While it is just part of the rifle, based on a design posted on cncguns.com, U.S. law considers the lower receiver to be a weapon. MakerBot only deleted the pointer files, but left the description and comments of the submission intact.
It is interesting to note that MakerBot said in February of this year that it would not allow printer files that could contribute to the creation of weapons. In a statement, a MakerBot spokesperson told Cnet:
"MakerBot's focus is to empower the creative process and make things for good. MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers make innovative products, new tools, models, fashion items, works of art, and 3D things of all types. MakerBot's Thingiverse website is designed to be the best place to get and share downloadable 3D "Things." Thingiverse's Terms of Service state that users agree not to use Thingiverse "to collect, upload, transmit, display, or distribute any User Content (ii) that...promotes illegal activities or contributes to the creation of weapons, illegal materials or is otherwise objectionable." If an item has been removed, it is because it violates the Thingiverse Terms of Service."
As it is the case with every other website, MakerBot said that it reserves the right to remove user content, if it violates its terms of service. MakerBot's attorney stated that the recent violent events convinced the company to take immediate action.
A recent demonstration showed that the 3D-printed part may not be a replacement of the original part, but it is good enough to hold up for a few shots.
10-20 years from now, 3D printers will be able to use different materials.
--right on the spot--
Thats what amazes me. Go to a car shop and ask for a part, if it ain't in stock pay an extra 5% and get it made on the spot for you.
We just have to come up with better materials the printer can work with. Stronger materials.
Man i want a 3d printer..
I think Officemax or Stapes have plans of starting a 3D printing service (and using a 3D printer company to do the printing jobs). Upload files, pay the charges and then wait for the shipment.
There already are 3D printers capable of working with powdered metals but you can imagine that fusing metal layer-by-layer is a far slower, more energy-intensive and more expensive process. There are also companies working on "printers" capable of printing small buildings (like homes) out of concrete.
The limits of 3D printing today already extend far beyond low-temperature polymers/plastics if you can afford the patience and cost.
Let me state it another way...THIS IS THE ONLY firearm in America which can be produced via 3D printing because it is the only firearm with the unusual BATFE ruling that states the lower receiver is "the firearm".
In europe, they designate the barrel as "the firearm", and all other parts are merely parts. You can't print a barrel via 3D printing and expect it to function.
It's kinda hard to predict 1-2 decades into the future. Nobody predicted the iPhone back in 1995.