It was only a matter of time. Now that there is more than one 3D-printed gun, a 3D-printed bullet couldn't have been too far behind.
On Sunday, 48-year-old industrial technician Jeff Heeszel uploaded a video of his friend shooting a 3D-printed bullet from a shotgun. As you may have guessed, the bullet worked. Not as well as a regular bullet, but, remember, it was made at home on a machine.
Jeff Heeszel isn't an anarchist, he just loves to play with guns. His YouTube channel, Taofledermaus, became popular because Heeszel makes videos of himself and his friends shooting random objects like dimes and Tic Tacs out of shotguns.
Three different types of 3D-printed shotgun slugs are fired in the video. The first bullet goes straight through a wooden dart board. The second went through a 2-inch thick piece of pine wood, and the third bullet did a little damage to a mannequin head. Why are these guys shooting at mannequin heads? That doesn't send a great message. Each bullet is made of plastic and contains a lead ball to add some weight.
These bullets are fairly simple and fast to make. In the video, Heeszel says it took about an hour to print the first slug he shoots. He made it on his friend Tony Griffy's $800 3D printer, Heeszel told Wired. Griffy, known on YouTube as ArtisanTony, describes himself as "a conservative libertarian that believes in small government and self reliance" on his page. Many of his videos are devoted to the process of printing the original 3D-printed gun, the Liberator.
Thankfully, Griffy doesn't plan to go into production of 3D weapons or sell them. “Printers are really designed for prototyping, not production work," he told Wired. "It’s really, honestly, just for fun.” Let us all hope that there aren't too many more people interested in having this type of fun.