A Wisconsin engineer who wishes to be known only as “Joe” has successfully created a low-end version of the 3D printed Liberator handgun originally designed by Defense Distributed, which had released its schematics online earlier this month before the US State Department requested they be taken down. The “Lulz Liberator” was built with a Lulzbot AO-101 printer, which retails for $1,725 on the company’s Web site, and $25 worth of plastic materials. A YouTube video shows the gun firing nine times without breaking.
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What’s the Big Idea?
Because the Liberator was created using an $8,000 industrial 3D printer, and its prototype had only fired one shot per printed barrel, some believed that the distance between 3D printed guns and the average consumer was still considerable. Though not perfect — some parts had to be replaced, and there were several misfirings — Joe’s design has shortened that gap in only a matter of weeks. While he doesn’t consider himself an anarchist like Defense Distributed’s founder Cody Wilson, Joe agrees with the idea “that this is a perfect fusion of the first and second amendments.” It’s not yet clear whether the Lulz Liberator schematic will go online, or even if it can, given current restrictions.