustified. The AR platform today, is very reliable and arguably the most versatile weapon platform in the world. The AK-47 and its variants may be the most reliable but its accuracy is terrible at long distances and it is not nearly as easy or natural to operate as the AR platform. I love a good AK too, but if I had to choose between one of them when my life was depending on it, I would choose the AR-15 without a doubt. Btw, I'm currently serving so I've been able to fire plenty of both.
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