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(Washington Post)   Meet Travis Lerol, the real-world ITG who's already proven the point that 3D printing technology makes any sort of gun control worthless   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 213
    More: Scary, 3D printing, Sandy Hook Elementary School, ink-jet printers, Gun Owners of America, espresso machine, Dianne Feinstein, gun ranges  
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14023 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Feb 2013 at 9:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-19 09:15:44 AM
When 3D printing can make steel parts, yeah they'll have a point.  And that point is worth considering for the time being.  However, 3D printers aren't that sophisticated yet, and don't look likely to be for a while to come, so it's (for the moment) a non-issue.
 
2013-02-19 09:20:45 AM
Please.  Printing out sex toys is way higher on the list of things to print out than gun parts.
 
2013-02-19 09:22:09 AM
I'll also be willing to bet that the first printers capable of metalwork will be extremely power hungry, ensuring that only corporations will be able to use them anyway.  Nothing will change for the most part.  There's probably some physical limit too about the smallest possible energy is required to do the job, and I'd be willing to bet that that energy level will be prohibitive unless a much cheaper source of energy becomes available.

/These predictions bought to you from the department of my arsehole
 
2013-02-19 09:26:26 AM

SJKebab: However, 3D printers aren't that sophisticated yet, and don't look likely to be for a while to come, so it's (for the moment) a non-issue.


No kidding. I was just printing up a couple S&W Model 29 .44 magnums when my printer displayed a "PC  LOAD LETTER" error, and shot my kneecap off.
 
2013-02-19 09:26:33 AM
Because everybody totally has a 3D printer in their home.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-19 09:28:00 AM
There are already 3d printers that can print metal, but they are very expensive.

Of course, they still can't print ammunition, or print a way for you to get out of prison after your ass gets sent there for illegal weapon possession.
 
2013-02-19 09:29:41 AM

vpb: print a way for you to get out of prison

...

I guess you could print up a hacksaw blade, but you'd still have to get a cake the old fashioned way.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-19 09:31:24 AM
It isn't going to be any more of an issue than home made guns using CNC milling machines.  Basically the same thing, just subtractive rather than additive manufacturing.

The whole idea that gun control won't work, even though we already know that it does, is just spin.
 
2013-02-19 09:34:32 AM
Making guns doesn't require a 3d printer. Neither does making ammunition. Most things at a basic metal shop (lathe, drill press, etc) can be used to craft firearms.

The 3d printer just makes it available to a wider audience.
 
2013-02-19 09:34:48 AM

vpb: There are already 3d printers that can print metal, but they are very expensive.


The question remains, is that metal going to be strong enough to not shatter when it has a bullet explode inside it?

/that sounded vaguely sexual
 
2013-02-19 09:35:13 AM
how much does a 3-d printer cost?

I'm guessing that the cost (as well as other considerations) will be prohibitive enough to keep the legal and illegal gun trade alive and well.

/ just because the rich can pay doctors to prescribe them the best drugs on earth didn't result in poor people not using meth.
// too tired to have written that sentence eloquently.
 
2013-02-19 09:35:36 AM
It doesn't even matter. If you can 3D print around the law they'lll just ban 3D printers.
 
2013-02-19 09:35:46 AM

SJKebab: When 3D printing can make steel parts, yeah they'll have a point.  And that point is worth considering for the time being.  However, 3D printers aren't that sophisticated yet, and don't look likely to be for a while to come, so it's (for the moment) a non-issue.


Yeah, but now I wanna pirate warhammer 40k minis and sell 'em dirt cheap on ebay....
 
2013-02-19 09:35:48 AM
Let me make it clear:  Hicks want to be hicks.  We are a nation of hicks.  Hicks like guns.  Hicks will be angry if you take their guns.  Hicks may drive out the intelligentsia so that American can officially become Hick / Jesus Land.  Then, when America is ashes, you have my permission to be a hick / dead.
 
2013-02-19 09:36:02 AM
Well quite obviously we just need to control 3d printers..there's no amendment that protects printers!

duhh..
 
