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West Virginia experts: 3D printing not designed for firearms


The Herald-Dispatch

In this 2013 photo, Cody Wilson holds what he calls a Liberator pistol that was completely made on a 3-D-printer at his home in Austin, Texas. Eight states filed suit Monday, July 30, 2018, against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.
(AP file photo)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — While the national legal debate over 3D-printed guns continues, two West Virginia experts in 3D printing technology say it is not designed to produce firearms.

“We encourage the use of 3D printers for experimentation, but we would not allow anyone to make something that would harm them or someone else,” said Arley Carpenter, director of manufacturing services for the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in South Charleston. “This is plastic printed in the shape of a gun, which is not safe to fire, in my opinion.”

Keith Morris, a West Virginia University professor and Ming Hsieh Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Forensic & Investigative Science, also believes 3D-printed plastic guns are not safe.

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