Timelapse of the 3d printed gun being printed.

Once the DoD requested the 3d printed gun files be removed from the internet, a couple things happened.

  1.   The Streisand Effect went into full force. The file was shared all over and can still be found easily.
  2.   I suddenly realized that I was going to be printing a 3d printed gun and doing another article on it even though I had just written an opinion piece about how I don’t care.

I’m not above admitting that it is childish of me. I was told I couldn’t have this thing and suddenly I knew I had to make it. I see it with my kids all the time. Toys can sit in a corner collecting dust for ages, but the second it is in threat of being removed, they have renewed interest, at least for a few minutes.

I figured, if I’m going to be childish about it and print a gun that a) won’t work because I don’t have the right printer, and b) I won’t use anyway because I don’t generally play with guns, I might as well make a fun timelapse video of the more recognizable parts being made.

It initially seemed like it was going to be quick and easy. However, I quickly found that just printing this thing was going to be a time consuming and frustrating task.

1. the scale on the individual files was way off. 

I suspect this has something to do with the printer it was designed for. It seemed very close to being 1 inch = 1 mm. Not a completely uncommon problem. Manually resizing got some files to look right, but I found many simply wouldn’t resize.

2. Almost every single item had errors.

If you’ve done 3d printing, you’ve found that a model can have all kinds of issues that will stop it from printing correctly. I found every single item for the gun had errors. I actually learned a lot about how to repair non-manifold items from this exercise, so it was good in the end.

Some items, like the hammer and the hammer springs simply would not print. I ran them through systems to repair them and fix errors. It would say that everything was fixed, but when I tried to “slice” them for printing, the software would crash.  This means that my gun is incomplete. It has no hammer. Not really that big of a deal to me.

the whole gun
Note that it is missing the hammer mechanism. More on that later.

Do I care now?

Nope. I climbed to the top of the fridge and got my cookies. I’m a happy child. The reality is that a zip gun is still cheaper, easier, safer, and more reliable.  Here’s an example.

Remote control car that packs its own Beretta


We’ve never really thought to ourselves “This RC car is fun, but it really needs more handguns”. And if we did, it certainly would not be a built to undertake with students. But to each his own. [Jerod Michel] is a mathematician working in China. He recently built the project seen above with a group of students. Look closely and you’ll notice that the remote control car includes a remote control Beretta strapped to the side.

He doesn’t have a blog post about the project, but you can find a couple of images and his build instructions after the break. The firearm has a motor attached to the trigger that allows it to be fired by tapping into one of the extra channels on the RC car’s PCB. But you won’t just be firing blindly. The project also includes a video transmitter which can be viewed from an LCD screen mounted on top of the remote control unit. There’s even a laser sight that will show what you’re aiming at.

We wonder what the recoil of the firearm does to this light-weight vehicle?

Build Instructions (.txt file)

Continue reading “Remote control car that packs its own Beretta”

Print your own 30 round AR15 magazine


Here’s a 30 round magazine for an AR15, made just in time to add to the national conversation over things that look scary.

This magazine is the product of Defense Distributed who have previously graced the front page of Hackaday with their 3D printed scary bang bang machine. While continuing to work on their WikiWeapon – a gun printable on a home-built 3D printer – the team decided they could subvert more obtuse gun laws by making their own high-capacity magazine.

The magazine is printed on an extremely expensive commercial 3D printer, but the team is working to make it printable on more affordable models. The prototype magazine survived unloading a full 30 rounds. Video demo of that after the break.

Also on Defense Distributed’s DEFCAD is a sound moderator for paintball and air guns. While the design isn’t yet finalized for those big scary assault weapons, it should be possible to modify it for the big guns.  One of their next projects is a stock, hopefully one that includes a hinge.

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Beating a plowshare into an AK-47

[Boris] must have been a little bored over Thanksgiving. We’re guessing that’s the case; why else would he build an AK-47 out of a common garden shovel?

After buying an old shovel from an antique barn in Vermont, [Boris] cut off the handle an attached it to an old Bulgarian AK he had just lying around. The new stock proved to be very comfortable, and not wanting to waste the iron in the shovel head, decided to make an AK out of the remainder of his purchase.

