When the Wiki Weapon project came to light, the idea of distributing blueprints for creating your own weapons at home through the help of 3D technology was hotly debated.
However, the first run of testing 3D-printed guns hasn't been without its problems.
In the first live testing round with a "Wiki Weapon," the early prototype only managed to fire six rounds without breaking. Dubbed the Reinforced AR-15 Lower Receiver, of which blueprints can be downloaded, the trigger and grip of the gun are the main printable parts.
Firing the prototype resulted in two body fractures. In other words, the pressure of rapid-fire is still too strong for the gun, but slowly firing single shots met with more success.
We have to keep in mind this is only the first test of a gun made with plastic, printed components, but as one developer noted on the WikiWep blog:
"It does not appear that the receiver extension threads failed in any way. The quality of the threads was very impressive, better than I had expected, and the Ace entry-length stock fit perfectly. Instead, it seems like the off-axis force generated by recoil simply "popped" the whole ring area off the receiver in the area of the receiver tube anti-rotation plate."
The team already have a list of improvements to make for the prototype, which includes thickening the ring, enhancing the trigger guard, and improving the overall contours of the weapon.
The group's founder, Cody Wilson, told Wired:
"We knew it would break, probably. But I don't think we thought it'd break within six [rounds]. We thought it'd break within 20."
The Wiki Weapon project gained controversial fame online after photos were published within an online forum revealing how an open-source, downloadable blueprint could be used to create plastic components for guns in a normal household.
Image credit: Wiki Weapon project