Modern 3D printers have enormous capabilities. They can print products of almost any complexity.
Until quite recently, it was difficult to even imagine that a plastic weapon could shoot. However, it is already possible to make a 3d printed gun.
So, here in this article let’s know about 3d printed guns.
What Are 3D-Printed Guns?
A 3D printed gun is a pistol that is made by a 3D printer. Many people might think that can guns be made by 3D printers?
Well Yes, this can be true. All parts were printed on an FDM printer only the trigger is made of metal.
Modern 3D printers are capable of printing any CAD model, and such firearm models have been available for over 10 years. If in previous years their printing required professional skills, now almost any user can master them.
With a 3D printer and a finished model, it became quite possible to print a gun. Another thing is that such “creativity” is punishable by the laws of most countries.
Beginnings Of 3D Printed Guns
The very first additive pistol was the Liberator. This iconic weapon appeared in 2013. It is completely printed on a Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, and its cost is about $10.
The drawings of this device were freely available. The disadvantages of this weapon were that it gave a lot of misfires, and was only capable of one shot. The shortcomings have been eliminated in the improved Lulz Liberator model. This plastic pistol is capable of firing up to 8 shots.
Now the drawings are removed from free access. And the distribution and printing of Liberator are prohibited by law, although you can find a photo of it without problems.
Despite all the prohibitions and restrictions, the evolution of 3D-printed firearms is moving at a great speed. The beginning was laid by the single-shot plastic pistol Liberator of the American K. Wilson, which appeared in 2013. It had a simple design and was chambered for 380 ACP.
Already after 10-12 shots, this weapon fell into disrepair. However, the very possibility of printing firearms served as an impetus for the development of the idea. The author of the first pistol himself founded the Defense Distributed company, which began to actively improve the technology.
One of the ways to increase the durability of weapons was to increase the number of their barrels.
At the beginning of 2014, the Japanese Y. Imura makes a 38 caliber Zig Zag pistol. He was able to fire up to 6 shots non-stop. The author of the weapon was recognized as a criminal and convicted.
The next step was the production of a six-shot revolver by J. Patrick in 2015. The PM522 Washbear has been shown in action on YouTube.
The weapon was noticeably safer for the shooter compared to previous versions but still allowed to fire only a few dozen rounds.
The first semi-automatic pistol for a 9 mm bullet appeared in 2016 under the name Shuty-MP1.
It was developed by a handicraft gunsmith who hid under the pseudonym Derwood. It wasn’t exactly a plastic weapon.
The author used some metal parts from factory pistols – a barrel, a firing pin, a bolt, and several springs. This made it possible to ensure a rate of fire of more than 46 rounds/min.
However, when changing the store, the plastic case had to be cooled. In 2017, the same master proposed an improved model – Shuty AP-9.
The main contribution to the development of weapons printing technology on a 3D printer was made by Defense Distributed, which brought together a group of like-minded activists.
First, these enthusiasts won legal proceedings in the United States and obtained permission to 3D-print weapons, which greatly expanded their capabilities.
Secondly, they were able to organize a professional business with product testing and quality control. As a result, in 2018–19 they developed numerous models of a variety of firearms – from pistols to carbines.
They posted over 30 files for printing original gun parts. Most of them were plastic, and the metal parts were not made from purchased, ready-made elements, but from simple metal profiles (tubes, strips, etc.), which are sold in ordinary hardware stores. This made it possible to exclude the use of parts patented by gunsmiths.
At the moment, the semi-automatic carbine FGC-9, developed on the basis of the Shuty AP-9, has become the pinnacle of “creativity” of Defense Distributed. At the same time, there is not a single factory part in it.
The barrel for the 9 mm cartridge is made of steel pipe using electrochemical processing.
Legal Issues Of 3D Printed Guns
The only country where firearms can be 3D printed is the United States. The Gun Control Act of 1968 is in effect here, giving Americans the right to make weapons, but only for personal use.
Only one limitation is put forward: it must be determined by metal detectors, that is, it must have a metal element.
In virtually all other countries, homemade weapons manufacturing and repair for any purpose is prohibited by law.
How Dangerous Are 3D Printed Guns?
Most experts agree that currently, printed weapons are more of an interesting toy. It is quite expensive and is designed to carry out only a few dozen shots.
Moreover, such pistols are quite dangerous for the shooter himself with live ammunition, because they can explode in their hands.
However, the degree of danger cannot be downplayed. It is easier and cheaper for a “serious” criminal to buy illegal military weapons than to make them on a printer.
At the same time, there may be “enthusiasts” who, for their own interest, can make a pistol and try it out in action.
Such inadequate people represent an undoubted danger. In addition, the temptation is great for terrorists.
Metal detectors do not detect a plastic gun, which means that it is easier to carry it, for example, on an airplane.
3D Printed Gun STL/Print Files
The potential for 3D printing of firearms is far from exhausted. The expansion of equipment capabilities and the development of innovative materials indicate that in the near future such weapons may approach military weapons in terms of characteristics.
In the future – a significant increase in the resource and the provision of automatic firing.
Significantly increases the reliability of printed pistols and carbines SLS technology using metal powder. Such weapons already differ little from the factory metal models.
While it is very expensive, which significantly limits the application. However, over time, the material will become cheaper, which means it will become more affordable.
