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3D vendor sells $1,500 part to make metal guns

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 2, 2014
Cody Wilson, the developer of the world's first fully 3D-printed plastic gun, is preparing to sell a consumer-grade machine that can make metal guns.

The accuracy? At more than 30 yards, the gun was able to strike a target bull's-eye several times. Solid Concepts stated that it built the gun to prove the accuracy of its 3D printers for building machine parts and not as a test of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which specifies the right to bear arms.

Why Wilson does what he does

Last year, Wilson, a former student of the University of Texas School of Law, posted the plans for his 3D-printed Liberator gun online for anyone to download. Although the U.S. government forced him to remove the plans last year, the genie was already out of the bottle. The CAD drawings had been downloaded tens of thousands of times.

In a June interview with Computerworld, Wilson said he was planning another gun-related announcement by the end of the year.

In that interview, Wilson described himself as a "free market" anarchist.

"Freedom is scary," Wilson said. "If you want to talk about rights, what does it mean to respect a civil liberty or civil right? Well, it means you understand there are social costs in having that right; that's why it deserves protection in the first place."

However, outsiders' tests of Wilson's 3D printed guns revealed they quickly malfunctioned and could be dangerous, a claim Wilson said was misleading because the government and universities performing the tests didn't adhere to his specifications.

"There are tons of different ways you can build them to blow up, but the way we put up on the Internet and suggested you build it, has never once catastrophically failed," Wilson said.

The Ghost Gunner is constructed with rigid A36 steel and 304 stainless steel. The machine also has fewer parts than traditional CNC machines to increase rigidity and reduce overall cost, Wilson stated.

"The end result is a small, cheap and simple machine that exceeds most consumer-priced CNC machine specifications," he wrote.


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