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3-D guns

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 6:40pm

With all the talk about gun control and Second Amendment rights, one thing has been forgotten.
New technology makes those arguments obsolete.
Fighting over whether to perform a background check to get a gun starts to sound pretty archaic in the world of 3d printers.
But can you really make a gun out of plastic? On a printer?
A fellow named Cody Wilson, a law student and self-proclaimed anarchist at the University of Texas, says you can make the all important lower receiver for the popular Ar-15 rifle on a 3-dimensional printer.
But Clinton Odem of the Engineering Department of Tyler Junior College says, while possible, it’s not advisable.
“It will start actually printing the part and putting down a layer of support material on here and then it will build the part on the support material,” Odem says. “These types of machines are using ABS plastic, and it’s just not strong enough to contain that type of pressure.”
And Mack Woods of the Shootist Gun shop agrees.
“Somebody doing this in their garage is really not too smart or really brave because they run the risk of being blinded or crippled or killed,” Woods told us.
“This is the part they are making right here, the lower receiver,” Odem says, “And that’s where everything attaches, and you’ve got two little attachment points. All of your action in an AR 15 is up here in the upper receiver, and as it cycles back, there’s going to be two little weak points right here because that’s just pins that hold the upper to the lower receiver, and that’s eventually going to crack and break. You could if you wanted to take your life in your own hands, because like I say, these machines just aren’t made for that.”

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