Now Entering Russ's World
The first object ever created by a 3D printer was a cup. In the 30 years since 3D printing was invented by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems, more imaginative entrepreneurs have built everything from bicycles to busts to transmissions. Now, people are printing guns.
Cody Wilson, age 26 and former law student, is the infamous founder of Defense Distributed, an online 3D printing company with the tagline: “Non-profit anti-monopolist digital publishing.” In 2014, Wilson and his company rocketed into fame with The Liberator, a 3D printable single-shot handgun with publishing plans made widely available online and subsequently removed at the request of the U.S. government.
Now Defense Distributed has pushed its crypto-anarchist agenda one step further with the Ghost Gunner.
The Ghost Gunner is a small black box, a Pandora’s box, that uses a head-mounted drill bit to automatically carve models in three dimensions. It is a portable CNC mill, sold for $1,200, and it has a sole purpose: to aid in manufacturing an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.
A few devious gunsmiths have cobbled together their own receivers in the past, but the Ghost Gunner can churn one out in a few hours. Other rifle parts are available online, which means that, as critic Brian Torchin sarcastically says, the “Ghost Gunner can help you legally manufacture unserialized firearms in the comfort of your own home.”
The initial 175 units in inventory sold out the first day.