NEW YORK (Web Desk) – A mechanical engineering student in United States has designed a functional 3D-printed revolver, and he claims it’s the first in the world of its kind.
The PM522 Washbear can fire up to 8 bullets between reloads, and is printed using a consumer 3D-printer, the Mail Online reported.
The Washbear is made almost entirely of 3D-printed materials, using ABS plastic or nylon, but has incorporated detectable metal parts in attempts to comply with gun regulations.
According to Fox News, Patrick added detectable metal rods to comply with US gun regulations, to avoid his blueprint being removed from the internet – something which previously happened to entrepreneur Cody Wilson when he debuted his Liberator 3D printed gun in 2013.
A similar concept, Cody Wilson’s Liberator, made headlines two years ago as the first 3D-printed handgun, but was only capable of firing single shots.
Patrick’s gun features a removable pepperbox cylinder which is held in place by a pin, allowing the user to change between a six or eight-chamber cylinder.
Elastic bands are attached to the trigger, turning the cylinder and aligning the round once the cylinder is loaded.
The cylinder moves into places as the trigger is pulled, and the striker pulls back as well, equipped with a flat roofing nail as the firing pin.
When the trigger is pulled all the way back, the striker moves forward and hits the round with the firing pin, says Fox.
For safety, the cylinder is moved off-center as the trigger returns to its resting position to prevent accidental firing.
Now that a safe working prototype has been created, Patrick has decided to release the files, the website says, and the design is available for download.
An elastic band spring, a metal firing pin, and steel rods are the only metal features of the design, which is otherwise made entirely from printed material.
Time will tell if these detectable metal pieces will be enough for the gun to be considered legal by the authorities, or if the design will be removed from the internet, just as Wilson’s Liberator was in its 2013 debut.
DANGERS OF 3D PRINTED GUNS
There are a number of 3D-printed gun designs now freely available on the web. These guns are capable of killing, and accurately mimic real-life weapons.
Since they are made of plastic and not metal means they can be taken through metal detectors without being picked up.
In 2013, the Mail Online exposed the international security risk posed by a gun that can be easily made with new 3D printers. They built a weapon, which is capable of firing a live round, from blueprints available on the internet – then smuggled it on to a packed Eurostar train.
Two reporters passed completely unchallenged through strict airport-style security to carry the gun on to a London to Paris service in the weekend rush-hour, alongside hundreds of unsuspecting travellers.
The pistol, capable of firing a deadly 0.38-calibre bullet, was produced in under 36 hours using a revolutionary £1,700 machine to ‘print’ its components.
And because all the parts are plastic, they did not trigger the metal detectors all Euro-star passengers must pass through.
In order to be considered legal, the guns must contain detectable metal parts.