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posted by CoolHand on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the gotta-have-guns dept.

The Ghost Gunner has been updated to allow the CNC milling of a much more popular and accessible form of firearm: a handgun:

For the past five years, Cody Wilson has applied every possible advance in digital manufacturing technology to the mission of undermining government attempts at gun control. First he created the world's first 3-D printed gun, a deadly plastic weapon anyone could print at home with a download and a few clicks. Then he started selling a computer-controlled milling machine designed to let anyone automatically carve out the body of an untraceable AR-15 from a semifinished chunk of aluminum, upgrading his provocations from plastic to metal. Now his latest advance in home firearm fabrication allows anyone to make an object designed to defy the most basic essence of gun control: A concealable, untraceable, and entirely unregulated metal handgun.

On Sunday, Wilson's gun rights advocacy group, Defense Distributed, announced a new release of software for his computer-controlled milling machine known as the Ghost Gunner. The new code allows the 1-foot-cubed tabletop machine—which uses a spinning bit to carve three-dimensional shapes with minute precision—to not only produce untraceable bodies of AR-15s but to carve out the aluminum frame of an M1911 handgun, the popular class of semiautomatic pistols that includes the Colt 45 and similar weapons. Wilson says he plans to follow up soon with software for producing regulation-free Glocks and other handgun models to follow.

Wilson's goal now, he says, is to do for small arms what Defense Distributed did for AR-15s when it first released the $1,500 Ghost Gunner milling machine exactly three years ago to the day: Give people the ability to make a lethal weapon at home with no regulation whatsoever.

M1911 pistol.

This story came out before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on the third anniversary of the initial release of the Ghost Gunner, just in case you were wondering.

Also at Ars Technica:

"It's a certain type of person who builds and enjoys an AR-15—that's a lot of gun, and most people don't feel the need to have a big ol' battle rifle," Wilson says. "But we believe lots of people are interested in the conversation about an untraceable, concealable handgun. It's been on the roadmap the whole time for this project. It's just always been a question of how we get there, and it ended up being very, very difficult—kinda like the brass ring of the project, if you will."

Previously: FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill
Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM (#576818)

    Using a near-net process makes more sense to me. It's good enough for Boeing aircraft parts.

    The first step is to make a crude part with excess material. The second step is to machine it down to what you want. I think Boeing's motivation was to reduce metal waste, but it also lets you take advantage of 3D printing's ability to create interior cavities while still having some of the surfaces be nicely machined.

    An affordable way to create the near-net part would be a lost-wax process, or rather lost-plastic. You 3D print, coat with a clay/ceramic slurry, bury in fine sand, cook out the plastic, pour in molten metal, let cool, then clean off the crud. Another way, as used by Boeing, is to 3D print with wire.

    The resulting near-net part is nearly what you need, but with rough surfaces. Grind some of those down (only the ones that matter) to have a completed part.