3D printed gun in wild: downloaded over 100,000 times worldwide in 2 days
Blueprints for the first-ever plastic gun produced on a 3-D printer, that can pass through metal detectors, have been downloaded over 100,000 times since it was posted to the web on Monday. Designs for the 'Liberator' pistol were posted online by Defense Distributed but on Thursday the U.S. State Department ordered the website to take down the blueprints, on the basis that the plans could violate export regulations. The blueprints, that could be produced on 3-D printers costing as little as $1,000, were seen as a breakthrough because no one has previously designed such a weapon that could withstand the pressure of firing modern ammunition.
Surprisingly, most downloads of the plans did not come from inside the U.S. but from Spain.The U.S. is second, ahead of Brazil, Germany, and the U.K., according to Haroon Khalid, a developer working with Defense Distributed, who reported the statistics to Forbes. . . .
. . . Defense Distributed does not host the files in the US; instead it has uploaded them to the Mega website run by the internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, based in New Zealand, and where user information – including who has logged into the site and downloaded files – is encrypted.
The files have also been uploaded to the Pirate Bay file-sharing site, where they have proved a popular download.
The gun blueprints take the form of computer-aided design files, which have to be read by specialist software which can then be used by industrial 3D printers to build up the hair-thin layers, one by one, to create the finished parts.
On Thursday, a British expert in 3D printing and a ballistics expert separately warned that building a gun from the parts could be lethal to the user, because the physics involved in firing a bullet – with pressures in the gun chamber of more than 1,000 atmospheres, and temperatures of over 200C – could put catastrophic stresses on the plastics used it its construction.
Even so, two British newspapers are understood to have asked 3D printing companies to try to build the gun for them. . . .
Labels: 3D Printed Gun