After tossing the shovel head into the furnace and pounding it flat, [Boris] had a respectable piece of metal to construct an AK receiver from. A bit of plasma cutting, grinding, and drilling turned this former shovel into a future gun, and with the help of a blank barrel the shovel became an AK receiver that is twice as thick and twice as heavy as a ‘normal’ AK receiver. Yes, [Boris]’s new gun is even more indestructible than a stock AK – something that really shouldn’t be possible.

In the end, [Boris] spent $2 on a shovel, $30 on a barrel, and $200 on a Romanian AK kit. The result is an actual, working gun that is legal for him to own (but not sell – see the comments for that discussion).

Can you believe this Portal gun was built from scratch?

This Portal gun will really make [aNoodleJMC’s] costume pop this year. She actually built the video game weapon replica from scratch. It even includes some electronics to light it up blue or orange depending on which portal she’s planning to fire at an available flat surface.

There’s a lot of parts that went into the project, but by far our favorite one on the list is an acrylic toilet plunger. Its handle serves as a light pipe for the colored LEDs and can be seen above as a cloudy rod at the center of the clear barrel. A 4″ and 3″ PVC pipe helped to form the rest of the barrel, along with a 3″ clear acrylic pipe for the transparent areas. The bulbous parts of the body were sculpted from florist’s foam. Once she had all of the parts roughed out it’s obvious that [aNoodleJMC] spent a ton of time filling problem areas with Bondo, sanding everything smooth, and giving it a paint job she can be proud of. We hope she didn’t forget to include GLaDOS in the fun.

We actually just bought our Portal gun. But that’s because we had the big plans of adding the ability to levitate objects.

[vai reddit]

Automatic Airsoft Turret


[Valentin] wrote in to tell us about his automatic Airsoft turret. What it lacks in accuracy, it more than makes up for with sheer volume of fire. The pellet container is able to hold 500 6mm bbs, so make sure to get out of the way after this device is armed.

The device itself is a great example of physical hacking, harvesting parts from a motion sensor as well as a G35 gearbox from Airsoft gun. For physical rotation, it uses a reversing platform reminiscent of the way a useless machine works (see this [HAD] article for more useless machine info). Even if you’re not interested in building a turret, this machine employs some very interesting concepts, so it’s worth checking out.

When live action Team Fortress becomes a fad, maybe these will make an appearance. Until then, check out the video of this turret after the break, or check out the original article for more pictures and video! Continue reading “Automatic Airsoft Turret”

3D printed guns, laws and regulations, and philosophical discussions on the nature of printed objects

For as long as they’ve been banded about, 3D printers were regarded as the path to a new economy, a method of distributed manufacturing, and a revolution for the current consumer culture. With every revolution, a few people need to get angry and the guys at Defense Distributed are doing their part to make that happen. They’re designing a handgun able to be printed on a hobbyist-level 3D printer

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a 3D printable weapon; this 3D printed AR-15 lower receiver is the only part of an AR-15 that contains the ID markings and serial number. Legally, the AR lower is the gun, and requires a background check to purchase (with the footnote that this varies from state to state and country to country – long story short, the BATFE probably isn’t happy about a 3D printed AR lower). The one drawback of a 3D printed AR-15 lower is that every other part of the gun must be purchased elsewhere. This is where Defense Distributed comes in: they propose designing a gun that is 100% printable on a hobbist-level 3D printer such as a RepRap or Makerbot.

Right now, Defense Distributed is looking for funding to produce two gun designs. The first design, WikiWep A will serve as a research build, allowing Defense Distributed to answer a few questions on what can be built with a RepRap. WikiWep B will have moving parts for the firing action and very nearly all the parts will be printable on a RepRap or Makerbot.

In the video Defense Distributed put up for their now cancelled IndieGoGo campaign (available after the break), the guys talk about the distribution of a CAD file of completely 3D printable weapon being a threshold of a new economy where laws and regulations cease to apply. We’re not sure we agree with that statement; after all, anyone with some metal forming tools can build an excellent weapon to acquire another weapon, but we’re interested in seeing what governments and regulators will make of Defense Distributed’s project.

Continue reading “3D printed guns, laws and regulations, and philosophical discussions on the nature of printed objects”