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That, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of gun control laws in the United States and around the world becoming completely pointless. We woke up this morning in a new world, one where a 3D printer and a nail is all you need to own a firearm. You can download the file here, but be aware: I’m pretty sure the smooth barrel in this gun makes it an AOW under U.S. law. Make the jump for some pictures of the original firearm and the first prototypes.

Liberator, c Defense Distributed

Liberator, c Defense DistributedLiberator, c Defense Distributed

More pictures over at the Defense Distributed blog.

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    • Being 73, I remember piece of Pipe, Rubberbands, Nail & Wood,,
      It was called a ZIP GUN, nothing new….

  1. This may be quite hyperbolic of me, but I can’t help but feel this is as significant as the first shots of the Revolutionary War. Another shot heard ’round the world? We’ll see.

    • I tend to agree. The folks blowing this off as nothing all that significant are really uninformed. This is simply the beginning, along with printed lowers, or course. These things will do nothing but get more sophisticated and stronger in the coming months. In less than a year we’ll see a full on semi-auto handgun with printed mags and all. The end of gun control is near. What will become of TTAG when that happens? 🙁

  2. Would the “designed or redesigned to fire shot shells” part of the AOW classification exclude this gun? After all, it is only designed to fire the solid handgun ammunition. Fine line though, I know.

    • Would be interesting. I bet with a good cad program and a bit of tinkering you could easily re-size the barrel to a .410 round. Id be skidish with the plastic barrel though…

    • If you use a Dimension printer from Stratasys (it was the Elite model shown printing) there are 9 colors available: red, bright yellow, orange, olive green, blue, black gray, white and ivory. Since it is ABS you ca paint it any color you want easily.

    • Why can’t this guy retire and go away? He is making laws based off of movies! How idiotic can you be?

  3. This “printed gun” phenomenon is so over rated – quit romanticizing it. Politicians will just insist 3D printers be regulated. That’ll kill the movement before it even gets into motion.

    • Thus bringing up the whole 1st Amendment issue into the picture. And any attempt to kill an emerging industry is going to see massive resistance from people who would otherwise never have cared about firearms. That sort of legislation won’t kill the issue, it’ll just escalate things to be even worse than they are now.

  4. How long until we’re bombarded with paranoia about assassins running around with plastic guns?

    Oh wait… already happened.

      • My local fun store only had one EOTech left in stock when I went in yesterday, it was the zombie killer model. Offered at a substantial discount. Still didn’t buy it. Same with the neon green AR grip. Half the price of every other AR grip, yet still untouched. If they had a 3D printer in stock we would’ve been talking, even if the only plastic they had was neon zombie green…

  5. If you’re calling the gun a “Liberator” then you should be splicing in footage of B24s rather B17s.

    Just saying.

  6. Laws against this need to not be made, it’s cheaper and easier to for criminals to buy a gun from blackmarket dealers than to buy a printer and work at building a plastic gun, more people die from getting stabbed by plastic toothbrushes every year than stupid looking 3D printed firearms.

  7. There’s really nothing new here.

    Yes, it now requires no skill to make a nearly useless firearm – just some pricey machinery.

    I can buy a block of Delron and do all this in an evening with a drill, Xacto and file.

    Yes, it’s now easier – but it ain’t new.

  8. OK he made a gun on a 3D printer. Now everyone can go back to single shot guns. It is a waste of time you can’t sell them, and they appear to fire how many people want to take a chance on shooting one? Then of course you have the legal areas to deal with.

  9. But terrorists will have guns! They will sneak them anywhere!
    Right, like terrorists don’t have guns now (real ones) and they need a 1 or 2 shot plastic gun. They seem to get into anyplace they want. Besides, since this little Pandora is out of the box it will never be put back no matter what Schumer and his gang want.

    However, this is a very early product. Rapid improvements in printers and the design of the gun to take advantage of those changes will make this into a serious gun. There are already 3-D printers that work with metal and are being improved very rapidly.

