With controversy swirling over gun control and public safety, that fact that it’s possible for regular people to design and 3D print gun parts at home has become a matter of great public concern. Recent years have seen a proliferation of personal-scale manufacturing systems, such as homemade 3D printers, desktop CNC mills and laser cutters. While such technologies are likely to have a profound positive impact on technological innovation, they may carry some hidden perils.
Making your own gun has always been technically possible, even before the advent of low-cost design and manufacturing tools. What has changed is that, as these technologies continue to improve and drop in price, making gun parts has become easier and can be done more discreetly.
Today, with just a design blueprint, a general purpose 3D printer, and some durable printing plastic, people with relatively low engineering skills can fabricate a working gun in the privacy of their own home.