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Defense Distributed Obtains FFL, Licensed to Manufacture and Sell Guns

The guys at Defense Distributed, the organization dedicated to making a 3D printable firearm, have obtained an FFL according to their Facebook post. Which means they can now mass produce their printed ABS plastic lowers and ship them anywhere in the United States 100% legally. Something tells me we’re about to see a flood of cheap AR-15 lowers coming onto the market in the next few weeks.


  1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: I’d Rather….

    ….have the software and the printer to do it myself. That and the magazines.


    [Be Prepared….]

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Defense Distributed is the company manufacturing the firearms. They share some personnel with, but are not synonymous with DEFCAD. DEFCAD is the company building a 3D model search engine, in order to achieve full distribution of 3D files to anyone who wants them. DEFCAD will give you the software to do it yourself.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        “They share some personnel with, but are not synonymous with DEFCAD.”

        You must be either illiterate or trippin’ blls. “DEFCAD” is 100% operated by “DD”. They even say so right on the website.

        THEY ARE THE SAME ORG. Spare us the nonsensical, ill-informed propaganda.

  2. avatar Bad-Timing says:

    These printers can be used to make magazines right? I want me some twenty-round 7.62x54R VEPR magazines NOW!

  3. avatar Pyratemime says:

    Last I heard these lowers were only good for about 600 rounds. If that is correct these lowers better be dirt cheap.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      They posted a video where they fired 600 rounds through one of their lowers, and afterwards showed that it was still in very good shape, and was good for many more rounds. I’m guessing that the 600 round figure came from the video, but it certainly didn’t fall apart after they finished.

      No way am I saying that I’d pay more than $50 for one of these though.

    2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      I believe the 600 rounds was because they ran out of ammo.

      I further recall hearing they got more and decided that at 1000 rounds they’d tested it enough.

      I have to wonder at the cost factor for testing to failure.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Especially with ammo at current prices, I don’t even know where they scrounged up 1000 extra 5.56 rounds.

    3. avatar Jake Bullard says:

      There have been all plastic lowers from a long time. I don’t think they intend to sell them I think they just want to cover there ass. 3D printing is slow and not good for manufacturing.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        There have been plastic receiver guns since the Nylon 66 debuted. Over 50 years ago.

  4. avatar 16V says:

    “Something tells me we’re about to see a flood of cheap AR-15 lowers coming onto the market in the next few weeks.”

    Even if they could print more than a handful a day (which they can’t without setting up a massive printer farm) they aren’t going to be nearly as cheap as a cast/reductive machined/injection molded piece. The materials cost more.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Yep. 3D printing is about distributed reasonably-cheap-if-you-just-want-one manufacturing, not cheap mass production.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        I am (sadly) not getting your post APBTFan. ‘Splain Lucy…

  5. avatar Mike_A says:

    Please keep in mind that this technology serves as a means to get designs to a PROTOTYPE stage in the development process. Yes, it is amazing and inspiring technology – but as a professional product development engineer who uses a 3D printer every day, I can assure that you’re wasting your money if you think this is even close to a real deal firearm component.

    1. avatar Pyratemime says:

      I work in product development too (on the PM side) and that is a great point. I think what people are missing is that these lowers are meant to fill the same function as the STEN gun not to replace modern manufactured firearms. When these lowers hit the market they are what you buy and bury because they are (supposedly) cheaper and won’t corrode… though all the springs, pins, and the upper will so you still have to cosmoline it all.

  6. avatar G2022 says:

    Cheap? No way. 3d printing is not cheap. Do a bit of research on it. This part would probably cost you a few hundred to have it printed by one of the online suppliers. Raw material for commercial machines is expensive, and the printers themselves are thousands of dollars. They only way this could considered cheap is if could be produced on home/hobby type open source printers (RepRap). I’m not sure if these have the ability to print with the detail required or material strength required.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      And not only will no online 3D printer touch anything that even resembles a gun part as that would make them a manufacturer, but this little dolt and his “companies/divisions” aren’t gearing to reprap. So he is helping no one. ‘Cept himself ‘natch.

      So… All this clusterfvck is doing is filling his pockets and poking the beast so that it has political pressure to ban those who actually do make home guns from doing so.

  7. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I know NASA is using a 3D printer to built rocket engine parts out of metal. The 3D printer is in its infancy. I’m sure we will see major improvements over time. Prices will go down, speed of printing will increase etc. I know my all in one printer is an amazing machine compared to my first printer in the 1990s and that printer was many tines faster than my cousins dot matrix from the 1980s. I am sure we will see a lot of innovation in this realm.

  8. avatar Bob says:

    We use a 3d printer at work for printing power tool housings for prototype builds. We put those tools out in the field and through internal testing. They work out very well, though they are costly and slow to produce. They beat the time/tooling cost to make a prototype mold, given that you know you are going to make changes. We also directl print metal for come components. Beats the machining time, again given the prototype nature. I have no doubt you could make an AR lower that would last and last.

    Aluminium lowers are still cheaper (I took one of the CAD files and dumped it into DPT’s online quote system…no idea if they would actually print it). I also wonder how well defined the 80% lower is, i.e., if I changed the file so that I just had to breakout some “extra” material in the the trigger group area, would a regular place be willing to print it. I doubt it.

    What I’d really like to see is someone throw a tutorial out there to make one from a hunk of wood with standard woodshop tools. Some wood species are easily as strong as SLS materials.

    My biggest concern with this, it that the lower is likely one of the easiest parts to make, though for some reason that’s what carries the serial number. Could activities like this cause them to change the part that’s controlled to barrels and bolt carriers? A lot harder to print those.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      If for some reason DPT doesn’t turn you down, please, please, please don’t hit the ‘buy’ button. While doing an “80%” might be technically legal, it opens a massive can of worms. Doing a 100% would make them a manufacturer. This little meathead and his crew are gonna wind up getting 3D gun printing on Dateline and the MSM fake-drama-hype machine of fear soon enough.

      Instead of doing this slightly below the radar through the established groups and networks that are already on the ground, these idiots at DD are out there doing nothing and just drawing attention. Great to get a bunch of ignorant 20-stupids (no offense to smarter 20-somethings) to give you money, not so great for actually accomplishing your stated goal.

  9. avatar Damon says:

    is it not possible that they would print 80% lowers on these machines? they’d be fairly easy to finish by hand i would think…. then they can also ship directly to consumers and no FFL required.

  10. avatar Ted says:

    3d printing isn’t new. I worked with 3-axis CNC machines in college. They could “print” almost anything you wanted out of almost any material:

    Now you can build one yourself:

    I’ll take my lower receivers “printed” from aluminum thanks.

  11. avatar Stinkeye says:

    That DIY router is badass…

    There’s a big difference between CNC machining and 3D printing. With the CNC tools, you’re removing material from a chunk. Since 3D printing is an additive process, meaning you’re adding material and bonding it together, you can do stuff that can’t be done with CNC machines, like make objects with interior hollows and voids.

    I agree with your sentiment, though – I’d rather have an aluminum lower. Or if I’m going polymer, I’d rather have a cast or injection-molded one using stronger materials than what’s available from these kinds of prototyping machines.

  12. avatar gundoc says:

    Been watching this for a while, very interesting. I have been in this bus’ for nearly
    30 years,very interresting. Also”post comment” means just that, post comment not
    unfounded statements, this is supposed to be informative, not your playground topost comments about bowel movements or areas that you apparently have no knowledge in. Please let those of us that enjoy this do just that, please.

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