If you think 3D processing technology is only used to make your head hurt in video games and movies, then I suggest you think again. So-called 3D printers using plastic blocks are creating a whole new world of manufacturing possibilities, and a company called Defense Distributed has managed to break new ground in 3D manufacturing. It took the company a year of development, but Defense Distributed has successfully built and fired a working gun made by a 3D printer. The weapon is made of ABS plastic, with the only metal parts being the firing pin and the ammunition.
“There is a demand of guns – there just is. There are states all over the world that say you can’t own firearms – and that’s not true anymore. I’m seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much be able to have whatever you want. It’s not up to the political players any more,” says Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old University of Texas law student and the creator of Defense Distributed. “I recognize the tool might be used to harm other people – that’s what the tool is – it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not do it – or a reason not to put it out there.”
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, there is no law against building your own firearm and Defense Distributed has received proper certification as a manufacturer and seller of weapons. Provided they do not make any outlawed automatic weapons, Defense Distributed has every right to print guns on their 3D printer; the company also plans to distribute the blueprint to their gun online.
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