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The world's first 3D-printed gun (pictures)

Defense Distributed is offering downloadable plans for its Liberator gun online, for anyone worldwide -- for free.

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James Martin
James Martin is the Managing Editor of Photography at CNET. His photos capture technology's impact on society - from the widening wealth gap in San Francisco, to the European refugee crisis and Rwanda's efforts to improve health care. From the technology pioneers of Google and Facebook, photographing Apple's Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai, to the most groundbreaking launches at Apple and NASA, his is a dream job for any documentary photography and journalist with a love for technology. Exhibited widely, syndicated and reprinted thousands of times over the years, James follows the people and places behind the technology changing our world, bringing their stories and ideas to life.
James Martin
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Cody Wilson fires his 3D-printed handgun, the Liberator

Cody Wilson, of Defense Distributed in Austin, Texas, fires a handgun manufactured entirely of 3D-printed parts, in a screenshot from a YouTube demonstration video.

Defense Distributed has already made plans for this open-source weapon -- dubbed a Wiki Weapon -- available online for free, and continues to refine and test the design to improve reliability.
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Liberator handgun components

These are the components of the Liberator handgun by Defense Distributed, 3D-printed from an open-source design.
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The Liberator disassembled

Defense Distributed's 3D-printed weapon, the Liberator, is seen here disassembled.
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Liberator testing

Defense Distributed's 3D-printed weapon, the Liberator, is seen here mounted on a metal holder during testing at a secret location outside of Austin, Texas.
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The Liberator

A printed part for the Liberator, the world's first 3D-printed gun.
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Testing the weapon

Cody Wilson loads the Liberator into its carrying case.
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Wiki Weapon

The parts for the Liberator are almost completely 3D printed. The only nonplastic components of the weapon are the firing pin -- a standard metal nail -- and a six-ounce piece of steel whose function is to make the gun spottable with a metal detector. (The U.S. Undetectable Firearms Act, which is set to expire at the end of 2013, prohibits weapons that don't set off a metal detector.)
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Live-fire testing

Defense Distributed's 3D-printed weapon, the Liberator, is seen here mounted during live-fire testing at a secret location outside of Austin, Texas.
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Testing

The Liberator during testing.
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More testing

Another shot of the Liberator during testing.
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3D-printed AK magazine

Defense Distributed has successfully manufactured an AK magazine as well.
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AK magazine during testing

The AK magazine being tested.
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High-capacity AK magazine

Defense Distributed's 3D-printed AK magazine.
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AK magazine

Defense Distributed's 3D-printed AK magazine can accommodate 30 rounds.
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AK magazine at the shooting range

Defense Distributed's 30-round AK magazine.
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Prototype magazines

Different prototype magazines undergoing testing by Defense Distributed.

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