Super-Cheap 3D-Printed Gun Works Frighteningly Well

May 21, 2013 | Andy Cush

The promise of Defense Distributed’s Liberator 3D-printed handgun–that it would “free” firearms from the firearms industry, putting a gun in the hands of anybody who wants one–is really a dot on the horizon. Cody Wilson and co. got one to fire, yes, but they did it with an $8,000 printer that looks like a vending machine, and had to replace the barrel every time they fired it.

But that vision is now one step closer, as a Wisconsin engineer made a modified version of the Liberator on a cheap printer and $25 worth of plastic, dubbing his weapon the “Lulz Liberator,” because, you know, gunz are totally teh lulz. The Lulz Liberator is scarily effective–in the video above, it fires off eight shots on one barrel.

“People think this takes an $8,000 machine and that it blows up on the first shot. I want to dispel that,” said Joe, the gun’s creator, who asked Forbes not to reveal his last name. “This does work, and I want that to be known.”

It’s a big step, but we’re still a long way from a 3D-printed gun for every firearms enthusiast. Even if guns could be printed on cheaper, consumer-oriented printers on a wide scale, something like a MakerBot Replicator still outprices your average handgun by far.

“I’m trying to do the same thing Cody wants to do. I’m not an anarchist, but I don’t like the idea that the government is telling us ‘You can’t have that,’” Joe said. “I agree with Cody’s idea that this is a perfect fusion of the first and second amendments.”