The possibility of being able to 3D print your own gun and even being able to fire it is controversial and interesting to say the least. But worried parents, fear not, it seems a gun which was fit with a major 3d printed part fell apart after only six shorts. So the quality is far off from equaling parts produced by machines.
Defense Distributed is working on a project to create a 3d printable gun, they call it the WikiWeapon. Since the quality of the print isn’t high and strong enough to fabricate a well working gun, Defence Distributed used HaveBlue’s design of a printed gun. In July he claimed to have fired his 3d printed firearm hundreds of times. Given the quality of 3d printers and plastics nowadays, this doesn’t seem impossible.
The part printed by Defense Distributed is the ‘lower receiver’, which is where a bullet is received from the magazine. As the picture shows, it appears to be very well made, and looks like it fits exactly on to the other parts the guns consists of.
But, as you can see on the movie below, the pressure of the recoil is way too much for the buffer ring. This separates the stock from the upper receiver, but after firing 6 shots the gun fell apart. A major setback since they used a lower caliber bullet than the gun was made for.
Is this all legal? Yes and no. In the US it is legal to create your own private firearms, in contrary to distributing them. So in this case, of 3D printed firearms, a bit of both occurs. For now it’s a bit of a grey area, but the ATF is examining the subject.