A Canadian hobbyist has created and successfully test-fired a rifle created entirely from 3D printed parts.
Dubbed the "Grizzly 2.0", the 3D printed gun fires .22 calibre rounds and, apart from the firing pin, is made entirely from plastic. Though the barrel of the first version of Grizzly was destroyed after firing a single bullet, this latest model has been shown firing 14 rounds before suffering any damage.
It has been designed from scratch by a Canadian who goes only by the online name "Matthew." He told The Verge that his day job involves manufacturing tools for the construction industry and that the gun was created using a Stratasys Dimension 1200ES industrial level 3D printer.
Though Matthew test fired the original model of the Grizzly from a distance, pulling the trigger by tying it to a piece of string, in a video on YouTube, he is shown testing the Grizzly 2.0 by hand. After firing 14 rounds, a crack forms in the rifle's barrel. As well as the Grizzly's frail plastic frame, the gun struggles to function due to its simplistic design, requiring Matthew to remove the barrel and manually remove spent bullet casings after every shot is fired.
Matthew previously said that his weapon was inspired by the Defence Distributed project, which in May created the world's first 3D printed handgun called The Liberator.
Blueprints for The Liberator were subsequently uploaded online, with Defence Distributed encouraging others to share their plans for 3D printed guns. Matthew said he would post blueprints for the Grizzly online later this year.
The weapons developed by Matthew and Defence Distributed may cause concern for some people as they are, ostensibly, freely available to anyone with access to a 3D printer. However, 3D printing expert Jonathan Rowley has told IBTimes UK that, in reality, 3D printed guns are difficult to develop. The quality of home-based 3D printers is currently too low to allow the creation of a working gun and industrial 3D printing is a long and technically difficult process.
Rowley also warned that test-firing a 3D printed weapon would be incredibly dangerous, as the power residue left in the gun's barrel may cause it to backfire and explode, injuring the user.