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The 3D printed gun that costs only $25

Posting in Design

U.S. gun regulators' newest nightmare is here in the form of a $25 3D printed gun produced using a cheap printer.

Defense Distributed, responsible for the production of the first gun to use 3D printed parts, released CAD files for the general public to print their own "Liberator" handguns. Although Defense Distributed's blueprints were taken offline for a spell on the State Department's request, as anyone familiar with YouTube or torrents know -- once one copy appears, the moment you take it down, another ten spring up. At the time of writing, multiple copies are being shared by thousands of seeders on torrent indexing websites, and the Liberator is back.

Creating the gun has also resulted in the evolution of the design -- as a Wisconsin engineer called "Joe" represents. "Joe" has printed what he calls the "Lulz Liberator" on a commercially-available $1,725 printer.

The gun cost only $25 to produce, and has been able to fire eight rounds in a single barrel. The printed gun is also able to reload, though it did misfire several times during testing.

The Lulz Liberator was created from PA-747 ABS plastic, which is cheaper than the material used by Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed Liberator. In addition, standard metal screws and nails create part of the firing mechanism -- and use of a non-functioning piece of steel brings the gun under the Undetectable Firearms Act.

Read More: PopSci

— By on May 22, 2013, 9:44 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure