The world's first 3D printed gun failed to live up to the hype by exploding before the trigger was even pulled.

Government agents in the United States blew up the firearm named the "Liberator" during tests.

The Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives downloaded one of more than 100,000 copies of Liberator's blueprint from designer Defence Distributed (DD).

But after running the file through a 3D printer to create the pistol, there was no chance to test the controversial gun, which has the potential to make firearms available to anyone with no checks or balances. The model, made from VisiJet plastic, exploded in the testing chamber.

"We downloaded files, we created firearms from those files, and we tested those firearms," Earl Griffith of the ATF told the Huffington Post.

Other copies made from different materials fired up to eight rounds successfully.

Griffin said: "The bottom line is the penetration results demonstrated that the Liberator is a lethal weapon.

"The .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull."

On its website, DD justifies releasing its gun blueprint by citing an address about freedom of speech by English writer John Milton in the 17<sup>th century.