  10. Well, it wouldn’t be tloo hard to add rifling in a 3D modeling program before you printed it. And yes, it’s a very early attempt. That’s one great thing about the open source model. If any of you feel you can improve it, do so.

  11. You completely miss the point if you think that 3-d printers can be controlled.

    ‘X’ control, where ‘X’ is anything our betters in the Ivory Tower would prefer we lowly citizens not have is now officially dead.

    You can make your own CNC machine in your garage from what is indistinguishable from scrap metal for under a grand.

    And you could probably make a 3-d printer using that as a basis.

    And there’s not thing one any government can do to stop it.

    Tyranny can now be killed on a budget.

    • Yeah, that’s called a RepStrap (as opposed to a RepRap, which is the same device made with parts printed on a 3D printer.) Of course a RepRap costs less than $500 to build. I’m in the process of building one myself.

    • Did you watch the video? He fired it while holding it and it did not break. The broken ones are earlier prototypes.

      • Ahhh… only saw the pics. The video wouldn’t load – prolly everyone and their brother watching it at the same time. 😉

  12. As someone who works in the field, 3D printing is simply not feasible for the average human being. These parts are built on a very expensive SLA machine using expensive resins. If you think you can go and pick up a cheap FDM machine and make this work, you are mistaken. The plastic isn’t strong enough, and the tolerances those machines print at may not be tight enough. Think .08 compared to .004. The upkeep of these machines alone (and they need alot of it) can roll into the thousands easily. Need a new laser? 20 grand please.

    In the end, we will all pay the price for technology only 1% of society can afford. Having a lower printed by itself will run you twice the cost of just buying one.

    Criminals don’t care about this stuff. Obtaining an illegal firearm is easier than finding a CAD savvy drug dealer. Nomsain?

    It does make a statement though. I fear that it will do nothing but introduce pain in the ass regulations for my industry, while providing little actual benefit.

    Far be it for me to claim to be smarter than Cody though….We’ll see how it goes.

    • Ah, but the whole point of this project is that now that he’s proved it can be done, he’s adapting it to something that a RepRap can handle.

      • But Dallas that’s just the point. I believe you should be able to use the technology as you see fit. So please stand with us to defend that same freedom. Playing CYA to protect your own industry sells the rest of us down the river. I, and others I hope, would ask that you support all uses for this or any other technology to expand our freedoms instead of carving your niche and restricting the rest of us. Are you willing to help?

    • The gun was printed on a Dimension Elite printer from Stratasys, which uses ABS plastic in FDM (fused deposition modeling) technology. The slice thicknesses available on that machine are .007″ and .010″. You are correct in that most of the lower end hobbyist level printers aren’t (yet) capable of this but wrong about the strength. SLA resins are much weaker than ABS and degrade in UV light, FDM is the way to go for this, unless you can invest $750K in an SLS (selective laser sintering) machine that works with metal.

    • And at one time computers filled a room and needed their own power plant to run the cooling. The Wright Brothers built a plane in their bike shop. These plastic guns are just the first steps. Ten years ago, who, besides a few geeks, would have even been talking about citizens using 3-D printing everyday in their homes?

      • As an R&D/Engineering Mgr 20yr ago we played with early RP stuff. Really hasn’t matured(improved) much. Still largely a wet dream and singing “someday my prince will come…..”

        RP is far from finding Moore’s Law.

  13. This is outrageous. Yes, I know, with existing pen and ink technology, books can be copied en masse, but the mass automatic printing of books will not change anything. This will simply bring regulation of books down on legitimate book making enterprises.

    I see this as a first step toward completely destroying all regulations on firearms for good, much as the first moveable type printing presses sounded the death knell for controlling books.

  14. DR EVIL
    Here’s the plan… Back in the 60s I invented a device known as a “COMPUTOR.” We sell “COMPUTORS” to everyone in the world, a “COMPUTOR” on every desktop, in every home. Kind of catchy. Anyway. We design a weapon and put the schematics on the “COMPUTOR.” Harmless enough. Then we make the schematic available to anyone with a “COMPUTOR” to print out as easily as a letter… unless–the world pays us–one MILLION dollars!

