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3D-Printed Gun Blueprints Scrubbed From Internet, Already Downloaded 100,000 Times in Just Two Days [VIDEO]

May 09, 2013 08:51 PM EDT
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The world's first entirely 3D printed gun is here and its creator didn't want to keep the plans all to himself, and so instead, he posted it online for everyone and anyone. Within the first two days, 100,000 people have already downloaded the files, prompting the State Department to step in and order the removal of the blueprints.

The 3D printed gun, called 'The Liberator', was made by Cody Wilson, 25, a University of Texas law student. Wilson built the prototype weapon and released the CAD files for the gun to the public.

"The Liberator" is made from sixteen different pieces and uses interchangeable barrels for different calibers, according to Forbes. All those pieces are made from ABS plastic and formed from a Stratasys Dimension SST printer. The gun also uses a nail to act as its firing pin and to keep it in compliance with safety regulations; Wilson added a six ounce piece of steel to make it detectable by metal detectors.

A video of the 3D printed gun which successfully fired a shot began to viral on Sunday, but before any more guns could be printed at home, a ban was implemented. However, over 100,000 users were able to download the plans from file sharing websites. According to Defense Distributed, most of the downloads were made in the US, followed by Spain, Brazil, Germany and the UK.

The link to download the blueprint has been replaced with the following: "This file has been removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information."

The state department said that the blueprints may violate U.S. export controls.

According to an earlier interview, Wilson received a letter from the US Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Enforcement Division (DTCC/END) which demanded the group remove the content in question from public domain.

"#DEFCAD is going dark at the request of the SOD Department of Defense Trade Controls," Defense Distributed's founder Cody Wilson Tweeted Thursday morning. "Some shapes are more dangerous than others."

Defense Distributed took eight months to produce the firearm, which was assembled from separate components produced on an $8,000 3D printer bought from auction site eBay, according to the BBC.

Watch a video below of how a 3D-printed gun is made and operated:

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