First Fully 3D Printed Rifle

3d-printed-rifle

We got a look at the 3D printed “Liberator” pistol earlier this year, well it looks like the first fully 3D printed rifle has finally been created. And it broke, which was no surprise. The guy in the video below under the username “ThreeD Ukulele” is from Canada and created the first 3D printed rifle nicknamed “The Grizzly”. The rifle is chambered in .22lr and was created on a Stratasys Dimension 1200es 3D printer. After only one Winchester Dynapoint round the barrel split about 2″ along both sides and the receiver split on the top. The Grizzly used the coiled mainsprings of the Liberator by Defence Distributed with the only metal part being a 1″ roofing nail.




Ray I.

Ray is an online marketer who got his start in the auto industry taking pictures and writing about cars. A long time gun enthusiast and blogger, his daily firearms musings can be found over at his gun blog ArmoryBlog.com.


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  • JT

    I saw this on defcad. Not really impressed. The barrel cracked and those seem to be a pain to print out. They should really ditch the 100% printed philosophy and build designs based on readily available metal parts using printed components to fill in the gaps (fire control, receiver, grip, etc)

    • Brandon

      From a functionality standpoint I agree 100% but this seems more like a ‘proof of concept’ build.

  • Aaron Russell

    Maybe If they made the barrel and receiver double in thickness or more It would compensate for pressures? I mean cartoony lookin.
    I’m pretty sure thickness would be your friend with a plasitc rifle.

  • anon

    The guy seems to have made himself an SBR. That does NOT look like a 16″ barrel. What are the rules in Canada?

    • fasdf

      There is no restriction on barrel length in Canada, only overall length. In fact the US is one of the few countries that has barrel length restrictions and is one of the few countries where there are laws about suppressors.

    • David Sharpe

      As long as it is over 26 inches total length, it does not have to be registered.

  • Sid

    I am having trouble with Ds. I can print in 2D any weapon I want. It seems to be adding an additional D that has me flustered at the moment. As soon as I can add additional Ds, I of course going to print in 3D and possibly 4D. I don’t really think I am going to mess with 5D printing as that would probably cause Dr Who to appear as he is the only remaining time lord.

  • Ian

    I for one can’t wait for this fad to die out.

    • Leoon

      its a technological excibition they should probobly branch out from the 100% 3D printed stuff and start seeing what they can do with metal inserts in the 3D mags and such but ultimatly whats devloped now with these silly unspoken rules about only using 3D printing will come in handy later on

    • junyo

      This ‘fad’ of people destroying gun control around the world and scaring politicians and nanny staters?

      Yeah, how truly awful.

      • ToMaZi

        We all know you can make a better ‘shooting apparatus’ with a metal tube in the correct girth and a hammer.

        How is this related to guns? its not even a single shot.

        In such a performance driven industry it boggles my mind to read how quickly people lower their standards just because there’s a nice notion behind it – Still very poorly executed.

        3D printers are expensive toys, with very few exceptions in the medical, prototype fabrication and aerospace industries (professional prints are absurdly expensive…).

        • junyo

          Jebus Effing Christ, I really don’t understand how so many ‘gun people’ miss the entire freaking point. It isn’t about the output of 3D printed weapons TODAY, they’re all pretty much technical exercises. I don’t think anyone, on earth, besides the morons at Mother Jones is thinking that you’re going to print a gun and carry it as a serious weapon. The point is:
          a) Demonstrating to the state that technology has made their gun control laws increasingly moot. You can argue that they should have understood this before, but they largely didn’t, and ZOMG printed guns! has forced that understanding, instantaneously.
          b) The democratization of design and manufacture as 3D printing technology develops.
          c) Being able to share and improve designs rapidly. The original Liberator has dozens of variants at this point, and is being improved relentlessly.

          Bitching about the quality/cost of weapons the tech can produce NOW is like looking at a matchlock rifle, saying ‘That whole firearm thing is a fad, I’ll stick with my trusty longbow. We all know a better weapon can be made from a yew tree and some string. In such a performance driven industry I’m amazed that any of the yoemen would trust their lives to some poorly forged metal, burning powder, and tiny lead balls.’

          The level of Ludditism in the gun world is absolutely staggering to me.

          • ToMaZi

            I like your comparison with longbows and matchlocks – While indeed a great example of Ludditism I don’t think its relevant here: When you’ll be able to fabricate superior technology using 3D printers I’ll be right behind you, with my foot in my mouth.

            I’m guessing you’ll have access to energy based weapons prior to having this tech viable in *this* context.

            There’s a chance that on the polymer side you’ll be able to get high quality fabrications with custom designs (at a higher cost – I’m imagining leasing time on a very high end machine or something of that sorts) – That will be cute and all, but will miss your original point.

          • junyo

            I’d take that bet. There’s a LOT or resources being thrown at battery energy density for precious little result. Consumer 3D printing is largely homebrewed and Maker driven, and the price/performance curve has been arcing down pretty steeply. And the biggest hurdle from a firearms POV is a material science vs manufacture ring unit price one. Machines capable of making full density metal parts exist, they/re just not priced for consumers.

            Then again, 5 years ago, neither were the machines that consumers are buying today.

            And the simple fact is, energy in the form of self oxidizing fuel is really tough to beat in terms of density, long term storage and reliability (which is the same reason why electric cars don’t sell for beans – no matter how bad you think it is for the Earth, it’s tough to beat fossil fuels as a convenient fuel source). A functional firearm (even a Liberator), right now today, can be loaded and thrown in a drawer, and largely expected to go bang! when you pull it out 5 years from now. A functional firearm can be reloaded, basically instantly. The same can’t be said of any battery powered item I’ve ever heard of, let alone one that stored enough energy to output serious wattage, and didn’t come in convenient 18 wheeler size.

  • J.J

    now if only they made 3-d printed ammo…

  • http://www.facebook.com/max.kingsbury Max Kingsbury

    Is this really a rifle, or is it just a long-barreled smoothbore?

    • Leoon

      the pistol had rifling so I doubt he ommitted that part of the file in what is and abviouse modification of the “liberator”

  • Blake

    Well, just like with any other prototype firearm, he should have “worked up a load” to figure out how much pressure the chamber could take, and checked for warning signs after each progressive loading. Granted it’s a rimfire so you can’t exactly measure out your powder, but IMHO starting out with varmint ammo was a mistake.

    He should have stared out with some CB caps, then moved on to standard 22 shorts, then subsonic target ammo, then “standard velociy”, then HV, and then blown the thing to pieces with a CCI Velocitor (as it stands now, I think he should still blow it up properly with a Velocitor :-).

    For all we know it could have worked just fine all day long with subsonic match ammo (provided the polymer chamber can cool fast enough between shots to prevent deformation).

  • Joseph B Campbell

    The last I had heard, the material fails after 30 rounds or so. Has anybody gone beyond this threshold?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No not to any degree

  • t-bone

    Ok, I get it already! You can’t make guns out of plastic. Didn’t we know that? I’m pretty sure we knew that.

  • SN

    It is really amazing to see so many folks missing the point…over and over
    and over and…

    This is not about how many shots it fires…but that it CAN plus AVAILABILITY
    of manufacture quickly, conveniently and DISCREETLY. Your average joe
    may be at a loss to judge metal strength on tubing and folks might ask
    some dangerous questions after he asks someone else if you should live
    in say….New York or Boston ? In the privacy of your own home it is another
    matter.

    Gun restrictions are about limiting availability…..after 3d printing this is a dead
    letter.

  • David Sharpe

    I think the channel was deleted, I cannot search it and the embedded videos “Do Not Exist”