Whatever your opinion may be on the gun control debate one thing is clear someone, somewhere, will create a fully functional 3d printed gun and when they do the world will change. Small arms manufacturing could become a kind of cottage industry with people from all over the world creating not only copies of existing firearms but entirely new gun mashups, mixing ideas, capabilities and features from different designers to create an entirely new class of DIY weapons. Current designs are made out of thermoplastic powder but when the cost of more advanced 3d fabrication methods comes down the dream of the homemade printed firearm could become reality much sooner than you may think. 3D Systems Corp has created a 3d printer which uses a high powered laser to fuse aluminum and titanium powders together directly from CAD data to create fully functional metal parts. Electron beam freeform fabrication can also print durable metal parts capable of withstanding the heat and pressure demands of modern firearms which could go a long way toward creating the printed firearms industry. To some this may sound far fetched today but then again in the 21st century so do alot of things. In this Motherboard documentary Vice takes a look at Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed in their effort to create the world’s first 3d printed gun.
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