The technosphere — which is currently in love with 3D printing (see the cover of the new issue of WIRED) — was abuzz, earlier this week, with the news that a 3D printer company had seized its leased unit from the home of a man planning to print out a pistol. Cody Wilson, director of an online project called the Wiki Weapon movement, is a second-year law student at the University of Texas at Austin, who raised $20,000 online for the specific purpose of leasing a 3D printer, using it to design and produce a 3D-printed pistol capable of getting off a single shot, and sharing the schematics online. Stratasys, the company that had leased Wilson the 3D printer, got wind of the project and — citing US firearms laws — repossessed the printer. (Full story here.)
As the design blog Core77 pointed out today, we've heard about a plastic one-shot gun before, somewhere... Where? In the 1993 movie In the Line of Fire, that's where. In it, John Malkovich plays an ex-CIA assassin hiding out — this detail tickled the folks at Core77 — as a design professor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He cobbles together a plastic gun, which he smuggles through a metal detector in an attempt to kill the president of the United States. The movie devotes a montage sequence of considerable length to the plastic-gun molding process; thanks to the 3D printing revolution, however, one of these days all we'll have to do — should we want a plastic one-shot pistol — is upload a diagram and press a button.
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