CAD/CAM Corner

3D-Printed Weapons & the Consequences

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Prior to 1938...
ProfShadow   2/12/2014 6:46:31 PM
The Federal government was NOT involved in firearms manufacturing.

It was only with the enactment of Federal Firearms Act of 1938 that FFLs came into existence.  A law based on the emotions of the time.  

There was some minor legislation prior to that, but that's where the downhill slope began.

These firearms aren't "undetectible" in spite of whatever people claim.   That's a cover to increase the unavailability of firearms to law abiding citizens.  

William K.
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Once again, the cost is prohibitive
William K.   9/6/2014 5:35:39 PM
Even now, two years after this blog started, while there are now 3D printers that probably could produce all of the needed parts for an AR15 or any other gun, it is still a long way from a cheap and dirty way to make weapons that are available on the street. AND, it takes a lot less skill to buy an illegal gun off the street. The other fact is that the majority of those who would be in the market for such a weapon lack the skill to use a 3D printer to produce it. 

And remember that all of those parts can be produced in any good machine shop, and that has been true for most of the past hundred years. And while I am certain that a few guns have been made that way, it has not been a flood.

William K.
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Even now, steel printing is not cheap
William K.   10/9/2014 9:04:11 AM
While 3D printing costs are dropping every day the cost of any printer able to produce all of the parts of a firearm is still a lot more than the price of any handgun. The problem is that not only do the various parts need to be very precise, they also need to be quite strong, and, unless the user is an idiot, the assembly needs to be durable. Any failure while firing a gun is likely to cause serious injuries. 

So while a shotgun could certainly be made of cheap plasic on a $500 printer, the first and only shot would be quite disasterous. And a whole lot of much more reliable and accurate guns are available for much less than $500.

The production of more advanced weaponry such as a "minicannon" machine gun would be a different issue, since that variety of weapon is far more expensive and a lot more dangerous. And given the black market price of $18,000, the cost of a steel-capable 3D printer might be reasonable. But most folks don't want a 3000 round per minute gun for any purpose. And probably the drawings are harder to come by.

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