3D-printed gun hits 100,000 downloads

Downloads for a 3D-printed gun blueprint have hit 100,000 in just two days, according to reports.

High-tech arms company Defence Distributed demonstrated the Liberator – a gun that can be manufactured in its entirety using a 3D printer – being fired earlier in the week via a YouTube video, leading to a massive surge in online interest.

The company has told Forbes that the Liberator has been 10 times more popular than any of its other gun components. Meanwhile the BBC reports that the files have been downloaded most in the US, followed by Spain, Brazil, Germany, and here in the UK.

Helping to facilitate the rapid uptake of these blueprints, the files have been uploaded to infamous file-sharing site the Pirate Bay, where it has swiftly become the most popular file in its 3D printing section.

This surge in interest, combined with the relative ease of production and the gun’s nearly all-plastic construction, has lead to considerable concern in the US. In fact, the US State Department just yesterday ordered Defence Distributed to take down the CAD blueprint files on the grounds of possible export control violation.

Because these files can be (and indeed have been) downloaded in foreign countries, it’s claimed that this may be equivalent to illegally exporting firearms.

Here in the UK, downloading the blueprint files is not illegal, but making and owning the Liberator gun itself would be. Manufacturing any kind of firearm here in Great Britain requires a license.

Read about the world’s first 3D-printed dress as modelled by Dita Von Teese here.

Why we’re different

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.