2013-02-19 09:36:31 AM
Though printing guns is a craft still in its infancy - Lerol hasn't tested his parts yet at a gun range

If you can't shoot it, it isn't a gun.

Good luck getting that plastic chamber to hold up to repeated firings. You'd get better results by just buying a lathe, drilling out a barrel, and making a zip gun. Sure, you could use one of those 3D printers that uses metal instead of plastic, but if you've got that much money to blow, why not just buy a CNC and make something you KNOW won't blow up in your face?
 
2013-02-19 09:37:01 AM

pute kisses like a man: how much does a 3-d printer cost?

I'm guessing that the cost (as well as other considerations) will be prohibitive enough to keep the legal and illegal gun trade alive and well.

/ just because the rich can pay doctors to prescribe them the best drugs on earth didn't result in poor people not using meth.
// too tired to have written that sentence eloquently.


depends on printer - they'll run you somewhere from $800 to a couple thousand depending on which make/model you get and what you want to do with it.
 
2013-02-19 09:37:36 AM

Kraln: Making guns doesn't require a 3d printer. Neither does making ammunition. Most things at a basic metal shop (lathe, drill press, etc) can be used to craft firearms.

The 3d printer just makes it available to a wider audience of nerds.


fixed.
 
2013-02-19 09:37:59 AM

The My Little Pony Killer: Because everybody totally has a 3D printer in their home.


That's the thing.  Even if they become common enough, people still won't really have much of use for them aside from printing off dinner plates, kitschy art projects, the occasional light switch and other useless whatnots.
 
2013-02-19 09:39:42 AM
The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.
 
2013-02-19 09:39:44 AM

Kraln: Making guns doesn't require a 3d printer. Neither does making ammunition. Most things at a basic metal shop (lathe, drill press, etc) can be used to craft firearms.

The 3d printer just makes it available to a wider audience.


Bingo! At today's prices I'd think it is easier and cheaper to outfit a small basement metal working shop with used equipment than it is to buy a 3D printer. There is a lot of machine shops that have gone out of business, that equipment is a bargain. Once in a blue moon you'll see a ShopSmith for sale at a garage or yard sale. Lots of things a clever fellow can build with one of those versatile machines.
 
2013-02-19 09:41:11 AM

Vodka Zombie: The My Little Pony Killer: Because everybody totally has a 3D printer in their home.

That's the thing.  Even if they become common enough, people still won't really have much of use for them aside from printing off dinner plates, kitschy art projects, the occasional light switch and other useless whatnots.


I'd imagine that if you could find a way to make the stock reuseable, you'd have something big.  print up a dinner set, make it look awesome...then use it until you get bored with it and want a change.  then clean it well, dump it into a recycler and render it down into base stock again and print up something in a completely new pattern.
 
2013-02-19 09:42:05 AM

Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.


I wonder if you could do it with ceramics...?
 
2013-02-19 09:42:37 AM
img.washingtonpost.com
Guns, Star Wars figures, Star Trek communicators and anal sex toys...this guy has 3D printed them.
 
2013-02-19 09:45:25 AM
The reciever is the regulated firearm.... The barrel is nothing more than a thick walled pipe. Are we going to start regulating pipes now as the reactionary par for the course?
 
2013-02-19 09:46:56 AM

Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.


As a metallurgical engineer, I'm getting a kick out of this.
 
2013-02-19 09:46:56 AM
What they're talking about is metal 3D printing of a lower receiver (which is the part that the ATF considers to be the firearm). That doesn't have to be that strong, so it's totally doable if for some reason you want to spend an insane amount of money to do something that takes a few machine tools to do with steel.

Try printing a bolt and barrel and see how long before your sintered-metal piece of crap blows up.

Weaver95: Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.

I wonder if you could do it with ceramics...?


Ceramics are too brittle, and composites can't take the heat. Even non-steel allows suck for that purpose.
 
2013-02-19 09:47:47 AM

vpb: It isn't going to be any more of an issue than home made guns using CNC milling machines.  Basically the same thing, just subtractive rather than additive manufacturing.

