3D-printed guns, it seems, are here to stay. First there came the Liberator pistol. Then there was the Grizzly, a 3D-printed rifle. Now, a third 3D-printed gun has surfaced, and this one's a doozy. Printed entirely out of metal, the gun's design was copied from a classic 1911 model.
The company behind the new 3D-printed gun is called Solid Concepts, and like the creator of the Liberator pistol, they're based in good ol' Texas. Now, to be fair, Solid Concepts states that they didn't print their gun for any nefarious reasons. They simply wanted to show the world that metal 3D printed objects can stand up to the pressures of everyday use. That said, Solid Concepts does have a federal firearms license, so it's not like they just randomly settled on printing a gun either.
The 3D-printed metal gun was constructed using a laser sintering process capable of shaping tougher metals like stainless steel. It's not exactly an at-home, desktop 3D printing technology, so hobbyists won't yet be capable of replicating this sort of weapon at home. That's reassuring, since the folks at Solid Concepts have already successfully fired their handgun 50 times without it failing.
3D printers capable of printing metal are on the rise, meaning that guns like the one Solid Concepts created may become something you'll be able to just print up over the weekend in the days to come. Also of note, the gun which was just 3D-printed was old enough that its design was public domain. That means that the people who do already have the equipment to 3D print a gun have quite a few design options at their disposal, many of which are capable of much more destruction than a simple handgun.