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Vikingdad 08-27-2012 04:46 PM

Wiki-Weapon Project
I read this very interesting article on Forbes today and thought it would be appreciated here.. (They are looking for investors-)

Here's the direct link-


'Wiki Weapon Project' Aims To Create A Gun Anyone Can 3D-Print At Home
42 comments, 42 called-out
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An AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 3D-printed lower receiver for the weapon shown below it. Both images were posted Defense Distributed's website.

Cody Wilson has a simple dream: To design the world’s first firearm that can be downloaded from the Internet and built from scratch using only a 3D printer–and then to share it with the world.

Earlier this month, Wilson and a small group of friends who call themselves “Defense Distributed” launched an initiative they’ve dubbed the “ Wiki Weapon Project.” They’re seeking to raise $20,000 to design and release blueprints for a plastic gun anyone can create with an open-source 3D printer known as the RepRap that can be bought for less than $1,000. If all goes according to plan, the thousands of owners of those cheap 3D printers, which extrude thin threads of melted plastic into layers that add up to precisely-shaped three-dimensional objects, will be able to turn the project’s CAD designs into an operational gun capable of firing a standard .22 caliber bullet, all in the privacy of their own garage.

“We want to show this principle: That a handgun is printable,” says Wilson, a 24-year-old second-year law student at the University of Texas. “You don’t need to be able to put 200 rounds through it…It only has to fire once. But even if the design is a little unworkable, it doesn’t matter, as long as it has that guarantee of lethality.”

Wilson and his handful of collaborators at Defense Distributed plan to use the money they raise to buy or rent a $10,000 Stratasys 3D printer and also to hold a 3D-printable gun design contest with a $1,000 or $2,000 prize for the winning entry–Wilson says they’ve already received gun design ideas from fans in Arkansas and North Carolina. Once the group has successfully built a reliable 3D-printed gun with the Stratasys printer, it plans to adapt the design for the cheaper and more widely distributed RepRap model.

As of Tuesday, the project had raised $2,000 of its $20,000 goal through a page on the fundraising website Indiegogo, when the company suddenly removed their page Tuesday night and froze their donations for what it described as a “unusual account activity.” The project is still accepting donations through its own website via Paypal and via the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Wilson says that before Indiegogo’s rejection, the Wiki Weapon Project was just a few hundred dollars short of the cost of renting the 3D printer for three months, and he plans to appeal the decision.

Here’s the fundraising video the group had posted to Indiegogo:

Controversial as their project sounds–particularly in the wake of the recent gun violence in Aurora, Colorado and Milwaukee, Wisconsin–Wilson insists the Wiki Weapon Project is legal; Users can 3D-print any gun they would be allowed to lawfully own anyway, as long as they don’t manufacture them for sale, Wilson says. But he doesn’t deny that the project’s goal is to subvert gun control regulations in America and around the world. “It’s one of the ideas of the American revolution that the citizenry should be the owners of the weapons,” says Wilson. “Every citizen has the right to bear arms. This is the way to really lower the barrier to access to arms. That’s what this represents.”

And does lowering that barrier really require giving everyone access to be a lethal weapon? “If a gun’s any good, it’s lethal. It’s not really a gun if it can’t threaten to kill someone,” Wilson responds. “You can print a lethal device. It’s kind of scary, but that’s what we’re aiming to show.”

A poster Defense Distributed offered to anyone who donated $1,776 to their Wiki Weapon Project. The image is taken from an 1835 Texas Revolution flag that has become a favorite symbol of the National Rifle Association, with a RepRap 3D printer substituted for a cannon.

Defense Distributed’s rhetoric includes a “manifesto” section on its website, with quotes from Thomas Jefferson and George Washington on the right to bear arms as well as a 1644 John Milton speech on the right to unlicensed use of the printing press. “In a world where 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous and economical, defense systems and opposition to tyranny may be but a click away,” read Wiki Weapon’s pitch for donations on the now-defunct Indiegogo page. “Let’s pull the world toward this future together.”

Though the Wiki Weapon may become the first gun to be created entirely with a 3D printer, Wilson and his gun-loving partners wouldn’t be the first to experiment with 3D-printed gun components. In September of last year, a user uploaded designs for a printable lower receiver and magazine for an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to the 3D printing software platform Thingiverse. The lower receiver in particular stirred controversy, as the receiver is legally considered the main body of the firearm and its sale and distribution are regulated. With a 3D-printed receiver, a gun enthusiast could purchase and assemble the other components without any limitations from gun control laws.

Just a month ago, a 3D-printed lower receiver was put to the test by Michael Guslick, who wrote on an AR-15 enthusiast web forum that he was able to assemble a working model of the rifle with a receiver printed on a Stratasys model printer and to fire 200 rounds without any sign of wear on the printed piece.

Despite the unsettling notion of a technology that lets anyone download a lethal weapon as easily as an pirated episode of Game of Thrones, regulating 3D printing to prevent gun printing would be both counterproductive and ineffective, argues Michael Weinberg, an attorney with the non-profit Public Knowledge who focuses on the legal issues around 3D printing. “When you have a general purpose technology, it will be used for things you don’t want people to use it for,” he says. “That doesn’t mean it’s wrong or illegal. I won’t use my 3D printer to make a weapon, but I’m not going to crusade against people who would do that.”

