Print-on-Demand Assault Rifle

Photo Credit: HaveBlue

Via PopSci:

An amateur gunsmith known only as “HaveBlue” has earned the dubious distinction of ushering in the age of print-on-demand weapons. With only $30 in plastic and a commercially available 3-D printer HaveBlue succeeded in creating a fully functional assault rifle.

While there are still some details to sort out, it’s pretty clear that making weapons at home using 3-D printers from commonly available materials is going to become much more commonplace in the near future. In fact, as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.

Read more at PopSci.

31 Comments on "Print-on-Demand Assault Rifle"

  1. The Baffler | Jul 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

    Have him make me a 240B. Those things are just too fun.

    I mean, for hunting. Of course.

    • Calypso_1 | Jul 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm |

      I’ll take a GECAL 50.  Great for gophers.

      • The Baffler | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:28 am |

        ah, the GAU-19. Fine choice for home defense. Or gopher hunting.

      • The Baffler | Jul 27, 2012 at 3:52 am |

        Alright now, don’t trip.

        We once had to rescue a Special Forces Group who had mistaken an Iraqi Police patrol for random insurgents walking around, in uniform, in formation. Night time.

        Lit them up, killed them all. No warning, nothing.

        They shit themselves when the rest of the Iraqi Police showed up. We extracted them. No problem. We then had to deal with violence spiking in our area of control. We had already ran the insurgents out. They came back. People died because of what they did.


        I believe they called themselves the Third Special Forces, or Third Group.

  2. Anarchy Pony | Jul 26, 2012 at 11:34 pm |

    I can’t imagine it would be very durable. Very short service life before it wears down and fails catastrophically.

    • MadHierophant | Jul 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm |

      So what you’re saying is we should be more worried about a disposable sniper rifle. 

      • Anarchy Pony | Jul 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm |


        • Calypso_1 | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:09 am |

          Not at all; just insert a virus into the design or printer code that ‘watermarks’ the rifling.

          • Anarchy Pony | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:29 am |

            As if hackers and serious modders wouldn’t find ways to counteract that.

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:43 am |

            Just depends on who’s got game & at what level they like to play.

          • Brian Flowers | Jul 27, 2012 at 7:26 am |

             3D printers as they currently stand aren’t all that accurate — any watermark you inserted would be very visible and most likely screw up the firing. Of course, you also couldn’t actually print the rifling yet. And you can only print plastics…

            But yea, that’s something that would be VERY easy to find. First, because 3D printing software lets you actually look at the entire model, and second because a rifled barrel would just be a short segment of code heavily repeated — so you’d just have to verify that short segment of code. And most guns would probably be using one of a small number of verified barrel designs, so someone would eventually notice if any bugs were inserted into them. It’s just like open source software.

          • ‘And you can only print plastics…’ – This is not true. There are a variety 3D printers available which can print using a variety of different materials. Some can form metallic models using for example powdered steel and a binding agent, built up layer by layer.

    • its one use, once you run out of ammo, you throw the whole gun, and the one-use grenade inside goes off to shrapnel plastic into people.

  3. It’s going to be 5-10 years before sintered-metal printers drop to consumer price levels. There’s less to this than meets the eye at this point.

    • Calypso_1 | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:12 am |

      Those that would be most interested in the potential benefits of this technology would be unlikely to feel constrained by suggested MSRP.

  4. lupus LeFou | Jul 27, 2012 at 12:04 am |

    If you read the article you see that only the lower receiver was 3d printed. The upper receiver was from a bona-fide manufacturer. Plus the buttstock, springs, pins, and so on. Rally, its not all spectacular…especially when you do a google search and find the company has been doing this exact same thing for years now, making plastic lower receivers.

  5. the Japanese were once able to ban the use of guns
    because it was ruining their samurai warrior ways
    they realized their culture was being destroyed by technology
    and they stopped it
    but eventually the gun won
    and their culture changed
    in a few hundred years
    into one of the most aggressive nations in Asia

    first we shape our tools
    and then our tools shape us

    • Yeah. Nothing agressive about samurais.

      • when they were samurais
        their aggression was codified and limited to Japan

        after the gun became dominate
        the rules went bye-bye
        and they tried to conquer all of Asia with the gun
        something they never tried with samurai methods & rules

        • Calypso_1 | Jul 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm |

          The Koreans & Ryukyuans might have a different perspective.

          • I’m not extremely familiar with Samurai history
            but the gun first appears in Japan around 1550
            the Ryukyuans were conquered 50 to 100 years later
            and Korea wasn’t invaded by Japan
            about 100 years after the gun
            and around the same time the Ryukyuans were invaded

            but only a moron like me would connect the gun
            with this new behavior

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 30, 2012 at 12:15 am |

            I am familiar with the changes that took place in Japan due to the arrival of firearms, the subsequent banning of them etc.  The use of them for military advantage against their neighbors in the 16th century was not a departure from samurai ways; it was simply another military tool with limited application.  It could be argued that the naginata was a far more important weapon in this period. 
            These invasions took place in the heart of the warring samurai era during the Sengoku period before Japan was unified under the Tokugawa shogunate. 
            Under Edo rule the more ‘classical’ samurai emerged where arts were systemized and ritualized to the degree that has become more familiar to the modern eye. 
            The gun was not outlawed because it ruined their warrior ways.  It was outlawed because of the possibility of its use for internal insurrection.  Thus the suppression of the gun was used to brutally oppress the populace for several more centuries using medieval weaponry and clan structures that perpetuated the entrenched ruling structures.

          • my point was not about the change in war like ways
            but the amplification effect
            that the gun had upon the culture
            the ban was an attempt to mitigate the effect
            but once Pandora opens the box
            it’s Katie bar the door
            Asia here we come!
            and so they did

        • Our aggression is also codified.

          • right
            but theirs had moral principles to varying degrees
            whereas Western aggressive codes
            have no moral principles attached
            except as cloak of maliciousness

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 31, 2012 at 1:38 am |

            Not true.  You can no more argue the loftiness of budo than you can chivalry. 
            The Hague & Geneva Conventions, despite whatever violations may occur, are still fundamentally ethics based principals of aggression.

          • I think you made my point
            but ok, chivalry as its portrayed
            was indeed ethics based
            that past into military ethics
            which is now “honor among thieves”

            Hague & Geneva Conventions are farces
            a cloak of maliciousness
            used to punish those who fail to obey Uncle Homeland
            never has been more than that
            it was never truly ethical

  6. All this makes me think of is Pirate Bay Physibles. Pirate and print arms!

  7. The only thing to get is money | Jul 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm |

    It was to happen eventually. Ever since I learned of 3d printing in ’08 I was like yeah, weapons 3d printing, only took 4 years to happen…publicly,

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