Fully 3-D Printed Plastic Gun Fires A Bullet, Doesn't Break

May 7, 2013


This is a test video of what's allegedly the first fully 3-D printed plastic gun (previously: an AR-15 with 3-D printed receiver) firing a bullet and not shattering to pieces in the shooter's hands like I expected. PROTIP: Never bring a plastic fork to a knife fight. I've never tasted so much of my own blood before.

...Wilson's weapon is almost entirely plastic: Fifteen of its 16 pieces have been created inside an $8,000 second-hand Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, a machine that lays down threads of melted polymer that add up to precisely-shaped solid objects just as easily as a traditional printer lays ink on a page. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail used as its firing pin.

The verdict: it worked. The Liberator fired a standard .380 handgun round without visible damage, though it also misfired on another occasion when the firing pin failed to hit the primer cap in the loaded cartridge due a misalignment in the hammer body, resulting in an anti-climactic thunk.

So yeah, apparently 3-D printed guns are right around the corner. Possibly waiting to take your wallet and purse. Which is exactly why I don't carry a wallet. Keep your money in your man-bra -- that's what I do. "Man-bra?" I meant to say shoe.

Hit the jump for the video.

Thanks to Evil Ares (two tips in a row, bro -- you're mad evil!) and Dubin, who refuse to 3-D print weapons because they like to forge them from magic the way swordsmiths and magicians would to get together to do in medieval times.

  • Ed

    The version I saw yesterday said it lasted 6 shots and had 2 metal pieces, the second one being just a piece of scrap concealed inside the gun to prevent it from violating a law against undetectable firearms. What I really want to know though is what happens when it breaks!?!? 'splosions? Loss of finger? Does the shell shoot out the back at you? I guess you have to print your own to find out.

  • Prometheus

    I imagine that when the gun fails it will do just like other 3d printed guns do, just fail and fall apart.

  • My question as well. Certainly not practical in a gun fight. But even in target practice are you gambling with losing fingers?

  • rjackparis

    IT's called the liberator. If you look back in history there was another pistol called the FP45 liberator. It was a single shot stamped steel insurgency weapon. aka. A crappy zipgun used to procure superior weapons. I imagine this is supposed to be used in a similar manner.

  • Chip Douglas

    Is it me or was there something a little ostentatious about that whole video? Someone get him a poncho and a cigar.

  • Dillon Beard

    I'm just going to assume he had some reservations about shooting it, perhaps previous prints had exploded in his hand.

  • Grindzombie

    WHERE IS MY 3-D PRINTED CAT / FERRET LAUNCHER FOR HOME DEFENSE? Seriously what better way to deter thieves then to launch pissed off cats/ferrets at their faces at a rate of 3 animals per second? Don't bother. there is none. Guns are over.

  • dougfunnay

    why do they always use plastic for these kinds of demonstrations? its cheaper yeah but fairly high resolution 3d printers that use metal have been around for a while now and better demonstrate the versatility of the technology

  • They could print a metal gun, but part of the one-up-manship is printing the gun from plastic. It isn't necessarily to make a "good" gun, but to show off that they can print a working gun from plastics.

  • dougfunnay

    i print mine from turds.... take that plastic gun manufacturers!
    i will admit that my extruder gets a little puckered sometimes but its all worth it to know im the best

    .....yeah unless everyone has the same funding and access to the same materials im not seeing where this fine line of fair competition is

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