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Posted:  7/27/2012 9:52 AM #32963
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Joined: 7/14/2009
Posts: 10828
Last Post: 8/20/2014
Subject: World’s First 3D Printed Gun
( Robert Gillock - Web News Editor-An American gunsmith has become the first person to construct and shoot a pistol partly made out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. The creator, user HaveBlue from the AR-15 forum, has reportedly fired 200 rounds with his part-plastic pistol without any sign of wear and tear. HaveBlue’s custom creation is a .22-caliber pistol, formed from a 3D-printed AR-15 (M16) lower receiver, and a normal, commercial upper. In other words, the main body of the gun is plastic, while the chamber — where the bullets are actually struck — is solid metal.

The lower receiver was created using a fairly old school Stratasys 3D printer, using a normal plastic resin. HaveBlue estimates that it cost around $30 of resin to create the lower receiver, but “Makerbots and the other low cost printers exploding onto the market would bring the cost down to perhaps $10.” Commercial, off-the-shelf assault rifle lower receivers are a lot more expensive. If you want to print your own AR-15 lower receiver, HaveBlue has uploaded the schematic to Thingiverse.

HaveBlue tried to use the same lower receiver to make a full-blown .223 AR-15/M16 rifle, but it didn’t work. Funnily enough, he thinks the off-the-shelf parts are causing issues, rather than the 3D-printed part.

More Here…

Posted:  10/10/2012 9:51 AM #34542
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Joined: 7/14/2009
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Subject: An Interview with Cody R. Wilson of the WikiWeapon 3D Gun Printing Project
(The Truth About by Nick Leghorn- We’ve been covering the coming manufacturing revolution in firearms pretty closely, with the latest installment being Dan’s post yesterday. Simply put, 3D printing has enabled the home user to manufacture items easily and cheaply using plans downloaded from the internet, and most people see the next logical step being the home production of firearms. And while that scares most of the anti-gun crowd, one law student from Little Rock, Arkansas is pushing the envelope and trying to design a 3D printable firearm that he will make available on the internet. For free. And I had a chance to talk with him Monday afternoon about what’s going on . . .

My first question to Cody was about how he got into guns (hoping for a touching story about a grandfather and an afternoon with a 10/22 or something), and like the lawyer he’s studying to be Cody rejected my premise. “Its not clear to me that I’m even into guns” he retorted. “Its pointless to say now that I’m not a ‘gun’ guy, because at this point I kind of am whether I think of myself as one or not — I [only] bought my first gun last year. I really only ever respected the right to own a gun as a political tool and a theoretical thing than the actual physical things themselves.

“I think there’s a disservice that the NRA and other groups do to gun owners, and the second amendment itself, and really American republicanism when they say that we must preserve the right to sporting and to hunting and to the great tradition of gun ownership. No — the founding fathers simply saw that the public militia was the reason to preserve the right to bear arms[, and that arms are] useful as instruments to bloodily overthrow your government. I hate to put it in such sharp terms, but let’s be honest about what it is. Guns are implements of war. War is a tool of political change.”

Given his Farago-esque views on gun ownership and our rights thereof, it made me curious as to the goals behind the project that he started. Specifically, a project that would make 3D printed guns a reality for anyone with an internet connection and some spare cash.

“The goal is not to get guns into as many hands as possible, the goal is simply to provide access. The goal is to say, ‘in this world, in the world we want to create, anyone who wants access to a firearm can have access. Because we believe that is a right that no one should be allowed to infringe. Especially political actors.” His vision was clearly one where where not only is the oversight of the ATF and the U.S. Government ceased for firearms ownership, but that anyone in the world can exercise their right of self defense and enact political change. “Gun rights are human rights.”

It’s fair to say that a number of the regular writers on this blog find themselves somewhere close to his opinion, but the real question is whether the current state of 3D printing is able to make that happen. Does the technology and material exist to print complete 3D firearms?

“Definitely I think we need to do research into better materials. That’s part of what we’re doing as well with our lab setup that we’ve got going and our data acquisition systems. The first thrust of this project is to see what we can do with ABS [the softer and cheaper material used for 3D printing] or ABS-like materials because that’s what most people have access to right now. So would you have an arm that you would want to produce en masse? Probably not — you could have something that could work once, maybe, with a lower pressure round than a .22lr.” In short though, “no, the technology is not there yet.”