Weinberg points out that even before consumer 3D-printing became fashionable, gun enthusiasts were already making their own metal firearm components with computer controlled milling machines and posting their designs to sites like “If you want to make an effective gun, making it out of metal is probably better than making it out of plastic anyway,” says Weinberg.

But Defense Distributed’s Wilson believes 3D printers like the RepRap could become a far cheaper and more ubiquitous source of homemade firearms than computer-controlled mills. RepRaps even have the unique quality of being able to produce most of the components of another RepRap, effectively reproducing. “The idea is that the printer will pollinate and be everywhere,” he says. ” “ Imagine an insurgent scenario. People could be replicating printers in their neighborhoods, out of site. Anywhere there’s a computer and an Internet connection, there would be the promise of a gun…That has to change how the state treats citizens.”

And what about the possibility, in that imagined future, of more innocent deaths than ever from guns spreading beyond all control? Or that people who can’t access guns, like felons and the mentally ill, will be especially eager to use the technology? “I don’t see empirical evidence that access to guns increases the rate of violent crime,” answers Wilson. “If someone wants to get their hands on a gun, they’ll get their hands on a gun.”

“This opens a lot of doors,” he admits. “Any advance in technology has posed these questions. And it’s not clear cut that this is just a good thing. But liberty and responsibility are scary.”

locutus 08-27-2012 05:11 PM

Now if someone could just design a replicator that would produce the real thing..................

Vikingdad 08-27-2012 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by locutus (Post 917727)
Now if someone could just design a replicator that would produce the real thing..................

In July on the AR15 a guy named "Haveblue" printed an AR lower receiver that he assembled and fired. Here's a link.

Since the print media is plastic I presume that one could not print out a firing gun because of all of the needed metal parts (springs, barrel, etc). Interesting concept though.

Vikingdad 08-27-2012 05:43 PM

Here is a link to another article which led me to the Forbes one.

This is the real concern here, the First Amendment questions related to printing things off of files traded on the Internet and the government's desire to prevent that from becoming a reality.

c3shooter 08-27-2012 07:43 PM

The much ballyhooed "3D printed gun" was a stripped lower for a .22. The upper, bolt, firing pin, barrel, all springs, hammer, etc were METAL.

As far as making an all plastic firearm- be sure to let me know how that works out for you. Yes, has been done with very limited success.

It is also ILLEGAL as hell under Federal law- 18 USC 922.

(p)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture,
import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any
firearm -
(A) that, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, is not
as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal
detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security
Exemplar; or
(B) any major component of which, when subjected to inspection
by the types of x-ray machines commonly used at airports, does
not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the
component. Barium sulfate or other compounds may be used in the
fabrication of the component.
(2) For purposes of this subsection -
(A) the term "firearm" does not include the frame or receiver
of any such weapon;
(B) the term "major component" means, with respect to a
firearm, the barrel, the slide or cylinder, or the frame or
receiver of the firearm; and
(C) the term "Security Exemplar" means an object, to be
fabricated at the direction of the Attorney General, that is -
(i) constructed of, during the 12-month period beginning on
the date of the enactment of this subsection, 3.7 ounces of
material type 17-4 PH stainless steel in a shape resembling a

bkt 08-27-2012 10:42 PM

Uh, if I'm inclined to bang out my own firearm, and I'm most certainly not, and I only cared about one shot then it would be along the lines of a liberator. If you have a CNC machine, you can already find plans online for modern firearms. You're breaking the law if you mill one, of course.

How does this benefit us? Who here has a 3d printer? I'm sure they're out there and I'm heavy into technology, but I don't have one. Who does? Neat idea, but it misses the mark. I'd rather bend sheet steel and give my dremmel a workout rather than depend on a printed plastic receiver. So I'm a Luddite.... :rolleyes:

Vikingdad 08-28-2012 03:29 AM

According to some dude on the Internet, Haveblue, he has done it (stripped lower) and assembled and fired it with a .223 upper on it. Take a look at the thread-

As for who has one of these machines, I have access to one that my buddy owns. He has a medical devices fabricating shop at his house and bought this expensive 3D prototyping machine that is essentially a high-end 3D printer. I plan on asking him if he thinks its feasible and may give it a try (he is not a gun guy though). These machines are getting to be very affordable (less than $1000).

As for an all-plastic gun I agree that would be illegal and foolish even if it is possible.

AcidFlashGordon 08-28-2012 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by Vikingdad (Post 917751)
...a guy named "Haveblue"

Interesting name. Have Blue is the name of Lockheed's demonstrator project, proof of concept for the F-117 Nighthawk.

Have Blue aircraft

Vikingdad 08-28-2012 02:55 PM


Originally Posted by AcidFlashGordon (Post 918615)
Interesting name.

So says "AcidFlashGordon":rolleyes:

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