We could see some pertinent new laws enacted in the next few years
As the technology improves, 3D printers are being used more and more to create a wide variety of objects, some incredibly useful (like skeletal implants) and some just for fun (like custom robot figurines). Here’s another – somewhat controversial – example of just how ubiquitous this technology could become: a working gun built using an AR-15 rifle part made with a 3D printer.
The gun maker, going by the name “HaveBlue,” constructed the AR-15’s lower receiver – which holds many of the gun’s main components, including the trigger assembly and magazine well – using a modified design from a gunsmithing website and an older model Stratasys 3D printer. Since the existing design he started with was intended to be made out of solid metal, HaveBlue altered it a bit by strengthening some of the lug holes and adding a trigger guard. He then printed the design with ABS plastic and used a conversion kit to assemble a .22 pistol.
Amidst protests from an AR-15 discussion board that the part would fail and seriously injure him, he successfully fired 200 rounds using the 3D printed lower receiver without any trouble. To test it further, a metal AR-15 upper receiver was attached and a few shots fired with a higher-caliber .223. So far, the part seems to be holding up well and hasn’t shown any major signs of wear.
via Gizmag – Jonathan Fincher