It begins. The Greater Manchester Police in the UK raided the home of a criminal suspect where they found a 3D printer and 3D printed parts. With great pride and fanfare the police reported:
During the searches, officers found a 3D printer and what is suspected to be a 3D plastic magazine and trigger which could be fitted together to make a viable 3D gun.
Sadly, they were quite wrong.
The items in question, a little piece that looks like a trigger (shown here) and something that looks like a magazine, are actually a poorly-printed Replicator 2 drive block and a filament spool holder – essentially two parts you’d build if you were building another 3D printer. The criminal masterminds also printed it out of PLA plastic, which is not ideal for heavy-duty use, let alone firing a projectile. The printer, pictured above, is a Makerbot 2 which, in fact, only prints PLA. The jeers, needless to say, have been flying. This sort of fear, uncertainty, and doubt will soon be flowing fast and heavy from “authorities” all over the world. What Cody Wilson at Defense Distributed has done by creating a media spectacle around his nearly useless 3D gun is set back the 3D printing industry considerably in the eyes of the uninitiated. While his gun works and can be fired, it requires far better materials and a higher-resolution printer to prevent death or maiming of the person behind the trigger. This “gun,” on the other hand, is simply plastic scrap. via Buzzfeed