August 9, 2013
Canadian Man Fires 3D Printed Rifle Named Grizzly 2.0
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A Canadian man known only as “Matthew” has successfully used a 3D printer to make a rifle capable of firing 14 single rounds. A video that he posted on YouTube demonstrates the Grizzly 2.0 firing a total of 14 shots before a crack in the barrel finally stops it in its tracks. Matthew says they designed the Grizzly 2.0 from plans posted online by Cody Wilson, a Texas man and founder of Defense Distributed. Wilson was the first to successfully fire a 3D printed gun which he named “the Liberator.”
Two weeks ago Matthew posted a video of what he claimed was the first 3D printed rifle. The barrel cracked after just one shot, however. In the new video, Matthew is seen firing multiple shots with the rifle by hand. He takes extra precaution with the last three shots, pulling the trigger by a string. In an email to the Verge, Matthew said: "I was completely confident to hand fire and will be taking it out again with a friend with a new barrel this week.”
He also said he plans to post the blueprints for the Grizzly online later this summer for anyone else to print for themselves at home.
The .22-caliber rifle is printed out of ABS+ plastic and, though it’s capable of firing up to 14 shots, must be loaded and unloaded manually. In the YouTube video, Matthew is seen firing a shot, removing the barrel, removing the spent casing and cleaning the barrel with a wand, inserting a new shell, then attaching the barrel back to the rest of the gun. Though not the easiest gun to operate, the nature of 3D printing means multiple iterations can be built at a relatively low cost. Furthermore, much like open-source software, anyone can download and improve upon the plans.
According to the Verge, Matthew improved on the first design of the Grizzly by increasing the size of the barrel by 50 percent and increasing the size of the receiver, where the bullet sits. He hasn’t yet revealed his last name, but told the Verge that he’s in his late 20s, builds tools for the construction industry, and printed the gun parts on a Stratasys Dimension 1200ES industrial 3D printer used by his company.
Interestingly, Stratasys is the same company which denied Cody Wilson rental access to one of their printers last October. As he and Defense Distributed began raising funds to build and distribute the world’s first 3D printed gun, they leased a printer from Stratasys. Upon hearing about Wilson’s plans for the printer, Stratasys sent an email asking to have the printer returned. When Wilson refused, saying it was his legal right to build firearms in his home, the company sent a representative to his home and took the machine away themselves.
Wilson and Defense Distributed were able to raise more money and move forward, eventually successfully firing the Liberator in May. They are now battling the Department of Defense to keep their plans for the gun freely available on the Internet.
“I’m expecting some interesting decisions from the State Department soon regarding the legal status of the disclosures of the plans,” said Wilson in a statement to Fox News following the release of the Grizzly 2.0 video.
“Defense Distributed was put on ice and threatened with massive penalties … if we didn’t stop doing what we’re doing. We’re private developers who shouldn’t have government interference.”