The Liberator gun made headlines when its creator fired up his 3D printer and created them, building firearms that actually fire out of little more than plastic components that combined cost little more than your average Blu-ray movie. Now, that pivotal moment in the history of DIY 3D printing is being ensconced in a London museum, Engadget reports.
Cody Wilson’s Liberator had its own misfires early on, which destroyed half the case, but later demos showed that it could fired multiple times. As John Biggs explained in a general overview, it technically can be printed at home by anyone who wants one, but not every self-printed version carries the history that these original Liberator models do.
Like Biggs pointed out, homemade guns aren’t new; it’s a long-established hobby, especially in the U.S., with a storied history. But whereas once it required a lathe and other ironworking tools and some kind of dedication and grit, now it pretty much can be managed by casual amateurs capable of spending quite a bit of money on a 3D printer and a proficiency in downloading files from the Internet.
The project being put together by the London Victoria & Albert museum is designed to showcase a range of “contemporary design projects,” of which the 3D-printed Liberator is a key example, and these will be displayed between September 14 – 22. So far, the Liberator hasn’t prompted a people’s revolution or a swell of murders, but getting eyes-on the originals still could be a story to tell the grandkids someday depending on how things shake out.