Maker Peter Alaric DeSimone has created a 3D-printed dart pistol that shoots 40mm blowgun darts using a piston system. The entire gun takes about eight hours to build and features rubber bands to bring the piston down and reset the trigger.
DeSimone made a point to note that the gun is completely legal and is a direct reaction to proposed regulation that could make all gun blueprints – 3D printable or not – illegal to distribute.
“If Mr. Obama had not attempted to stifle free speech in this way, I probably would have simply worked on another, more innocuous project. But as it is, I felt compelled to act,” wrote DeSimone. “This gesture of protest further proves the obvious futility of attempting to regulate speech and ban simple mechanical objects; both of which are very un-American ideas.”
Whether or not you agree with him and his thoughts on the First and Second Amendment, the dart gun is well-designed and arguably dangerous. Sadly, when makers politicize 3D printing they create a negative media image of it for the genuine users, setting things back considerably thanks to short-sighted legislation of the kind DeSimone is trying to reduce. It’s a vicious and silly circle.