The whole idea that gun control won't work, even though we already know that it does, is just spin.


I swear, this prohibition will work just fine. Honest!
 
2013-02-19 09:48:14 AM

mbillips: What they're talking about is metal 3D printing of a lower receiver (which is the part that the ATF considers to be the firearm). That doesn't have to be that strong, so it's totally doable if for some reason you want to spend an insane amount of money to do something that takes a few machine tools to do with steel.

Try printing a bolt and barrel and see how long before your sintered-metal piece of crap blows up.

Weaver95: Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.

I wonder if you could do it with ceramics...?

Ceramics are too brittle, and composites can't take the heat. Even non-steel allows suck for that purpose.


well...then sounds like there's nothing to worry about then.
 
2013-02-19 09:48:32 AM

pute kisses like a man: how much does a 3-d printer cost?


According to NPR this AM, as little as $2000. Less than one fully decked out AR-15. So all the non pressure bearing parts can be made by the printer and the barrel and chamber machined on a 100 year old lathe.

1. scan item with smartphone
2. print item with $2000 printer
3. machine barrel and chamber with inexpensive lathe
4. sell two items for more than initial investment  (Some loaded AR-15s are going for more than $2000 in the used market)
5. Profit
 
2013-02-19 09:48:33 AM

vpb: There are already 3d printers that can print metal, but they are very expensive.

Of course, they still can't print ammunition, or print a way for you to get out of prison after your ass gets sent there for illegal weapon possession.


Illegal weapon possession?

Even the ATF doesn't say you can't make your own guns: ATF FAQ, they just note you can't sell the guns you make yourself without licenses/permits ect, and can't be legally barred from owning a firearm (and there are craploads of rules about if the parts are imported, mostly the rules are "no").

There is no Federal law against sitting down and making a gun yourself, as long as the gun isn't fully automatic or otherwise in a restricted category such as a short-barreled rifle.  Today, right now, if you had the machine tools and wanted to turn out your own revolver or AR-15 there isn't a dang thing illegal about it.

/IANAL
 
2013-02-19 09:49:07 AM
3d printed firearms is nothing new. People have already made and test fired theirs. Maybe even as long as 10 years ago.
 
2013-02-19 09:49:39 AM
My guess is that something really strange will happen to the underground gun trade once people start passing off these fragile 3D printed guns as traditionally crafted pieces.  That is, people might stop trusting and buying these limited use weapons and buy from more honest sources.

I suppose, if it's like anything, it's like the Kit Cars that people tend to look down their noses at, and if you even tried to pass one of those off as a legit factory produced vehicle, for instance, you'd probably find yourself in a dumpster...  on fire.
 
2013-02-19 09:50:10 AM

Giltric: 3d printed firearms is nothing new. People have already made and test fired theirs. Maybe even as long as 10 years ago.


I know there was a couple/few people trying to make a 3D printer gun but I don't know how successful they were at it.
 
2013-02-19 09:50:19 AM
Anyone with a G.E.D. in law know what the penalties for manufacturing a firearm without a license are? I'm pretty sure its perfectly legal until you get to the point of manufacturing barrels and receivers.

/genuinely curious
 
2013-02-19 09:51:42 AM

Silverstaff: vpb: There are already 3d printers that can print metal, but they are very expensive.

Of course, they still can't print ammunition, or print a way for you to get out of prison after your ass gets sent there for illegal weapon possession.

Illegal weapon possession?

Even the ATF doesn't say you can't make your own guns: ATF FAQ, they just note you can't sell the guns you make yourself without licenses/permits ect, and can't be legally barred from owning a firearm (and there are craploads of rules about if the parts are imported, mostly the rules are "no").

There is no Federal law against sitting down and making a gun yourself, as long as the gun isn't fully automatic or otherwise in a restricted category such as a short-barreled rifle.  Today, right now, if you had the machine tools and wanted to turn out your own revolver or AR-15 there isn't a dang thing illegal about it.

