The future of weapons is one of mass production, with a range of options ranging from the highly-advanced, like the AR-15, to the cheaper, like 3D printing.
While the AR platform and other 3D printers are already ubiquitous, there are a few obstacles that keep them out of most everyday uses.
One is the sheer cost.
While a range-of-motion machine may cost a few hundred thousand dollars, 3D-printed guns could run $2,000 to $5,000, according to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
But that doesn’t mean the price is prohibitive.
For one, it could be done with cheaper materials.
In the U!
S., the cost of making a gun from 3D printer parts is around $40 to $50 per gun.
“If you can print 3D parts, that would make a lot of sense,” said Robert Rippe, vice president for industrial and commercial affairs at Gunfireworks, a manufacturer of 3D gun parts.
“You can easily print parts at home, but you still need to build the machine yourself.”
To do this, Rippes says Gunfire will have to make a proprietary design for its firearm, which will have a proprietary mechanism.
The company has been working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to develop its design, which includes a laser, electronics, and an integrated microprocessor.
Ripps said the company is in discussions with other manufacturing firms, and expects to launch the gun in the next year or two.
For now, though, Gunfire is focused on 3D printable firearms.
The next big frontier for the industry, the company says, will be “smart guns,” which use smart technology to detect and avoid intruders and fire a round of bullets to disable or kill an attacker.
“There’s going to be an array of different technologies, and that includes all the things we do with a firearm,” Rippis said.
“What we need to do is be able to do it with as little cost as possible, because if it’s not, we’re going to have a problem.”