Printable guns set for firearms licence

An American firm is set to begin testing prototypes of the first 3D-printable gun by the end of the year, as soon as it obtains a federal arms licence.

Defense Distributed expects to receive the permit for the manufacture of firearms within the next month, and claims it is ready to begin testing.

“I do expect to be granted the federal firearms licence,” Defense Distributed spokesman Cody Wilson told HumanIPO. “I do not have a criminal record, and I intend to engage in the business of manufacture as defined by the relevant statutes.”

The company has come under scrutiny from various quarters having previously planned to create prototypes with no licence. It saw its account on crowd-funding site Indiegogo frozen, with nearly US$2,000 returned to donors. It also had its printer repossessed.

Defense Distributed subsequently applied for a licence at the beginning of November, while also reforming the company into three distinctive, registered arms and applying to become a non-profit.

Wilson plans to begin manufacturing the prototypes as soon as the licence is granted, as well as seeking funding.

“We will likely seek funding after receiving our license and making a print run or two,” he said. “Quite a few parties have expressed an interest. I think we’d like to make a more official affair out of it this go around.” 

The components of the weapon would be fabricated by a 3D printer, using technologies such as fused deposition modelling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLS).

“There no longer is any one gun, but a series of drawings and designs in various stages of development from engineers and hobbyists from across the world,” Wilson said. “The ideal achievement is finding a design that would allow for all components to be printable. These guns do not look like traditional firearms.

“The products properly conceived are actually the digital files that we may determine to be useful in creating printable weapons. Should these files receive approval to be distributed, they will be targeted at and intended for no one in particular. They will be published and shared online for anyone to examine, possess, modify, and share again.”

Posted in: Gadgets

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