Printing firearms on a 3D printer has become a reality. Despite its extremely low performance and reliability, interest is growing in it. Experts predict that the printing of weapons will become widespread, and it is impossible to stop such production.
There comes a time when measures should be taken at the legislative level to establish effective control over this process.
5 Best 3D Printer For Gun Parts
The market for large format 3D printers aimed at the mass user and small businesses continues to grow.
This is because a large-format 3D printer is ideal for the research and development of products with rapid prototyping without the need to invest in full-scale industrial additive manufacturing.
Whether you’re a manufacturer looking to take on big projects or a small business looking for a professional device, we’ll help you find the large format 3D printer that fits your needs.
In the following list, we will share with you the best consumer 3D printers for gun parts. So, see below the 5 best 3D printers for gun parts.
ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer
Thanks to the success of the popular budget model ANYCUBIC, several product versions have been created since its release, including the ANYCUBIC Mega-S New which shares the same open-body design and dual Z-axis to add stability to the printing process.
ANYCUBIC has really worked on the shortcomings of the Mega-S New Upgrade model design that makes the model more accurate, with a larger touch screen, an improved fan, and a silicone sleeve for better nozzle temperature control.
An impressive print volume of 330 x 330 x 400mm allows the ANYCUBIC Mega-S to outshine some of its competitors that cost ten times as much.
This is not to say that ANYCUBIC brand printers stand out from their more well-known competitors. We did not have the opportunity to test these models, but I would note that Creality products, the Ender 5 line, stand out in this segment.
In particular, the Ender 5 Plus model, which even slightly surpasses the ANYCUBIC Mega-S in terms of its working area, and is not inferior to it in all other parameters.
FOKOOS 3D Printer Odin-5 F3 Foldable 99% 3D Printer
The FOKOOS 3D Printer Odin-5 F3 is a very well-designed machine. The printer boasts proper cable management, the control box is located under the device, which adds stability and reduces the floor space occupied by the printer, while the equipment is easy to assemble and run.
Thanks to the use of some premium brand components, such as the Bondtech certified dual filament extruder, tube, ultra-quiet drivers that make the device noticeably quieter than others, and automatic alignment with the sensor, the printer is well equipped to perform its tasks.
And most importantly, it prints really reliably. This is a great deal with an affordable price, high print volume, and easy to use.
Expert commentary: a rather expensive model for the FOKOOS brand, famous for its budget models, and, despite many advantages, is in limited demand losing to more famous models on the market, there is no doubt about this printer and if your choice falls on it, it will not disappoint you.
R QIDI TECHNOLOGY 3D Printer
An impressive 3D printer with a print volume of 500 x 500 x 600 mm and dimensions of 850 x 770 x 875 mm.
It is constructed from aluminum and steel, features a dual Z-axis screw for improved accuracy, a touch control panel, and features print resume and filament end detection—important especially for large format printing.
R QIDI TECHNOLOGY 3D Printer with a 500x500x600 print area is a very budget option for a printer with such a working area. Other models with similar print areas are sold much more expensive.
If you really plan to print models of this size, I would advise you to consider more professional models. The printing of such objects requires a higher reliability of the printer’s design.
Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer
The Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer is one of the best 3D printers and one of the most competitive mainstream large format printers currently on the market. Offering a build area of 500 x 500 x 500mm, it helps make your biggest 3D printing dreams come true.
In our opinion, the leader is simple. It does exactly the job that justifies its price and yet is affordable enough to make worthwhile the various additions and improvements available through numerous mods and updates.
The most budgetary model with a large print area, but perhaps too simple for the end of 2020, the time of such models is running out and they are being replaced by more technically advanced printers, including those from the same Creality brand, in particular the models.
Comgrow Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
The Comgrow Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer offers simplicity, affordability, and high build volume, making it a great option for professionals who want a gigantic printable area without spending too much.
While the print volume of 600 x 600 x 660mm is the device’s most notable feature, it’s not all that this large-format 3D printer has to offer.
The product includes a high-flow Volcano heating block, fully automatic platform leveling, 3D board, dual zone silicon print bed heater, PEI printable surface, and filament end sensor.
The company also offers optional upgrades such as a dual extruder, closed body, and other nozzle sizes.
While this 3D printer may seem expensive compared to some of the budget options on our list, the Comgrow Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer makes every dollar invested.
FAQ 3D Printed Guns
Following are the most common questions on 3D printed guns.
Should We Be Afraid Of Fully Plastic Guns?
The question of how dangerous a weapon is printed on a printer is becoming increasingly relevant. Despite all the prohibitions, it is extremely difficult to control the spread of technology around the world.
The availability of 3D printers and the increase in their functionality make it possible to master the production of plastic guns at home.
Can 3D Printers Be Used For Gun Parts?
A few guns can be made primarily with a 3D printer. These completely 3D printed models are, as the term recommends, practically all plastic from printed parts.
Is It Illegal To 3d Print A Gun?
3D printing offers an abundance of development and opportunity and yet as with such countless mechanical progressions, the law is not ready for its belongings in its ongoing configuration.
In this way, 3D printing itself isn’t unlawful yet a portion of its ramifications may be particularly concerning protected innovation regulation.
How Much Does It Cost To A 3D Print Gun?
Assuming you as of now have a 3D printer and fundamental hand devices, it costs about $100 until the end of the apparatuses to fabricate the barrel, then, at that point, about $100 in provisions for each firearm after that.