    That, too, has already happened.


  15. As I’ve said before:

    1. To people who say “that’s nothing new, you could buy X material and put it into a CNC, load a program and push the green button and wha-la, you have the same result:” You are overlooking the barrier to entry of a CNC machine. Real CNC machines are big, they’re heavy and they’re expensive (unless you’re getting a well-used machine like a Fadal). Hobby CNC machines require that you know something about machining to overcome their limitations. (to the people who think that some little ChiCom bench mill retrofitted with a CNC controller is a “CNC machine”… imagine my smiling wryly as I pour myself a single malt and invite you to show me… because I’m looking forward to some quality entertainment…)

    The best “production” machine that most home gunsmiths could hope for is a CNC retrofitted Bridgeport-type mill, possibly a CNC retrofitted lathe, and then you’d need a bunch of setups and fixtures to get some of the stuff he’s doing done. A Bridgeport retrofitted with ballscrews and a Centroid CNC controller could do a world of work in the right hands and fit into the corner of many people’s two-car garages. Put in a lathe, a surface grinder, some pedestal grinders, a good workbench or two with some good vises (don’t scrimp kids, buy Wilton vises), and you’re off the the races. Alas, you’re also going to need to get some real experience, and that’s going to take a couple years of devotion to your craft. So there’s a barrier to entry of machines, tooling, experience, learning and experimentation to making the first one, then there’s a barrier to entry for everyone who wants to copy that design, even if the first guy to pull it off writes down detailed procedures on what was done, why and how.

    Can the home gunsmith pull off the fabrication of a firearm, either real or this one? Absolutely. But… no one without experience in working with their hands and machines is going to roll out of bed one Saturday morning with a notion that they’re going to have this successfully completed by the evening.

    2. Making real guns is not complicated. It’s not mysterious. It’s not witchcraft. It’s just lots of finicky work, a knowledge of materials (especially the secret of steel) and attention to detail. All that anyone would need to accomplish this is an attention span longer than that of a goldfish… which excludes a vast and increasing proportion of the US population these days.

    The reason why so many legislators and morons in the press are hyperventilating about this is that they see something so easy that even people who have no machining experience (eg, the typical “liberal arts major undergrad, law school for three years, then straight into politics” special brand of sociopathic retard) can pull this off. Just plunk down enough cash for a 3D printer, the feedstock and then run the program. Saying that “well, you can do that with a manual/CNC machine or files, or whatever” is all very well and nice, but you see, the retards in the press and Congress can’t pull this off with a CNC machine, manual machine, files or drill press. They’re too stupid. Therefore, in their minds, everyone is too stupid. After all, they’re so terribly smart. They’ve got lots and lots of advanced degrees from very august institutions of higher learning.

    Any technology that isn’t understood or even remotely comprehended by the observer is indistinguishable from magic. And that’s what gun making looks like to the typical member of Congress or the press: magic. Raw steel, wood or polymer goes in one end of the Evil Gun Factory, then the orcs and trolls of the NRA Empire press these noble raw materials into their twisted purposes, aided by live sacrifices of puppies and kittens, and out the other end of the factory comes a veritable river of death! Inside is much black magic and evil sorcery, to be feared by white-wine sipping pecksniffs everywhere!

    Ah, but the 3D printer… now they can see what’s going on. The print head goes back and forth, it builds up layers, and soon, an Evil, NRA-approved Baby Killing Gun[tm] emits forth from the 3D printer!

    What’s going on in their shoe-sized IQ minds is “Holy crap! If I could do it, then any moron can do it! After all, I was such a miserable failure in the private sector, I had to run for Congress! And that means that millions of lazy, shiftless bums out there could do it! There might be pandemonium!”


    The press, which is populated with people every bit as stupid as those in politics, only without the feral work ethic required to run for office, has come to the same realization: Even people as stupid and lazy as they are could pull this off.

    This is the realization that has these very special retards filling their silk panties.