/IANAL



//GOOD4U
 
2013-02-19 09:52:45 AM

sammyk: Anyone with a G.E.D. in law know what the penalties for manufacturing a firearm without a license are? I'm pretty sure its perfectly legal until you get to the point of manufacturing barrels and receivers.

/genuinely curious


You dont need a license.... Just go to the atf faq page
 
2013-02-19 09:53:17 AM

Weaver95: Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.

I wonder if you could do it with ceramics...?


With the AR, the serial numbered component is separate from the actual bolt and chamber and free from the majority of the heat and pressure.  Granted, after repeat firing, it will all heat up and fail but I think the problem right now is the torque from the hammer moving back and forth that fractures the lower.
 
2013-02-19 09:53:48 AM
Printing plastic rifle parts = Mass-manufacturing child killing ASSAULT rifles.
 
2013-02-19 09:56:02 AM
Gun barrels need to withstand 50,000 PSI.  Good luck printing THAT out.
 
2013-02-19 09:56:04 AM

NoDitchDigging: Weaver95: Gunther: The idea that you could print something as metallurgically complex as a rifle barrel with current gen 3d printers is absurd. Give the technology 50 years to mature and maybe.

I wonder if you could do it with ceramics...?

With the AR, the serial numbered component is separate from the actual bolt and chamber and free from the majority of the heat and pressure.  Granted, after repeat firing, it will all heat up and fail but I think the problem right now is the torque from the hammer moving back and forth that fractures the lower.


well...I guess my question has to do with materials technology.  I'm sure you could actually print off something that would be theoretically functional...but the materials tech seems to be lagging behind the printer end of things.  until and unless someone manages to come up with a way to build a printer gun out of something that won't blow up when you pull the trigger, this is going to be a non-issue.
 
2013-02-19 09:56:16 AM

Carousel Beast: vpb: It isn't going to be any more of an issue than home made guns using CNC milling machines.  Basically the same thing, just subtractive rather than additive manufacturing.

The whole idea that gun control won't work, even though we already know that it does, is just spin.

I swear, this prohibition will work just fine. Honest!



imgc.allpostersimages.com

I like the cut of your jib sir!
 
2013-02-19 09:56:17 AM
85% lowers and AK blanks have been on the market for AGES. All are BATFE legal and so long as you don't transfer them, remain so. With an 85% lower, you don't even need a CNC mill, just a regular hobby mill that you can find at harbor freight and a set of micrometers. For the AK blanks, they're already stamped, you only need a drill press and some micrometers.

As far as steel goes, you can cast most parts needed, and forging a firing pin is relatively simple. What's more, the parts aren't the 'gun' as far as the gov't is concerned. The 'gun' is the part with the serial number on it which is why US made receivers with "parts kits" were the norm for semi-auto rifles during the original AWB.

Right now, 3D printing simply isn't worth it for most Combloc weapons. You can buy AKM blanks for $30-$40 online and have them shipped straight to your door. Then it's a matter of choosing 7.62x39 or 5.45mm as your caliber and buying the appropriate parts. It's cheaper than buying at inflated prices, and so long as you aren't holding onto it as an "investment" like many are with semi-auto rifles right now, you're getting more than your money's worth out of it as a reliable shooter.

And this is where to problem with gun-control legislation lies in this nation. It's created by people who don't understand how weapons are built or how they work, so it doesn't address everything. Then those very same people whine about "loopholes" which were their own fault in the first place because they never sat down to have a meaningful discussion with people who know what they're talking about, which would have resulted in worthwhile legislation.

Firearms are a "geek" culture. You either understand them in depth, or you sit on the outside making assumptions. The difference between firearms and other "geek" infatuations is that no one is trying to pass laws preventing you from creating a Dalek.
 
2013-02-19 09:56:37 AM

GungFu: //GOOD4U


/snicker
 
2013-02-19 09:57:06 AM

sammyk: Anyone with a G.E.D. in law know what the penalties for manufacturing a firearm without a license are?


For personal use?  It's not a crime.

sammyk: I'm pretty sure its perfectly legal until you get to the point of manufacturing barrels and receivers.


