The world's first 3D-printed gun has officially arrived thanks to 25-year-old Cody Wilson. The University of Texas law student has spent the past eight months working toward producing a 3D-printable handgun he's calling "the Liberator."
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.
Wilson plans to upload his plans to Defense Distributed's Defcad.org, the online database for printable gun bluprints. Back in March, Defense Distributed (a nonprofit project for open-source 3D-printable guns) obtained a license to manufacture and sell firearms.
Blueprints for "the Liberator" call for an additional that doesn't come from a 3D printer because a metal rod is needed to ensure that the firearms could be picked up by metal detectors in order to comply with the Undetected Firearms Act.
Of course, Defcad's users may not adhere to so many rules. Once the file is online, anyone will be able to download and print the gun in the privacy of their garage, legally or not, with no serial number, background check, or other regulatory hurdles. "You can print a lethal device," Wilson told me last summer. "It's kind of scary, but that's what we're aiming to show." [Forbes]
Read more about Wilson's creation, Defense Distributed, and the future of 3D-printable guns over at Forbes.