    • Being a total prick, I went looking. You can actually get a 15 year old used vertical machining center for about the same price as a used car – 10-15 grand. Finding a place to put an 11,000 pound machine and feeding it the 60-80A of power it needs isn’t going to be easy in a residential setting, but possible.

      So, not totally impossible, but still not as simple as going to staples and buying the latest HP PlasticJet 4,000 and a bag of ABS resin.

      When it gets to the point that these machines are available at retail, the politicians will be having puppies.

      • Part of the “finding a place to put it” will be finding out if your concrete pad is strong enough to hold up that weight on only three or four feet. Oh, and you’ll need to deal with the weight of the machine that unloads it from the truck, too. Don’t forget this little detail.

        I helped move a Haas VF-3 into the local community college. The Haas dealer out of Denver was very prompt and professional, and they brought two guys who were very competent riggers. They had their own low-profile 20K pound capacity forklift with 8 foot long forks.

        First we got the machine unwrapped, and that took a good hour. Haas triple-wraps their machines. Then we pulled the machine off the skid and went to move it into the shop. As the forklift (which went, oh, 28K pounds), with VMC (12,000 lbs) was on the apron outside the shop, we suddenly felt this sharp “thump.” The walls rattled. All four of us looked at each other with a “WTF was that?!” look.

        We thought that something on the forklift had come loose and dropped – something Very Expensive.

        Nope. The 12+ inch thick pad that was the apron into the shop had cracked – a 1/4 inch wide crack opened up where none was before.

        Your typical home or garage pad will be only about 4 to 5″ thick. Keep that in mind before you get ambitious.

    • , the retards in the press and Congress can’t pull this off with a CNC machine, manual machine, files or drill press. They’re too stupid. Therefore, in their minds, everyone is too stupid. After all, they’re so terribly smart. They’ve got lots and lots of advanced degrees from very august institutions of higher learning.

      This is, of course, a big part of the whole freakout. The reactions of the political and business elite to the financial crisis of 2008 showed me one thing: those elites seem to actually believe it is they who bring in the harvest, build the cars, keep the power plants running, etc. They really do seem to believe the world would grind to a halt without their rare and superlative genius. So when some guy in his garage whips up some artifact of a technological society, just for shits and giggles, without any need for their authorization, financial backing, or regulatory intervention, something that they then realize they do not have the ability to produce but said schmuck does, it’s a blow to their entire self-image.

    • Defense Distributed basically took to heart of HEAP (Holocaust Education and Prevention Pod) and ran with it. HEAP is a repository of knowledge for anyone (any group) to prevent themselves from becoming victim of ethnic cleansing, pogrom and other not nice things. Weapon being high on the list of of this repository.

      In most of the world, weapons are not legal, and there’s really nothing to prevent anyone else from taking your life and everything you have away from you. This does even out the odds.

  16. As long as it screws with the anti’s heads its all worth it. The more stuff they regulate the loonier they look. Randy

  17. DG,

    I know this is a really unorthodox way to get in contact, but I couldn’t think of another way to get in touch with you. It’s pretty obvious you know a lot about home gunsmithing, and I was wondering if you might be willing to help a newbie out. I have a few questions about a homemade firearms project, and would really appreciate it if you could contact me at [email protected].

    Thanks for your time!

  18. We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. Ammo to Go has 440 round lots of Russian surplus 7.62x54r in stock for 104 bucks. Now back to your regular programming.

  19. ive seen nerf guns that look better than this.
    that being said, nerf could only dream of that power.

  20. We all agree it is a felony to possess a new full auto DIAS. Is DD willing to find out the answer to the question “Is it a felony to possess CAD plans for a DIAS?”

  21. Now if I could just find a 3-d printer big enough
    So I could make a tank or maybe a scary black helicopter 😀

  22. While the instructions look quite simple to me, it appears that the people at DD need to dumb down the process quite a bit more for the prototypical upper-west-side NYC liberal to be able to replicate them:

    You know, I used to regard these latte-sipping, upper-west-side liberals with disdain.

    Now I can muster only pity. It must be terribly emasculating to have no mechanical aptitude whatsoever.


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