Plastic, schmastic. While the 3D printer was the first step toward easily making your very own firearms at home, the technology still has its limits. Namely, it can only really print in plastic — not exactly the optimal medium for something that goes bang. For centuries, metal’s been the gunsmith’s medium of choice. These days, crafting it into pistol parts is a job for a CNC machine. Unfortunately, they’ve been way too big and far too expensive for the average Jane or Joe to have one in the privacy of their very own home. Until now . . .
A Kickstarter project is aiming to take CNC milling out of the machine shop and put it in your living room. Or garage. Or basement. Pretty much wherever you have a little free space. I get the idea that the two San Francisco design whizzes at Otherfab who are behind the Othermill weren’t really thinking of firearms fabrication when they started their little project. Printed circuit boards! Jewelry! Molds!
As they state in their promotional video, the original goal was to make an affordable, easy-to-use CNC machine that’s small and light enough to carry on public transportation. But can you guess who we really have to thank for this brainstorm?
We began our work as part of a government funded push to revive high school shop class, with a modern twist: tools for digital design and CNC manufacturing.
Heh. They don’t specify whether that’s the state or federal guvmint. Talk about unintended consequences.
If all goes according to plan, it looks like an Othermill will run you somewhere south of two grand to start. And prices would only drop from there. They say they expect to start shipping the first machines in August. Of 2013. Of course, how you choose to use your machine will be totally up to you. Just imagine the possibilities, though — milling your own firing pins, small barrels, frame components…almost any metal gun part that needs to be CNC’d could be fabricated on one of these. Right there on your desk.
They reached their original goal of $50,000 in 24 hours. As of now, they’re well over $200,000 with 13 days more to run. If they get to a quarter million, they have dreams of creating an easy-to-use software package to make better use of the project at home if more people donate. You in? [h/t Nathan B.]