Of course, with anything involving guns and their production, you start running into legal questions pretty quickly. Things like whether it falls under the category of a Title 1 or Title 2 firearm. Title 1 firearms are only regulated under the Gun Control Act of 1968 and can be manufactured for personal use with little annoyance from the government, but Title II firearms are regulated under the National Firearms Act and require registration with the ATF on a Form 1 if you intend to assemble one.

“What is a WikiWeapon going to look like? That’s a problem I started having with the ATF. You don’t have a traditional looking gun that’s useful and concealable and other things because of your material limits. [...] You basically have a plastic zip gun [right now].”

“The main question is, and I really don’t want to be the one to make the ATF come down on the site here[, ...] is what you’re making on your 3D printer a title 1 or a title 2 firearm? A quick read of the GCA and the NFA doesn’t really yield easy answers. If you look and what you see looks like a pistol, I guess what you have is a pistol. But becuase it has a smooth bore due to the limitations of the material, or because its concealable and undetectable it might be a title 2.” Note: handguns with a smooth barrel are regulated under the National Firearms Act, which is why the Judge has a rifled barrel.

“No one has given a definitive answer. I haven’t submitted anything to the firearms technology branch or submitted a Form 1, and it’s not that I’m not going to do these things, but I realize that I’m on my own and when I do the ATF has a precedent on printable weapons. Do I want to be the guy to do that yet? To really ruin the home manufacturing system? [...]

“And then there’s all kinds of other legal questions. Basically you blow off the entire ATF regulatory structure once gun printing comes of age. You blow out all the licensing and everything.”

While the legal implications of firearms manufacture are murky at best, some companies aren’t waiting for the dust to settle to cover their rear ends, legally speaking. There was a story last week about how a 3D printer that Cody had leased from a reputable company was yanked — they terminated his lease and sent a courier to retrieve it ASAP — when they found out what he had planned.

A replacement, however, is already in the works. “Its not going to be a problem getting another one” according to Cody. “Especially with all the press, lots of people who [sell used devices] or have 3D printers have offered to let me use theirs.”

Cody is optimistic about the future of 3D printing. He sees it as a way for people to exercise their natural rights without government interference, and a way to give people the means to enact real political change.

Posted:  10/10/2012 2:38 PM #34547
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Subject: Will the Guys with the [Printed] Guns Make the Rules?
( by Josh Horwitz- "Insurrectionism is as American as apple pie." "Obama and the UN don't stand a bloody chance now." - Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed and the "Wiki Weapon" project: The Huffington Post and other major media outlets have been abuzz lately with discussion of "3D printing's next frontier": guns. Specifically, the focus has been on a University of Texas law school student who had the 3D printer he leased reclaimed after announcing he would begin printing "Wiki weapons" (i.e., receivers for assault rifles and crude handguns) and freely distributing the plans for these firearms over the Internet. Desktop manufacturing company Stratsys felt that the student in question, Cody Wilson, was flouting existing federal firearms laws and stated that it is not its policy to "knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes." Wilson was also booted off Indiegogo, where he tried to fundraise for the project.


Much of the coverage focused on the aspect of the exciting new technology involved, which "promises to revolutionize manufacturing" in the United States. Less-discussed was the stated motivation behind the project and the radical political views of its founder.

Cody Wilson PhotoTo Cody Wilson's credit, he has not been secretive about what he believes and why he wants Americans to mass-produce firearms in their homes. The Defense Distributed Twitter feed and his personal Twitter feed are a screed of far-right-wing ideology. He calls President Obama a "bloodless sociopath" with a "Marxist Presidency," promotes Birtherism, criticizes Paul Ryan's budget as "a timid, 30 year project to barely blunt spending," embraces nullification legislation, endorses voter suppression laws, extols Ron Paul and Darrell Issa, mocks Sandra Fluke's sexual habits, rails against public schools, attacks the "Affordable Care Act," accuses Democrats of "laying waste to Detroit," disparages cops and defends George Zimmerman. He also runs Defending Liberty, a PAC that is working to eliminate state income tax laws.

Wilson is equally up-front about the purpose of his Wiki Weapon project. The website of his online collective for the project, "Defense Distributed," states that, "WikiWep is about challenging gun control and regulation." Or, as he put it to Slashdot: "This project really is about '**** your laws.' You know what I'm saying? You know what? I don't like this legal regime."

