Monday, July 30, 2012

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A functioning assault rifle 3D-printed at home

It has been said repeatedly in the last couple of years that the next big thing in the world of technology would be 3D printing. There is yet another evidence for that: 'a fully operational assault rifle has has been successfully 3D-printed by a user at home'.

Pictures of this rifle has been posted on Thingiverse where one of its users (HaveBlue) declared that he has completed a project to print a working semi-automatic assault rifle capable of firing at least 200 rounds without fail.

Previously HaveBlue had successfully printed a serviceable .22 caliber pistol and despite predictions of disaster, the pistol worked. It successfully fired 200 rounds without fail.

To print the rifle, he fed about $30 of ABS plastic feedstock into his late-model Stratasys printer. The result was a functional AR-15 rifle. Though the prototype works, HaveBlue states that more modifications are still necessary thanks to existing feed and extraction issues.

According to Popular Science, 'as 3-D printing technology matures, materials feedstock improves, and designs for weapons proliferate, we might soon see the day when nearly everyone will be able to print the weapons of their choice in the numbers they desire, all within the privacy of their own homes.' And that's why we might as well feel nervous about it as we might feel excited.

HaveBlue's own words on this are also interesting: '“Everything ran just as it should, magazine after magazine. To be honest, it was acting more reliably than a number of other .22 pistols I’ve shot.”