Actually it's on the receiver that they care about.  You can manufacture stocks, barrels, trigger groups, buffer tubes, etc without a license and sell them.  It's just the $100-ish receiver that they care about.
 
2013-02-19 09:57:06 AM

sammyk: Anyone with a G.E.D. in law know what the penalties for manufacturing a firearm without a license are? I'm pretty sure its perfectly legal until you get to the point of manufacturing barrels and receivers.

/genuinely curious


See the link to the ATF FAQ up there (or here http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/general.html#gca-manufacturing), there is no federal law against making them for personal use only, as long as you're not barred from owning a firearm and the firearm itself is not of a restricted type.

If you want to sell them, or build machine guns ect, then craploads of permits come in to play and probably lots of PMITA prison time come in to play.

/Again IANAL, but the ATF seems to be pretty clear-cut about this point on their website.
 
2013-02-19 09:57:42 AM

spickus: pute kisses like a man: how much does a 3-d printer cost?

According to NPR this AM, as little as $2000. Less than one fully decked out AR-15. So all the non pressure bearing parts can be made by the printer and the barrel and chamber machined on a 100 year old lathe.

1. scan item with smartphone
2. print item with $2000 printer
3. machine barrel and chamber with inexpensive lathe
4. sell two items for more than initial investment  (Some loaded AR-15s are going for more than $2000 in the used market)
5. Profit


Yeah, because barrel blanks are so cheap and easy to find. You can't make a high-powered rifle with scrap mild steel (you can, but you'll very soon regret it). And scanning the internals of a gas-recoil tube with a smart phone is just as easy as taking a picture of a piece of jewelry.

The $2,000 printers make things out of powder and glue. There are lots of gun parts that need to be stronger than what you get from steel powder and glue.

$2,000 ARs cost that much because a) they're well made out of expensive ingredients and b) gun nut hysteria about imaginary government confiscation. A 3D printed AR would be worth about $500, and the more of them you make, the cheaper they would get.
 
2013-02-19 09:59:22 AM

tallen702: The difference between firearms and other "geek" infatuations is that no one is trying to pass laws preventing you from creating a Dalek.


And yet, I can't clone human beings.
 
2013-02-19 10:00:02 AM
Yes, and you can print $100 bills on your Inkjet and get arrested when you try to spend them.  I'm not saying 3d-printed guns should be illegal but the mere fact that it's possible to break the law doesn't make the law "worthless".
 
2013-02-19 10:01:20 AM

tallen702: 85% lowers and AK blanks have been on the market for AGES. All are BATFE legal and so long as you don't transfer them, remain so. With an 85% lower, you don't even need a CNC mill, just a regular hobby mill that you can find at harbor freight and a set of micrometers. For the AK blanks, they're already stamped, you only need a drill press and some micrometers.

As far as steel goes, you can cast most parts needed, and forging a firing pin is relatively simple. What's more, the parts aren't the 'gun' as far as the gov't is concerned. The 'gun' is the part with the serial number on it which is why US made receivers with "parts kits" were the norm for semi-auto rifles during the original AWB.

Right now, 3D printing simply isn't worth it for most Combloc weapons. You can buy AKM blanks for $30-$40 online and have them shipped straight to your door. Then it's a matter of choosing 7.62x39 or 5.45mm as your caliber and buying the appropriate parts. It's cheaper than buying at inflated prices, and so long as you aren't holding onto it as an "investment" like many are with semi-auto rifles right now, you're getting more than your money's worth out of it as a reliable shooter.

And this is where to problem with gun-control legislation lies in this nation. It's created by people who don't understand how weapons are built or how they work, so it doesn't address everything. Then those very same people whine about "loopholes" which were their own fault in the first place because they never sat down to have a meaningful discussion with people who know what they're talking about, which would have resulted in worthwhile legislation.

Firearms are a "geek" culture. You either understand them in depth, or you sit on the outside making assumptions. The difference between firearms and other "geek" infatuations is that no one is trying to pass laws preventing you from creating a Dalek.


Yeah, that and the fact that Daleks don't ACTUALLY exterminate.
 
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