Wilson's idea is in fact "Second Amendment remedies" taken to the extreme, and he makes no bones about it. "To be clear, the Second Amendment enshrines the right to bear arms with the understanding that a free people must ultimately remain able topple their own government," he writes on the Defending Liberty website. "If you believe in the American revolution DONATE NOW" its homepage exclaims. In a Tweet, Wilson playfully adds that the PAC is "working for strong laws to keep guns out of the hands of politicians" in order to maintain parity in civilian/military firepower.

Wilson sees gun regulation as "tyranny of the majority." In response, he hopes to create a not-so-subtle threat to our elected officials. "How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet?" he asks. "Let's find out." This explicit threat of political violence is "the classic defense against Socialism." To "international kleptocrats" Wilson warns, "You want to announce treaties and new legal regimes announcing greater and greater eras and stratas of gun control, but listen it's over. You don't understand the world you're living in. We're bringing something else into being."

Indeed, if Wilson's vision is one day realized, a very different political system will come into being and it won't look anything like the constitutional republic our Founders worked a lifetime to bring about.

Certainly, the men who signed the Declaration of Independence had strong words to say about "tyranny" and "throwing off" despotic government. But in the wake of our successful Revolution, new challenges arose, and the thinking of our Founders changed dramatically. After seven years of war with England, the new government had no ability to pay or feed its troops. Mob violence ruled the streets in many American cities, with Daniel Shays and his armed followers closing local courts in Western Massachusetts. Pirates and the British Navy were inhibiting American commerce. The Founding Fathers who gathered in Philadelphia in May of 1787 to fashion a new system of government were more concerned about licentiousness and excesses in democracy than tyranny. This was reflected in the very first line of the Constitution: "To form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." This elegant statement of purpose confirms that our Founders saw a more energetic, more capable federal government as the best possible guarantor of individual rights.

In contrast, the radical libertarianism of Cody Wilson cares not at all about domestic tranquility or establishing a system of justice. He prefers an anarchical society where government lacks the ability not only to accomplish great things, but also to do the mundane, like ensuring that judgments are enforced and laws executed. In the resulting chaos, individuals with privately printed guns would fight it out to vindicate their rights. Might would make right and an arms race would ensue. To me, this idea has all the hallmarks of a failed state, not a model democracy. The concept of a government "monopoly on force" may sound inconsistent with the political traditions of a country steeped in stories of its own revolution, but it is the fundamental organizing principle of any nation-state. At the Virginia ratifying convention, Second Amendment author James Madison, responding to Patrick Henry's complaint that the new Constitution gave too much power over the states' militia to the federal Congress, said, "There never was a government without force. What is the meaning of government? An institution to make people do their duty. A government leaving it to a man to do his duty, or not, as he pleases, would be a new species of government, or rather no government at all."

Articulate and clean-cut, Wilson plays the part of the cultured intellectual, even when he is discussing the use of political violence. This is undoubtedly intended to make his message more palatable to those in the mainstream who would otherwise tune him out immediately. But he's also told his audience, point blank, "Don't print a gun unless you plan on using it." And sometimes he loses his cool altogether, such as when he Tweeted "Pull Obama out into the STREET for this TREASON!" in response to an executive order on "National Defense Resources Preparedness." Wilson believes that his capacity to do violence to others is the only thing undergirding his status as a citizen. And if he smells "tyranny" and decides to start shooting--killing someone's parent, or spouse, or child? Well, don't expect him to face a jury of his peers for his crimes. He's made it clear he wants a private court system, not the one designed by our Founders.

Let's be clear. The Wiki Weapon project is not the work of a dispassionate techie seeking to push the outer limits of modern technology. Instead it is a blatant, undisguised attempt to radically alter our system of government. We don't know if the project will be producing serviceable handguns and assault rifles anytime soon, but if it does--and if these weapons avoid regulation--political violence could one day replace political dialogue as the hallmark of our democratic system. For more than two centuries, the U.S. Constitution and its amendments have secured the blessings of liberty for Americans. If extremists like Cody Wilson have their way, "the guys with the [printed] guns" will make new rules for the future.

Posted:  10/10/2012 2:39 PM #34548

Joined: 6/28/2005
Posts: 1337
Last Post: 1/28/2015
It is obvious that the media wants to turn Wilson into a bad guy.
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