People are worried about the possibility of using 3D printers to make unregistered guns or – if you are North Korea – to make nuclear weapons. However 3D printing is just a manufacturing technology and while it could be used to make weapons it is certainly not the best one. That’s why Cody Wilson, the biggest promoter of using 3D printing to make guns and unserialized gun parts (and the first person to ever 3D printing functional guns), just moved entirely away from 3D printing for his latest DIY gun kit: the Ghost Gunner.
Ghost Gunner 2, an open source hardware project, is a general purpose CNC mill, built upon a large body of open source work, grbl g-code motion control, and popular microcontrollers.
As shipped, Ghost Gunner manufactures mil-spec AR-15 and AR-308 lower receivers to completion. With simple tools and point and click software, the machine automatically finds and aligns to your 80% lower to get to work. No prior CNC knowledge or experience is required to manufacture from design files. Legally manufacture unserialized AR rifles in the comfort and privacy of your home.
Ghost Gunner is built from rigid plasma-cut A36 steel and 304 stainless steel. The machine part count is greatly reduced compared to traditional CNC machines, which both increases rigidity and decreases cost. It employs a horizontal milling format, a 10,000 rpm ER-11 collet unibody machined spindle and has a machinable area of 8.25″ x 2.95″ x 2.35″, optimized for machining AR-15 and AR-308 receivers.
Clearly a metal lower receiver works better than a plastic one and since it does not benefit from optimized complex geometries, there is really no reason to use a 3D printer to make one. Now 3D printers are definitely off the hook, thanks Cody!