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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the gun-without-a-bang dept.

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.

Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by strattitarius on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:32PM

    by strattitarius (3191) on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:32PM (#100961) Journal

    So no one will ever attempt to ban CNC mills.

    Maybe not ban, but if you purchase one with enough accuracy (not sure the limit) you will be required to register it and sign a form stating you won't sell it to anyone on a list of banned countries. The form goes to, of course, Homeland Security. True stuff... had to sign one myself so Mitsubishi would send me a replacement part (controller I think...).

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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:22PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:22PM (#101038) Journal

    Except if people with printers print out new printers for their friends & family, then the horses are firmly out of the barn. I think more about material inputs, myself. We live in a society drowning in cast-off objects of every variety. If we can build matter decompilers to turn those objects into feedstock for the printers, then we're cooking. At last year's Maker Faire Bre Pettis hinted at something like that in the works at MakerBot, but now that he's moved on who knows what will happen to that.

    Me, I'd love to mine pure carbon from the atmosphere and spin it into graphene and carbon nanotubes and build whatever I want from there. Alas, I am several advanced degrees in chemistry and nanotechnology shy...

    Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 1) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday October 03 2014, @07:03AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Friday October 03 2014, @07:03AM (#101294) Homepage Journal

    Yeah you're right I had forgotten that.

    Back during the Cold War someone was fined $100,000,000.00 for selling a large four-axis CNC mill to (I think) China. That's just what you need to make the cleverly designed propellers on submarines, that are shaped so as to drive the sub really fast while staying really quiet.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []