Gun parts made using a 3D printer

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-09 06:50:46-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--A Texas man was able to successfully shoot a firearm made from a 3D printer.

He used an $8,000 refurbished 3D printer to make 15 plastic gun parts, and with a metal firing pin, fired the gun. While many are concerned, including anti-gun campaigners, about the use of a printer to make a gun and the availability  of information online, not every 3D printer can produce the same results.

At the University of Richmond, Fred Hagemeister explained that 3D printers are popular among car makers and architects.

He said there will come a time when more and more 3D printers will be found in the home.

But not all 3D printers can produce the same quality craftsmanship necessary to produce the precise parts that can feasibly fire a handgun, and the one at the University of Richmond falls into that category.

The inexpensive 3D printer allows university students a unique opportunity for hands-on experience with cutting edge technology, but gun making isn't part of their studies.

As for the single shot pistol made from plastic parts, it has caught the eye of law enforcement, who are concerned about its potential.