When I decide to exercise my brain I play Sudoku. When Youtube user Derwood exercises his brain he creates a semi-automatic gun that 95-per cent 3D printed, completely untraceable, and currently very legal.
"No one had ever tried to get a semi-automatic 3D printed gun working before…I'm just one of those types, I like to find new things that people say can't be done," he told Wired in an interview published earlier today.
Most people challenging engineering preconceptions in their garage just, like, make their car go faster. They don't craft a killing machine small enough to fit in a purse.
Derwood's engineering feat, the Shuty-MP1 isn't 100 per cent 3D-printed. Completely 3D-printed guns usually have a habit of failing -- often dangerously. You see, the heat from firing melts the PLA plastic used by the majority of 3D printers. In turn, the heat from the repeat usage necessary for something like cracking off eight shots in under 10 seconds is unsustainable for the weapon. To circumvent this issue Derwood used store bought components for some of the biggest points of failure: the barrel, hammer, firing pin, bolts, and springs.
None of those components are regulated by current law as you usually need a gun to make use of them. The rest of Derwood's weapon exists in a grey area. While 3D-printing a weapon isn't illegal, the release of the CAD plans for it is. As long as Derwood keeps his build instructions off the internet he's safe. According to Wired he has no plans to release them. Let's hope not.
Even if his plans did leak he doesn't think untraceable semiautomatic weapons will be flooding the streets and flowing into the hands of criminals. "If you keep shooting, it's going to fail," he hold Wired. "That makes it not such a desired weapon for a criminal."
So all you have to do is dodge bullets until the gun fails. Phew.