Thanks to companies like MakerBot, 3d-printed replicas have become easily accessible to consumers everywhere, but would anyone have ever thought that would make firearms more accessible? Defense Distributed is a 3D-printing startup that wants to do just that, by sharing downloadable plans for 3D-printed plastic guns over the internet. The organization is playing up its commitment to Second Amendment rights, and it could present a major challenge to gun control advocates.
Defense Distributed wants the world to have access to guns — even if they make them at home from cheap 3D-printed plastics. They’ve designed three separate guns for consumption: the AR-15, Wikiwep A and Wikiwep B. The AR-15, which has already been released, allows the consumer to print a partial gun body that requires additional purchased parts, but the still-being-developed Wikiwep models would put a gun in the hands of the printer. The Wikiwep A model is a training gun that requires an electrical solenoid to be fired, but the Wikiwep B blueprint will have printable moving parts, giving the consumer the ability to make their own firing gun right at home.
As scary as the idea of the average Joe printing up their own firearms at home is, the company claims that they are nearly ready to go, waiting only on a manufacturing license. The company will also continue to test out the workability of printed plastics on lower-end 3D printers, to make sure the shooter’s hands are safe when firing a cheaper plastic printed weapon. But the safety that should really be considered if the 3D printed gun will melt when fired, but what an increase of firearms will do to gun control in our society.