3D printing innovator makes good on its promise
May 3, 2013
It was mere months ago that people began seriously pondering the prospect of a gun that could be created solely using a 3D printer.
Late July 2012, an Austin, TX based group called Defense Distributed announced plans to begin research and development into such a weapon, to be known as the “Wiki Weapon” due to its tremendous online availability.
Their vision was not only to create an online repository for different printable gun part files, but to make readily available all the gun part files required to print and assemble a personal firearm, capable of firing at least one round.
“So consider this, a CAD file containing the information for a 3D printable weapon system. If that file was seeded by 30 people, let’s say, as long as there’s a free Internet, that file is available to anyone at any time, all over the world. A gun can be anywhere. Any bullet is now a weapon,” group spokesman Cody Wilson stated in a Youtube video at the time.
Fast-forward to May 2013 and the idea has very nearly come to full fruition.
Defense Distributed has announced it is in its final stages of testing a gun completely made out of 3D printed parts, titled the “Liberator,” a salute to the single-shot pistol the FP-45 Liberator from the World War II era.
“All sixteen pieces of the Liberator prototype were printed in ABS plastic with a Dimension SST printer from 3D printing company Stratasys, with the exception of a single nail that’s used as a firing pin. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition,” writes Forbes Magazine’s Andy Greenberg.
In order to have the “Liberator” comply with federal laws, namely the Undetectable Firearms Act – a law making it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive a firearm that is not detectable by a walk-through metal detector or X-ray machine – Defense Distributed has inserted a small six ounce piece of metal into the gun’s body.
As we have documented in the past (see Printable Gun Revolution Moving Forward Despite Corporate Second Amendment Fears in the Nov. issue of Infowars Magazine), the project has encountered more than its fair share of hurdles.
Early on, crowd-funding site Indiegogo terminated their account thwarting initial attempts to raise money, the Stratasys 3D printer company confiscated the printer Defense Distributed had leased citing dubious excuses, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sought to question him following rumors of illegal gun manufacturing.
Back in January, we also reported that, in response to Defense Distributed’s work, New York Rep. Steve Israel was pushing for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which is set to expire this year. Rep. Israel feared that, “With the advent of 3-D printers these guns are suddenly a real possibility,” and that 3D printed guns would soon be “as easy to come by as a Google search.”
In March, we also highlighted concerted attack pieces against the group by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and the BBC. Evidently, liberals aren’t too happy with the idea of proliferating the so-called gun culture.
The files for the “Liberator” aren’t quite up on their site yet, but Cody says they should be there by Monday, along with videos.
Below is Alex Jones’ January interview with Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson on the Infowars Nightly News.